"If at first an idea isn't absurd, there's no hope for it" - A. Einstein
Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955), pipe smoker, was a German-born theoretical physicist. He is best known for his theory of relativity and specifically mass–energy equivalence, E = mc2. Einstein 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.
Einstein's many contributions to physics include his special theory of relativity, which reconciled mechanics with electromagnetism, and his general theory of relativity, which was intended to extend the principle of relativity to non-uniform motion and to provide a new theory of gravitation. His other contributions include relativistic cosmology, capillary action, critical opalescence, classical problems of statistical mechanics and their application to quantum theory, an explanation of the Brownian movement of molecules, atomic transition probabilities, the quantum theory of a monoatomic gas, thermal properties of light with low radiation density (which laid the foundation for the photon theory), a theory of radiation including stimulated emission, the conception of a unified field theory, and the geometrization of physics.
Einstein published over 300 scientific works and over 150 non-scientific works. Einstein is revered by the physics community, and in 1999 Time magazine named him the "Person of the Century". In wider culture the name "Einstein" has become synonymous with genius.
In 1922 Einstein was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics, for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect. This refers to his 1905 paper on the photoelectric effect: "On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light", which was well supported by the experimental evidence by that time. The presentation speech began by mentioning "his theory of relativity which had been the subject of lively debate in philosophical circles and also has astrophysical implications which are being rigorously examined at the present time." (Einstein 1923) As stipulated in their 1919 divorce settlement, Einstein gave the Nobel prize money to his first wife, Mileva Marić.
Einstein traveled to New York City in the United States for the first time on 2 April 1921. When asked where he got his scientific ideas, Einstein explained that he believed scientific work best proceeds from an examination of physical reality and a search for underlying axioms, with consistent explanations that apply in all instances and avoid contradicting each other. He also recommended theories with visualizable results (Einstein 1954).
A life member of the Montreal Pipe Smokers Club, Einstein was quoted as saying: "Pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment of human affairs". He once fell into the water during a boating expedition but managed heroically to hold on to his pipe.
Throughout his life, Einstein was one of the greatest supporters of tobacco smoking in the world.