Einstein and the Atomic Theory

Cormac O'Raifeartaigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the year 1905, a young Albert Einstein published a number of scientific papers that changed physics forever. The best known of these, the Special Theory of Relativity, quickly established the young Einstein as a scientist of note (see J.IEI vol. 59:6) and led to Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, one of the pillars of modern physics. In a second paper, Einstein published a controversial proposal concerning the nature of light that later formed a cornerstone of quantum theory, the revolutionary theory that underpins much of modern science and technology (see J.IEI vol. 59:7). Incredibly, the young Einstein made a third ground-breaking advance in 1905. He published an analysis that pointed the way towards a crucial test of the reality of atoms, and of the validity of the laws of thermodynamics. The outcome of that test now underpins much of modern science, from our view of the atomic nature of matter to our understanding of meteorology and other complex systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497
Number of pages1
JournalThe Engineers Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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