(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. Having built on the wonderful works of Bernhard Riemann and William K. Clifford, the Relativity Theory he postulated would excite and fascinate our world for decades: attracting unprecedented press coverage and public interest in science. Einstein was cordial, and encouraged his colleagues. His ingenuity was never in doubt. Though, they were prone to exaggerations: no thanks to media hypes. Various 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 (yet 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. As a result, 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 Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox. Over 300 publications are credited to him. However, his efforts to develop a Unified Field Theory, as well as his attempts at refuting some of the established onuses of Quantum Physics, were unsuccessful.