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The Einstein Papers' Centennial: 1905-2005

Jump to a section of this guide . . .

The 1905 "Storm" Bibliographies & Books The Manhattan Project Quotations
Article Databases Einstein's Life Miscellaneous Web Sites The Speed of Light
Achievements Games, Quizzes, & eCards Nobel Prize Testing Einstein's Ideas
Audio Visuals Glossaries Obituaries Timelines
Awards How Smart Was He? Papers & Writings Web Portals

The 1905 "Storm"

"In Einstein's universe, gravity isn't a force, space has hills and valleys and a second isn't always a second.  Come view the world through Einstein's eyes.  You may be surprised by what you see!"  - American Museum of Natural History, Einstein exhibition

"The discoveries of Albert Einstein sparked the scientific revolution of the 20th century and rank among the greatest achievements of humanity.  Recent developments show that we can now complete Einstein's legacy and, in the first decades of the 21st century, unravel the mysteries of the Universe that await us . . ." - NASA, Beyond Einstein: From the Big Bang to Black Holes


"A storm broke loose in my mind." - Albert Einstein

In 1905 (age 26), while a class 3 clerk at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern, Albert Einstein published five papers that shocked the physics community and drastically transformed our view of the universe.  All the papers were published in Annalen der Physik (Annals of Physics), the main German journal about physics.  The topics and titles (in English and German) of the papers are listed below in chronological order.

Introductions to the papers:

Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University.  Provides brief summaries of papers 1, 3, 4, and 5 below.

physicsweb.  Provides a summary of all five papers.

University of Pittsburgh (Department of History and Philosophy of Science).  Scroll down the page and look under "Einstein's corpus of 1905" and "Advance work."

The papers:

1.  Photoelectric Effect (March 1905)

Title: "On a Heuristic Point of View Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light"  ("Über einen die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichtspunkt")
(Annalen der Physik 17:132-148)

Note: In this paper, Einstein proposed that light is composed of tiny particles called quanta.  Consequently, the paper led to the development of the branch of physics known as quantum mechanics.

Overviews:

Institute of Physics (with additional links)

Excerpt of the paper:
American Museum of Natural History.  Scroll down the screen and click "On a Heuristic Point of View Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light."
Complete paper:

English version (from Johns Hopkins University)

Original German paper (from the University of Augsburg)

2.  Doctoral Dissertation (completed April 30, 1905)

Title: "The Determination of Molecular Dimensions"  ("Eine neue Bestimmung der Moleküldimensionen").  Submitted to the University of Zurich on July 20, 1905.  A somewhat different version was submitted to Annalen der Physik on August 19, 1905 and published in 1906.
(Annalen der Physik 19:289-305)

Complete dissertation:

English version (from Johns Hopkins University)

Original German dissertation (from the University of Augsburg)

3.  Brownian Motion (May 1905)

Title: "On the Movement of Small Particles Suspended in Stationary Liquids Required by the Molecular-Kinetic Theory of Heat"  ("Über die von der molekularkinetischen Theorie der Wärme geforderte Bewegung von in ruhenden Flüssigkeiten suspendierten Teilchen")
(Annalen der Physik 17:549-560)

Overviews:

Institute of Physics (with additional links)

Excerpt of the paper:
American Museum of Natural History.  Scroll down the screen and click "On the Movement of Small Particles Suspended in Stationary Liquids Required by the Molecular-Kinetic Theory of Heat."
Complete paper:

English version (from Johns Hopkins University)

Original German paper (from the University of Augsburg)

4.Special Relativity (June 1905)

Title: "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies"  ("Zur Elektrodynamik begetter Körper") (Annalen der Physik 17:891-921)

Overviews:

Bartleby.com.  A fairly thorough overview of special (and general) relativity.

"A Brief History of Relativity" by Stephen Hawking (from TIME Magazine)

Institute of Physics (with additional links)

MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive, University of St. Andrews, Scotland (with embedded links)

Nobelprize.org.  The Michelson-Morley experiment, the postulates of special relativity, Lorentz transformations, the twin paradox, energy is equivalent to mass, special relativity as a tool, history of special relativity (a timeline).

University of Auckland, New Zealand

University of Colorado, Boulder.  Lots of topics and visuals.

Excerpt of the paper:
American Museum of Natural History.  Scroll down the screen and click "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies."
Complete paper:
English version (from Fourmilab Switzerland)

Original German paper (from the University of Augsburg)

JPEG image of the first page of the original paper and cover of the Annalen der Physik issue containing it

5.  Special Relativity: E=mc2 (September 1905)

Title: "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend upon its Energy Content?"  ("Ist die Trägheit eines Körpers von seinem Energieinhalt abhängig?")
(Annalen der Physik 18:639-641)

Note: This paper was a supplement to the June 1905 special relativity paper.

Overviews:

"A Brief History of Relativity" by Stephen Hawking (from TIME Magazine)

Institute of Physics (with additional links)

Nobelprize.org.  The Michelson-Morley experiment, the postulates of special relativity, Lorentz transformations, the twin paradox, energy is equivalent to mass, special relativity as a tool, history of special relativity (a timeline).

Excerpt of the paper:
American Museum of Natural History.   Scroll down the screen and click "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend upon its Energy Content?"
Complete paper:

English version (from Fourmilab Switzerland)

Original German paper (from the University of Augsburg)

Article Databases

These databases are available to Montgomery College (MC) students via remote access.  MC students will be prompted to enter their library card barcode number prior to remotely entering the databases.

Academic Search Premier.  A searchable, general database that contains articles about Einstein, his work, and related topics.

Biographies Plus Illustrated.  A searchable database of biographies.

FACTS.com.   You can search or browse this database---especially "Today's Science"---for information about Einstein, his work, and related topics.

The Historical New York Times (HNYT).  To retrieve HNYT articles about Einstein and his work written during his life, limit the Date range to, say, March 1, 1905 to April 18, 1955.

Web Sites

These selected links represent a sample of sites on the World Wide Web that provide information about Einstein and his work.  Most sites are followed by a summary of the information they provide.  NOTE: Due to the dynamic nature of the Web, sites may disappear or change their address or contents over time. Therefore, they may not continue to exist as described below.

Web-Site Portals

About Einstein:

Google Directory

Open Directory

Yahoo Directory

About Relativity:

Google Directory

Librarians' Index to the Internet

Yahoo Directory

About Physics:

BUBL Information Services

Martindale's "The Reference Desk"

Einstein Symposium 2005 (from the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the Library of Alexandria, Egypt).  Einstein, his papers, institutions, preprints, eprints, glossaries, and more.

Achievements

Library of Alexandria, Egypt

Audio Visuals

See...

Einstein in the 1950s at his Princeton home filming a speech supporting the Hebrew University (from The Jewish National & University Library and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Author George Bernard Shaw's Tribute to Einstein at the Savoy Hotel, London, England, on October 27, 1930, in an after-dinner-speech (from Nobelprize.org).

QuickTime movies at SpaceTime Wrinkles (from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).  The movies and other information primarily deal with special relativity, general relativity (here and here), and black holes (a sequence of five pages; scroll to the bottom of each page and click "Forward to...").  Major sections are Einstein's legacy, the relativistic universe, relativity goes digital, movies from the edge of spacetime, fulfilling Einstein's dream, and more.

Visuals pertaining to special relativity (from Nobelprize.org).  The visuals help explain the Michelson-Morley experiment, the postulates of special relativity, Lorentz transformations, the twin paradox, energy as equivalent to mass, special relativity as a tool, history of special relativity (a timeline).

Photographs / Images:

A. Einstein: Image and Impact (from the American Institute of Physics)

Einstein and Mileva (his first wife; from the Tesla Memorial Society of New York)

Einstein and Leo Szilard.  A 1946 New York Times photo of the men in a recreation of writing their 1939 letter to President Franklin Roosevelt.

Einstein's Apartment in Bern, Switzerland (from the Tesla Memorial Society of New York)

Einstein's Swedish Nobel Prize Stamp

Einstein's Swiss Passport (1923)

Image Gallery (from the Library of Alexandria, Egypt)

Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University.  With timeline and quotations.

Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Frankfurt, Germany:

Einstein Alone

Einstein Family Photos

Einstein with Others

Einstein at Princeton University

Einstein's High School Diploma

Sculpture of Einstein on Riverside Church, New York City

St. Cloud State University (St. Cloud, MN).  These writings on science and religion contain photos of Einstein.

Visuals Pertaining to Special Relativity (from the University of Colorado, Boulder).  Lots of topics and visuals.

JPEG image of the first page of "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" and cover of the Annalen der Physik issue in which it was originally published.  This was Einstein's June 1905 paper on special relativity.

JPEG image of the first page of "The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity" and cover of the Annalen der Physik issue in which it was originally published.  This was Einstein's 1916 paper on general relativity.  Note: Einstein's reputation as a great scientist was built primarily on his theory of general relativity.

Hear Einstein Talk about...

The equivalence of energy and matter, E = mc2 (from a talk given in 1948; from the American Institute of Physics)

The fate of European Jews in World War II (spoken December 10, 1945; from the American Institute of Physics)

The Goal of Human Existence (excerpt; from The Jewish National & University Library and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Nuclear weapons and world peace (from a talk given December 10, 1945; from the American Institute of Physics)

The role of scientists in World War II as that role pertained to development of the atomic bomb (from the Institute of Physics)

Science as it pertained to World War II in Europe before the United States entered the war (from the Institute of Physics)

Awards

Library of Alexandria, Egypt

Medals and Coins (from the Jewish-American Hall of Fame)

Bibliographies & Books

Bibliographies:

Albert Einstein Archives (from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem).  Primary and secondary literature resources on Einstein.

MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.  Books and articles.

National Center for Supercomputing Applications, NCSA (from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).  A list of books (some by and about Einstein), articles (dealing with gravitational waves, black holes, neutron stars), and research papers.

Sources about Relativity Theory (from the University of California at Riverside).  An annotated list.

Sources by and about Einstein and His Work (Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, ME).  Scroll down the screen.

University of Pittsburgh (Department of History and Philosophy of Science).  Scroll down the page and look under "Sources and readings" and "Possible readings."

Books:

Albert Einstein Books

Relativity: The Special and General Theory (from Bartleby.com).  "The physicist and humanitarian took his place beside the great teachers with the publication of Relativity: The Special and General Theory, Einsteinís own popular translation of the physics that shaped our 'truths' of space and time."  The online version of the book.

Einstein's Life

Albert Einstein: Scientist, Humanist, Jew (from the Albert Einstein Archives at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and The Jewish National & University Library, Israel).

Albert Einstein in the World Wide Web.  Einstein's nationality, I.Q., a few photos (including his Swiss passport), invitation to become president of Israel, written comments (some humorous) various people sent to Einstein, a sculpture of Einstein on the Riverside Church in New York City, comments between Einstein and Albert Schweitzer, and more.

American Museum of Natural History:

Brief Overview

The Early Years

Family Roots

Einstein's Escapes

Career Scientist

Einstein, Albert (from Encyclopaedia Britannica Online's Guide to the Nobel Prizes)

Einstein at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University.  Overview, a few photos, and additional links.

Einstein in Princeton: Scientist, Humanitarian, Cultural Icon (from the Historical Society of Princeton)

Einstein's Annus Mirabilis (miracle year) 1905 (from Johns Hopkins University).  Biographical background.

Einstein's Personal Life (from the Library of Alexandria, Egypt).  Brief information about Einstein's two wives and his final years.

Institute of Physics.  A biography and more links about Einstein.

Jewish-American Hall of Fame.  Contains Einstein's reply to being asked to become the president of Israel.

Library of Alexandria, Egypt.  Early years, the scientist, Einstein proven (the 1919 solar eclipse that proved the general theory of relativity), to have another home, end of a great life.

NobelPrize.org.  Einstein's biography and Nobel Prize Lecture.

PBS's "A Science Odyssey"

Person of the Century:

Jewish-American Hall of Fame

The TIME 100: The Most Important People of the Century by TIME Magazine.  Also shows Einstein on three TIME covers.

Project Bartleby.  Also contains a lists of Einstein's writings.

MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland

My Saturday Afternoons with Albert Einstein (by journalist Ralph D. Gardner)

The TIME 100: The Most Important People of the Century (from TIME Magazine).  Not exactly the same site as Person of the Century above.

