Einstein, Albert (1879 - 1955)
Albert Einstein ranks as one of the most remarkable theoreticians in the history of science. He was also a heartfelt pacifist dedicated to world peace. During a single year, 1905, he produced three papers that are among the most important in twentieth-century physics, and perhaps in all of the recorded history of science, for they revolutionized the way scientists looked at the nature of space, time, and matter.
These papers dealt with the nature of particle movement known as Brownian motion, the quantum nature of electromagnetic radiation as demonstrated by the photoelectric effect, and the special theory of relativity. Although Einstein is probably best known for the last of these works, it was for his quantum explanation of the photoelectric effect that he was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in physics. In 1915, Einstein extended his special theory of relativity to include certain cases of accelerated motion, resulting in the more general theory of relativity.