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Many biographies of Einstein have been written. The brief details given here are gleaned from the hugely impressive technical work of Pais (1982), and the popular biography of White and Gribbin (1993).

intermolecularforces, thermodynamics, and statistical physics. The period 1902 to 1904 were marked by a number of events of a personal nature - the death of his father, marriage to Mileva Maric, and the birth of a son - but throughout this period he was thinking hard about ideas of fundamental scientific importance. In 1905, his annus mirabilis, he stunned the world of physics with papers on the quantization of light, the nature of Brownian motion, and special relativity.

Special relativity

Newtonian mechanics is based firmly on a principle of relativity. The laws of motion remain unchanged if we change from coordinates x, y, z to xy', z' via the transformation x ' = x — vt, y ' = y, z'= z, (12.2)

in which v is a constant representing the speed of one frame of reference with respect to the other. The set of Eqns (12.2) is an example of a Galilean

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