Games, Quizzes, & eCards

Albert Einstein Quiz (from the Jewish-American Hall of Fame)

Do You Play Dice? (from physicsweb).  A series of questions about Einstein with answers provided at the end.  The question refers to a comment Einstein made to Niels Bohr about the role of probability in quantum mechanics.  The comment was that God does not play dice with the universe.

Einstein eCards (from PhysLink.com)

That's My Theory! (from PBS's "A Science Odyssey")

Time Traveler (from Einstein Revealed at PBS's NOVA Online). 

Time Twins (a relativity game from the Institute of Physics).  "See if you can fight off the aliens to save your twin brother in Time Twins, the Einstein Year computer game.  Make sure you have the sound turned on - that's the best bit...."

Glossaries

Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the Library of Alexandria, Egypt.  Click the "Glossaries" tab below the image of Einstein.

How Smart Was He?

Einstein Revealed (from PBS's NOVA Online)

The Manhattan Project

Enrico Fermi & the Manhattan Project (from the University of Chicago)

The History and Ethics Behind The Manhattan Project (from the University of Texas at Austin)

The Manhattan Project: A New and Secret World of Human Experimentation (from the U.S. Department of Energy)

Manhattan Project Heritage Preservation Association, Inc.

National Atomic Museum

Miscellaneous Web Sites

1919 Solar Eclipse.  Observations made during the eclipse confirmed Einstein's general relativity theory.

A. Einstein: Image and Impact (from the American Institute of Physics).  Formative years, the great works-1905, world fame, public concerns, quantum and cosmos, nuclear age, science and philosophy, "The World As I See It," essays by historians, additional resources, and more.

Albert Einstein Archives (from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Jewish National & University Library).  Brief biography, timelines, bibliographies of primary and secondary literature, additional links, Einstein for kids, news, sound and video recordings of Einstein, and more.

Beyond Einstein: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (from NASA).  What powered the Big Bang?  What happens at the edge of a black hole?  What is dark energy?  The science, the program, the technology, what's new, press room, education, life cycles of matter and energy, resources, people, and more.

Einstein (from the American Museum of Natural History).  Einstein's revolution; his life & times; information about light (revolution: light, constant speed, a new view of light, cosmic speed limit), time (revolution: time, it's all relative, a matter of time, time machines, time travel), energy (revolution: energy, E=mc2, special relativity, the sun and the bomb), and gravity (revolution: gravity, you bend space-time!, black holes, general relativity); Einstein on peace & war (Europe at war, the Nazis and WWII, the Manhattan Project, nuclear arms race); Einstein as global citizen (world government, the McCarthy era, the civil rights movement, Jewish identity); Einstein's legacy (quantum theory, grand unified theory, the final chapter); the learning lab; behind the scenes; and more.

Einstein Archives Online (from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the California Institute of Technology).  In progress.  Digitized manuscripts of scientific writings, non-scientific writings, and travel diaries; finding aid; an itemized database of about 43,000 of Einstein's professional and personal correspondence; a gallery of representative samples of manuscripts from the archives.

Einstein Symposium 2005 (from the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the Library of Alexandria, Egypt).  Symposium Part 1 (June 4-6, 2005), Symposium Part 2 (November 23-24, 2005), Einstein in Egypt (September 18-20, 2005), other lectures through 2005 ("Monthly lectures and seminars by top international Scientists and Nobel Laureates will be hosted by the Library through 2005.")

FBI Investigation of Einstein.  "An investigation was conducted by the FBI regarding the famous physicist because of his affiliation with the Communist Party.  Einstein was a member, sponsor, or affiliated with thirty-four communist fronts between 1937-1954.  He also served as honorary chairman for three communist organizations."  1,427 pages available via the Freedom of Information-Privacy Act.  Also, information about Einstein's FBI interview is here.

Galileo and Einstein (from the University of Virginia).  "The course explores two revolutions in our perception of the universe.  The first, in which Galileo played the leading role, was the realization that what we see in the heavens -- the moon, the planets, the sun and stars -- are physical objects.  For example, the moon has a rocky surface, not unlike some parts of earth, and is not made of some exotic ethereal substance, as had been generally believed before Galileo.  This discovery led to the realization that the motions of the moon and planets obeyed the same physical laws as ordinary things moving on earth.  Newton put this all together to give the first unified picture of the universe....  The second revolution was Einstein's realization that this was not the whole truth -- space and time are not as straightforward as they first appear, but are related to each other in a simple but unexpected way.  Among other results, this leads to the surprising consequence that mass and energy are different aspects of the same thing!"

Inside Einstein's Universe: Journey to the Edge of Space and Time (from Harvard University).  Printed guides and lesson plans, interactive Web features, presentations for informal educators, presentations for scientists and engineers, and more.

Living Reviews in Relativity (from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitation Physics, Golm, Germany).  "Living Reviews in Relativity is a solely WWW-based, peer reviewed journal, publishing as the name suggests, reviews of research in all areas of relativity.  The journal is offered as a free service to the scientific community."

Nova Online: Einstein Revealed (from PBS).  A timeline, the speed of light, Einstein's genius, a time-traveler game, the general theory of relativity, a teacher's guide, additional links.

Person of the Century: Albert Einstein (from Time.com).  A biography, articles and letters by others, and related stories.

Relativity: The Special and General Theory (from Bartleby.com).  "The physicist and humanitarian took his place beside the great teachers with the publication of Relativity: The Special and General Theory, Einsteinís own popular translation of the physics that shaped our 'truths' of space and time."  The online version of the book.

Stephen Hawking Public Lectures (from Prof. Hawking's web site).  Lectures include "The Beginning of Time," "The Nature of Space and Time," "Space and Time Warps," and "Does God Play Dice" (With regard to the role of probability in quantum mechanics, Einstein once commented to Niels Bohr that God does not play dice with the universe.).

Nobel Prize

"The Nobel Prize is an international award given yearly since 1901 for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and for peace.   In 1968, the Bank of Sweden instituted the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize.  The Prize Winners are announced in October every year.  They receive their awards (a prize amount, a gold medal and a diploma) on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death." - Nobelprize.org

Einstein's Nobel Prize.  His biography, Nobel Lecture, and more.

Obituaries

The Historical New York Times (HNYT).  Note: Accessing this database off the Montgomery College campus requires a library card.  To retrieve Einstein's obituary, look for Date range and click the radio button next to On this date.  In the box to the right of On this date, type 04/19/1955, the date the obituary was published.  In the box under Advanced Search, type "einstein and obituary" without the quotes.

The New York Times on the Web: Learning Network

The Times

Papers & Writings

Scientific

Einstein Archives Online (from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the California Institute of Technology).  In progress.  Digitized manuscripts of scientific writings.

Einstein Papers Project.  "The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Princeton University Press are the co-sponsors of the historical edition of Einstein's papers, The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein.  The Einstein Papers Project will provide the first complete picture of a massive written legacy that ranges from Einstein's first work on the special and general theories of relativity and the origins of quantum theory to expressions of his profound concern with civil liberties, Zionism, pacifism, and disarmament.   The series will contain over 14,000 documents and will fill twenty-five volumes.  So far, seven volumes have been published."

Einstein's Annus Mirabilis (miracle year) 1905 (from Johns Hopkins University).  "The purpose is to provide a guide and to make readily available the primary and secondary sources pertinent to Einstein's annus mirabilis."  Biographical background (including Physics Student and Class Notes), scientific work, doctoral dissertation, other resources.

Literary Estate of Albert Einstein: Einstein's Works (from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Jewish National & University Library).

Library of Alexandra, Egypt.  A chronological list.

Non-Scientific

Einstein's (and Leo Szilard's) Letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  "In the summer of 1939, six months after the discovery of uranium fission, American newspapers and magazines openly discussed the prospect of atomic energy.  However, most American physicists doubted that atomic energy or atomic bombs were realistic possibilities.  No official U.S. atomic energy project existed.  Leo Szilard (here and here) was profoundly disturbed by the lack of American action.   If atomic bombs were possible, as he believed they were, Nazi Germany might gain an unbeatable lead in developing them.  It was especially troubling that Germany had stopped the sale of uranium ore from occupied Czechoslovakia.  Unable to find official support, and unable to convince Enrico Fermi (here, here, and here) of the need to continue experiments, Szilard turned to his old friend Albert Einstein..."  Note: After it was shown to President Roosevelt, this letter led to the creation of the Manhattan ProjectNote: In later years, Einstein regretted writing this letter because of the use of the atomic bomb against Japan in August, 1945.  However, at the time he and Szilard wrote it, he and others knew there was a good probability that Germany would develop the bomb and use it against the Allies and attempt to become the "master race."  Note: Here is a 1946 New York Times photo of Einstein and Szilard in a recreation of writing the letter.

