Left to right: Brett Reisman, Karen Cortell Reismale, and Dolores Gende

One of my purposes in teaching physics is to aid my students watch the good scientists not only as visionary investigators of our physical cosmos but likewise as humans via qualities that we can appreciate and affix someexactly how to our very own personal experiences.

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Throughout this school year, I learned that among my students is concerned my hero in physics, Albert Einstein. Brett Reisman"s great-grandmommy Lina was Einstein"s cousin. With a graciousness I"ve pertained to recognize is a household trait, Brett"s mother Karen Cortell Reisguy agreed to visit my students to share some of Einstein"s photos and letters that were addressed to her family members. It was a delightful hour in which we gained a glimpse of the individual family side of a good genius of the twentieth century.

Initial pastel portrait of Einstein by Sophia Cisnero, a student at Greenhill School

Mrs. Reisman check out miscellaneous letters that gave us many insights into Einstein, the guy. The letters are full of his excellent humor and sincerity. Though he did not feel comfortable talking a lot about himself, perhaps not wanting to dwell right into his failing wellness or political worries, his warmth and also closeness to household is obvious. He is optimistic and encouraging. He talks around his enjoyment of life in the USA and also mirrors his wit once referring to his cousin Lina relocating as "relocating her point of gravity closer to his vicinity."

This was the first time in my teaching career that I have had a personal connection to such a renowned figure. My students and I were treated to a distinctive afternoon, and I recognize that the research of physics, specifically the topics concerned contemporary physics, will constantly have a one-of-a-kind meaning as an outcome.

World Year of Physics logo design (various other downloadable imeras have the right to be discovered at:

The World Year of Physics 2005 is an international celebration of physics in which more than 30 nations are participating in yearlengthy celebrations via public lectures, museum exhibits, and also educational tasks. The celebration has actually been endorsed by the United Nations and also is timed to coincide through the one-hundredth anniversary of Albert Einstein"s annus mirabilis. For even more indevelopment, visit the World Year of Physics official Web site:

Einstein"s Miraculous Year

In 1905 Einstein published 4 brilliant papers in the Annalen der Physik. These papers were to transdevelop twentieth-century clinical thought:

Volume 17 of Annalen der Physik)

March 1905

"On a Heuristic Point of View Concerning the Production and also Transformation of Light"

Annalen der Physik, volume 17, peras 132-148

In this paper Einstein tested the wave concept of light, arguing that light could likewise be thought about as an assortment of pwrite-ups. This was fundamental in the advance of quantum physics. For his study of the photoelectric result, he won the Nobel Prize in 1921.

May 1905

"On the Motion of Small Pwrite-ups Suspended in Liquids at Rest Required by the Molecular-Kinetic Theory of Heat"

Annalen der Physik, volume 17, pperiods 549-560

This paper on Brownian movement helped describe the random motion of particles suspfinished in a liquid. Einstein blfinished principles from kinetic concept and classic hydrodynamics to derive an equation for the mean totally free path of the particles as a role of time.

June 1905

"On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies"

Annalen der Physik, volume 17, peras 891-921

This is probably the most renowned of Einstein"s 1905 documents. It is this paper that established the unique concept of relativity in which Einstein proved that absolute time had actually to be reput by a new absolute: the rate of light.

September 1905

"Does the Inertia of a Body Depend on Its Energy Content?"

Annalen der Physik, volume 18, pperiods 639-641

This is a follow-approximately the unique relativity paper in which Einstein presented a preliminary variation of the renowned equation E = mc2.

Einstein and also AP Physics

Einstein"s job-related aided open the field of quantum physics. The examine of the photoelectrical result has actually certain relevance in the AP Physics course outline:

Content area:

V. Atomic and also Nuclear PhysicsA. Atomic physics and quantum effectsPhotons and also photoelectric effectObjectives:Calculate the number of photons per second emitted by a monochromatic resource of particular wavesize and also power.Describe a typical photoelectric effect experiment, and also describe what speculative observations administer evidence for the photon nature of light.Describe qualitatively just how the variety of photoelectrons and their maximum kinetic energy depend on the wavesize and also intensity of the light striking the surchallenge, and account for this dependence in terms of a photon version of light.When giving the maximum kinetic energy of photoelectrons ejected by pholots of one energy or wavelength, identify the maximum kinetic energy of photoelectrons for a various photon power or wavelength.Lay out or determine a graph of stopping potential versus frequency for a photoelectric effect experiment, recognize from such a graph the threshost frequency and job-related feature, and calculate an approximate value of h/e.

Photoelectric Effect Virtual Lab

This digital lab exercise is composed of analyzing a simulation of a photoelectrical result experiment. The objective of the lab is to collect information for three steels in order to create a graph that will enable the students to find the worth of Planck"s consistent.

The Net web page consists of a downloadable student worksheet and also a attach to the simulation:

Other photoelectric impact simulations deserve to be uncovered at the adhering to Internet sites:

MSU Applet: The Photoelectric EffectThis applet shows the photoelectrical impact via 3 different materials: sodium, cesium, and also silver. The user can vary the light intensity, light wavelength, and also the voltage and then observe whether or not an electrical current was produced.

Photoelectric Effect by Phillip Warner(The applet can be found on various other Net sites too.) This applet mirrors 14 various metals. The user have the right to set the intensity to either low or high and also vary the wavelength. This applet uses a visualization of the electrons being ejected from the steel and also provides a analysis of the power of the electron in electron volts.

After the AP Physics Exam

One of the many popular topics to teach after the AP Exam is unique relativity.

I prefer to introduce the topic by having actually a conversation on the idea of time. I divide my students right into groups of two and also have them read a vignette from Alan Lightman"s book, Einstein"s Dreams (ISBN 0-679-41646-3). Students obtain a few discussion questions, and also their job is to existing their conclusions in front of the course. A detailed lesson plan deserve to be discovered on my Internet page:

After that activity, I existing a unit on special relativity separated into five sections as follows:

What is relativity?Introduce the concept of relativity prior to Einstein, consisting of a discussion of Galilean transformationsDefine occasion and structure of referenceEinstein"s relativityPresent out a summary of the challenges through frames of reference in Maxwell"s equation for the rate of lightExordinary the meaning of the Michelson-Morley experimentDiscuss Einstein"s postulates of relativity:All legislations of physics are the very same in all inertial frames of reference.The speed of light in a vacuum is the very same in all inertial frames of reference.Relativity of time and relativity of lengthUnderstand exactly how the principle of relativity leads to the relativity of simultaneity and also for this reason to time dilation and length contractionUse the Lorentz changes of place and also velocityDiscuss the twin paradoxRelativistic energyRecognize the meaning of Einstein"s well known equation E = mc2Explore relativistic energy and also momentumRelativity of velocityApply the relativistic velocity transformations

Recommfinished Textbook

Einstein"s Special Relativity: Discover It for Yourself by Ernie McFarland

ISBN 1-895579-23-6Trifolium Books Inc.This inexpensive book ($8.95) consists of a straightforward strategy to unique relativity. My students discovered Dr. McFarland"s book readable and also engaging. He presents exercises through clear, in-depth solutions, and also each chapter includes a collection of exercises and complex difficulties. A separate Solutions Manual is easily accessible to instructors.

Online Resources

Special Relativity

Einstein LightI strongly recommfinish this webwebsite from the University of New South Wales in Australia. The various modules are presented in attractive Flash simulations and are accompanied through good explanations via or without math. If you like, you have the right to view this web page in HTML format.

See more: Chegg Semiconductor Physics And Devices 4Th Edition, Semiconductor Physics And Devices 3Rd Edition

Galileo and also Einstein LecturesThis website features fantastic lectures by Michael Fowler from the College of Virginia.

How Stuff Works: How Special Relativity WorksEasy-to-understand also explanations on one-of-a-kind relativity deserve to be uncovered on this Web website.

HyperPhysics ConceptsThis is area from Georgia State University"s HyperPhysics online textbook covers relativity.

Introduction to Special RelativityThe Dummies" Guide to Special Relativity by "Arfur Dogfrey" is a humorous Web website that consists of 12 chapters explaining in easy terms what one-of-a-kind relativity is around.

Lecture 21: Special RelativityAn shown summary of the major principles in special relativity is presented by Terry Herter from Cornell University.

Notes on Special RelativityThese wonderful lecture notes are by Tatsu Takeuchi from Virginia Tech.

NOVA: Einstein"s Big IdeaThis Web website is regarded the original NOVA regime on Einstein. It additionally consists of a Teacher"s Guide.

Classroom Activity: A Classical and Relativistic Trip to a Black HoleThis activity by PBS successfully connects principles from Newtonian mechanics to unique relativity with astrophysics.


Michelson-Morley ExperimentIn this great simulation of the famous experiment, the user can adjust the rotation of the mirrors and the velocities of light and also ether.

Untitled Light Clock ExperimentEinstein"s famous clock bouncing light between two mirrors is shown in this terrific simulation of 2 observers moving at various speeds. (This website calls for Flash.)

Space-Time LabThis Java simulation from Cal Tech has six experiments. Each experiment has a visualization and also a space-time graph.

Concept of Space and Time in Special RelativityThis simulation by Fu-Kwun Hwang reflects a light clock simulation. It has a good explanation.


A Walk Through TimeThis webwebsite by the NIST (National Institute of Standards and also Technology) Physics Laboratory presents an development of time and also exactly how it has been measured throughout the periods.

Einstein—Image and ImpactPresented by the American Institute of Physics" Center for History, this is the most comprehensive digital exhibit on Einstein.

Amerihave the right to Museum of Natural History: EinsteinThis Internet website supplies a review of the exhilittle bit of Einstein"s life and occupational at the Amerihave the right to Museum of National History.

Recommended Reading

Einstein: A Life by Denis BrianISBN 0-471-19362-3John Wiley and SonsI greatly delighted in analysis this biography of Einstein. Brian presents an excellent portrait of Einstein"s life via explanations of his clinical accomplishments.

E = mc2: A Biography of the World"s Many Famous Equation by David BodanisISBN 0-8027-1352-1Walker and also CompanyThis exciting book introduces the reader to the principles behind Einstein"s famed equation.

Dolores Gende is a teacher at the Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas. Although her level is in chemical engineering, she has actually taught physics for 22 years. She is a Table Leader for the AP Physics Exam, an AP workshop consultant, and also a Web designer. She has actually been AP Central"s content adviser for physics because 2004.