(March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955)
Brilliant and insightful, Albert Einstein is the most influential scientist of the 20th century. He waltzed atop abstracts for the two decades spanning from 1905 to 1925. In the process, he transformed our perception of the universe. Even a century later, many of us are still grappling with his new way of interpreting nature. The Relativity Theory he postulated would excite and fascinate the scientific community for years. As a result, it attracted enormous press-coverage and public interest, which were unusual in science. Einstein was cordial; and encouraged many of his colleagues. His ingenuity was never in doubt. Though, they were prone to exaggerations: no thanks to media hypes. All sorts of IQ scores were attributed to him, despite the fact that the man never bothered about such frivolities. His genial abilities saw him correspond with many of his peers on both academic and social issues. It is ironic (but unsurprising) that the Relativity Theory, which made him famous, failed to secure him a Nobel Prize. It was his Photoelectric Effect research that did. Nonetheless, he remains a colossus whose works revolutionized physics. In view of that, he emerged as the de facto yardstick with which scientific brilliance is measured. Relativity aside, Einstein’s other works pertained to Statistical Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Brownian motion, Optics, and the EPR paradox. Over 300 publications are credited to him. However, his efforts to develop a Unified Field Theory, as well as his initial attempts to refute some of the established onuses of Quantum Physics, were unsuccessful.