Einstein's Letter to Nikola Tesla Congratulating Him on His 75th Birthday (from the Tesla Memorial Society of New York).  In German.

Einstein Archives Online (from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the California Institute of Technology).  In progress.  Digitized manuscripts of non-scientific writings.

Einstein Exhibition for Kids (from the Albert Einstein Archives by The Jewish National & University Library and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem).  Correspondence (i.e., postcards, drawings, letters) between Einstein and children and The Curiosity File of unusual letters and envelope covers oddly addressed to Einstein (e.g., EINSTEIN   U. S. A.).

Travel Diaries (from Einstein Archives Online by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the California Institute of Technology).  In progress; most not yet available.  Digitized manuscripts of Einstein's travel diaries.  Click "C. Biographical Material."

Why Socialism? (from Monthly Review, May, 1949)

On Science & Religion

St. Cloud State University (St. Cloud, MN).  Also contains some nice photos of Einstein.

Quotations

A. Einstein: Image and Impact (from the American Institute of Physics).  Each of the main sections of this site contain quotes by Einstein.

Albert Einstein Quotes (from Washington and Lee University's Department of Physics and Engineering)

MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland

Mahidol Physics Education Centre, Thailand

On Religion & God (from St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN)

The Speed of Light

C-ship: Relativistic Ray Traced Images (from Fourmilab Switzerland).  "Welcome aboard C-ship, exploring flight near the speed of light!  C-ship helps you understand Einstein's theory of Special Relativity intuitively through the medium of computer-synthesised images.  To view the images in this document, you need a graphics-oriented Web browser."

E=mc2: What's the Speed of Light Got to Do With It? (from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Scientific and Technical Information)

Fear of Physics.  Provides simple animations of what a house would look like as you pass it at normal and very high speeds.

The Light Stuff (from Einstein Revealed at PBS's NOVA Online)

Light Tour: Discover Light's Mysteries (from the Center for Science Education @ the Space Sciences Lab, University of California at Berkeley)

Measuring the Speed of Light:

University of California at Riverside

University of Colorado at Boulder, Department of Physics

The Speed of Light & Wavelengths (from ThinkQuest.org)

University of Virginia Physics Department

Usenet Physics FAQ (from the University of California at Riverside).  Scroll down the screen.

Testing Einstein's Ideas

Experience and the Special Theory of Relativity (from Bartleby.com)

Experimental Confirmation of the General Theory of Relativity (from Bartleby.com)

Gravity Probe B: Testing Einstein's Universe (from NASA and Stanford University).  "Gravity Probe B is the relativity gyroscope experiment being developed by NASA and Stanford University to test two extraordinary, unverified predictions of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.  The experiment will check, very precisely, tiny changes in the direction of spin of four gyroscopes contained in an Earth satellite orbiting at 400-mile altitude directly over the poles.  So free are the gyroscopes from disturbance that they will provide an almost perfect space-time reference system.  They will measure how space and time are warped by the presence of the Earth, and, more profoundly, how the Earth's rotation drags space-time around with it.  These effects, though small for the Earth, have far-reaching implications for the nature of matter and the structure of the Universe.  Gravity Probe B is among the most thoroughly researched programs ever undertaken by NASA.  This is the story of a scientific quest in which physicists and engineers have collaborated closely over many years.  Inspired by their quest, they have invented a whole range of new technologies -- technologies that are already enlivening other branches of science and engineering."

Solar Eclipse of 1919.  Confirmed the prediction in Einstein's theory of general relativity that gravitational fields can bend light rays.

Timelines

Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University.  With photographs and quotations.

Institute of Physics

The Jewish National & University Library and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Nova Online: Einstein Revealed

A timeline of special relativity (from Nobelprize.org)

University of Auckland, New Zealand.  Einstein's work within a broad timeline of relevant physics.

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