7 Astonishing Discoveries Of Albert Einstein That Changed The World

Albert Einstein was just about as big a genius as they come. He had many concepts, many of which are familiar to us. But we also don’t understand most of them as they are all physics theories in mathematical language.

We gathered all those ideas and simplified them so that everyone could access the wonders of Einstein’s discoveries. You can either share the article with your friends or keep it to yourself, memorize the key points by heart, and wow your friends with some truly fascinating information. Here are the world-changing discoveries of Albert Einstein. 

1. Space-Time

At the ripe old age of 26, Einstein revolutionized the world of science with his theory of special relativity (not to be confused with the theory of general relativity. More on that in section 4). In his theory, he merges space and time into one single continuum. He demonstrated how they are connected through the speed of light (about 186,000 miles per second or 300,000 km/second). His theory is mainly based on the universal truth that nothing can travel faster than light. Now, you may ask yourself, how can we say that light moves or travels? And the answer is, light is made of thousands of microscopical particles called photons.

Together, they make a ray of light. These photons travel at the speed of light as a stream of particles (and sometimes a wave) and create what we call light. The idea of space and time being connected through the speed of light is hard to grasp as we measure those with different units. Still, this theoretic example should clarify: If a theoretical spaceship traveled in speeds approaching the speed of light to a stationary observer, the spacecraft would seem shorter, and the passengers inside would move in slow-motion. This means they would age slower! You can watch this video that illustrates this idea precisely, through the twin- paradox:                                                                               

2. E=mc²

We all know this equation by heart without even knowing what it means! This mathematical equation says that the energy of an object equals its mass, times speed of light, squared. This means an object gains mass (becomes heavier) as it moves faster. This principle also works the other around- every stationary object contains vast amounts of locked energy.

According to the European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN), if you smash together enough energetic particles, their collision will create even more energy. These ideas are part of the theoretical basis of the atomic bomb. That is why this equation became so famous: it led to the development of one of the most lethal, destructive, and powerful forces humanity has ever discovered.

3. Lasers 

Einstein’s work set the basis for the invention of laser beams. Did you know that the word laser is an acronym? It stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Einstein discovered that a single photon of light passing through a substance could stimulate the emission of further photons.

These new photons are essentially clones of the original one, moving together in the same direction, practically creating a precise and controlled ray of light we know as a laser. Here are two examples of how we use lasers in different fields of life, such as cosmetic procedures and art. If you want to know more about how lasers work, this video will help. 

4. Black Holes and Wormholes

Einstein managed to add gravity into the space-time continuum theory, creating The Theory of General Relativity. He found that massive objects like planets and stars distort the space-time fabric, creating what we perceive as gravity. This explains black holes and how they seem to stretch everything that comes close to them. Another theoretical space phenomenon that can be explained through the theory of general relativity is the existence of wormholes. They are possible shortcuts from one point in space to another. There hasn’t yet been a discovery of one in space, so they are still considered theoretical. Enjoy this short explanation from Neil deGrasse Tyson on these two concepts:                                                              

5. The Expanding Universe

Sometimes even the world’s greatest genius doubts his theories. Such was the case in 1915 when his calculations showed him that the universe was constantly expanding. His common sense told him this couldn’t be true, so he added some manipulations to the math, and the new results showed a steady universe. But in 1929, astronomer Edwin Hubble (the famous telescope is named after him) deduced from his observations that the universe is expanding in the same way Einstein initially theorized. We now know that this expansion is even increasing in velocity. In other words, an explanation of the universe means all objects in space move further and further away from each other. 

6. The Atomic Bomb

Einstein was a pacifist. He knew the destructive potential of the theoretical Atomic Bomb. At the time of his discoveries, it wasn’t invented yet. There were many other researchers conducting experiments, and Einstein was just one of many. He wasn’t exclusively responsible for the invention of the bomb. When all the different theories accumulated, scientists and researchers gathered together and sent a letter to US President Franklin Roosevelt. They warned him about their discoveries and the lethal consequences that could be if the Nazi party held this kind of knowledge in their hands. Roosevelt proceeded to establish the “Manhattan Project,” which resulted in the formation of the first atomic bomb in July 1945. Einstein never took part in the project, but he did participate in the discovery and the warning that led to it. 

7. Gravitational Waves

The legacy truly lives on. Einstein’s theory of general relativity can be applied to the universe in many ways. Two of them are the black holes and wormholes. The most recent discovery the theory produced is the existence of gravitational waves. They were discovered in 2016. Einstein fumbled with those waves in mind during his time, but he never made a concrete conclusion about them. We can tell you that gravitational waves are fluctuations in the gravity coming from the universe. We can tell you that they are tiny ripples that propagate through the fabric of space-time. But these two explanations are too abstract to understand, short and accurate as they may be truly. This short video, though, is sure to clarify everything: