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Einstein: Cultural Icon

What can a hero be defined as? A hero impacts the world around them in such a way as to effect the views of views of everyone from the average man to the rocket scientist. In the world today a paucity of these heroes is present. However, Albert Einstein can be considered a role model and hero. Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Germany where he developed his theories of relativity. In 1933 when Hitler came to power Einstein fled to the United States. At Princeton he continued his research on the unified theory of relativity. Albert Einstein?s changing world views and influencing the thoughts of mankind cause him to be the most influential hero of the twentieth century.

Albert Einstein influenced the world with his general theory of relativity. The general theory of relativity explains many occurrences in nature. In astronomy, Einstein said that gravity influences the bending of light and that the gravity of the sun causes the motion of the Mercury perihelion. Before Einstein nobody could even consider the bending of light due to gravity. Einstein pioneered the way for all of modern astronomy. He set the rules for which all bodies of matter abide by. Einstein?s general theory of relativity also describes how a black hole is a small object with such an immense gravity that light cannot escape because time inside the hole has completely stopped. What other human being could come up with this theory and have no way of experimenting for data? Albert Einstein was the only one able to completely explain how black holes work and the effects of them. This theory of Einstein also said that high speed slows down time. For example, if an astronaut traveling at ninety percent the speed of light has a twin on earth then when the astronaut came back his twin would be twice the age of the astronaut. Einstein stated that the clock on board this ship would take an hour to record twenty-six minutes because time would have slowed. He also said that gravity slows time as well. Einstein?s general theory of relativity overall explained space-time. His general theory of relativity can be considered one of the greatest thoughts of all time. Einstein explained how gravity effects everything when the world thought otherwise. He explained how high speed effects time when the world thought otherwise. And he explained how light bends because of gravity when the world thought otherwise. Through these explanations Albert Einstein changed the perception of the universe for all mankind.

Many people might wonder how a scientist could be considered a hero. Einstein has paved the way for modern physics. Nowadays, physics is taught with new ideas and concepts that Einstein discovered. Being a student, in the field of physics in this era of science, a person must study extensively how Einstein?s theories relate to everyday life. A person might wonder how Einstein could be so influential even after his death. Well, what did Einstein do in his lifetime? He explained nature. He took extremely complex thoughts and developed theories that explained occurrences in nature. Einstein changed the way every human on this earth perceives this earth and its surroundings. He pioneered the way for future scientists to develop theories and discover the functions of the universe. Some might say that a famous sports figure would make a better hero. Yes, but could that sports figure develop true theories that change the universe? No, that takes a genius. Albert Einstein was that genius.

Einstein also changed the perception of the universe through his special theory of relativity. It is more commonly known as E=mc2, where E is the energy of the object, m is the mass of the object, and c is the speed of light. Because the speed of light is so large of a number a small amount of mass can be converted into a large amount of energy. A person who did not know Einstein might have said that he was crazy for saying that matter can be converted into energy. But what that person did not know is that Einstein was extremely intelligent. Einstein himself called his special theory of relativity ??a somewhat unfamiliar conception for the average mind?? His idea of converting matter into energy may sound crazy but it can be proven. And it was.

Although Einstein?s special theory of relativity led to the development of the atomic bomb, Einstein himself did not participate in its development. Many credit Einstein with the development of the atomic bomb and therefore do not consider him a hero. ?Einstein?s role in the development and use of nuclear weapons has attained mythic proportions.? After World War II and the use of the atomic bomb Einstein stated, ?My participation in the production of the atomic bomb consisted of one single act: I signed a letter to President Roosevelt? in which I emphasized the necessity of conducting large-scale experimentation with regard to the feasibility of producing an atom bomb? I saw no alternative but to act as I did, although I have always been a convinced pacifist.? Einstein urged the United States not to actually use the atomic bomb, but to demonstrate the weapon to foreign governments. In actuality, Einstein did not help with the development of the atomic bomb, nor did he condone it. Einstein was a pacifist and humanitarian. He knew the effects of nuclear weapons would not benefit the world. Although Einstein?s equation of E=mc2 led to the development of the atomic bomb, Einstein himself did not support it. Therefore Einstein cannot be discredited by having developed the atomic bomb and can still be considered an influential role model.

Because Albert Einstein changed the perception of the universe through his amazing discoveries he is the most influential hero of the twentieth century. Almost single-handedly, Einstein began modern physics. His ideas about space, time, and gravity were revolutionary. Working out consequences of these ideas, Einstein made amazing discoveries: light beams can be bent by gravity, and matter can be converted into energy. The wild-haired, disheveled, eccentric genius with a heart- our popular culture hero, Einstein- is the currently accepted symbol of intelligence.

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