Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist, philosopher and author who is widely regarded as one of the most influential and best known scientists and intellectuals of all time. He is often regarded as the father of modern physics. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect."
His many contributions to physics include the special and general theories of relativity, the founding of relativistic cosmology, the first post-Newtonian expansion, the explanation the perihelion precession of Mercury, the prediction of the deflection of light by gravity (gravitational lensing), the first fluctuation dissipation theorem which explained the Brownian motion of molecules, the photon theory and the wave-particle duality, the quantum theory of atomic motion in solids, the zero-point energy concept, the semiclassical version of the Schrödinger equation, and the quantum theory of a monatomic gas which predicted Bose-Einstein condensation.
Einstein published more than 300 scientific and over 150 non-scientific works; he additionally wrote and commentated prolifically on various philosophical and political subjects. His great intelligence and originality has made the word "Einstein" synonymous with genius.
"Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal."
"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
"The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury have always seemed to me contemptible."
"Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character."
"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
"Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly."
"True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist."
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."
"The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle."
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love."
"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler."