# Einstein's Physics: Atoms, Quanta, and Relativity - Derived, Explained, and Appraised

## Ta-Pei Cheng

### Abstract

Einstein’s doctoral thesis and his Brownian motion paper were decisive contributions to our understanding of matter as composed of molecules and atoms. Einstein was one of the founding fathers of quantum theory: his photon proposal through the investigation of blackbody radiation, his quantum theory of specific heat, his calculation of radiation fluctuation giving the first statement of wave–particle duality, his introduction of probability in the description of quantum radiative transitions, and finally quantum statistics and Bose–Einstein condensation. Einstein’s special theory of relativity ... More

Einstein’s doctoral thesis and his Brownian motion paper were decisive contributions to our understanding of matter as composed of molecules and atoms. Einstein was one of the founding fathers of quantum theory: his photon proposal through the investigation of blackbody radiation, his quantum theory of specific heat, his calculation of radiation fluctuation giving the first statement of wave–particle duality, his introduction of probability in the description of quantum radiative transitions, and finally quantum statistics and Bose–Einstein condensation. Einstein’s special theory of relativity gave us the famous relation E = mc2 and the new kinematics leading to the idea of 4D spacetime as the arena in which physical events take place. Einstein’s geometric theory of gravity, general relativity, extends Newton’s theory to time-dependent and strong gravitational fields. It laid the groundwork for the study of black holes and cosmology. This is a physics book with material presented in a historical context. Also, we do not stop at Einstein’s discovery, but carry the discussion onto some of the later advances: Bell’s theorem, quantum field theory, gauge theories, and Kaluza–Klein unification in a spacetime with an extra spatial dimension.

*Keywords: *
einstein,
atoms,
brownian,
quantum,
radiation,
duality,
relativity,
spacetime,
cosmology,
physics,
history,
gravity,
photon,
gauge,
Kaluza–Klein,
unification,
extra dimension,
newton

### Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 |
Print ISBN-13: 9780199669912 |

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013 |
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669912.001.0001 |