Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist whose theories of relativity, along side classic and quantum physics, creates the foundation of modern physics. Einstein is best known for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2 (energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light squared). E = mc2 shows that mass and energy have equivalent mathematic value using the speed of light as a conversion factor, and can be thought of as mass-energy (a count of the total potential and kinetic energy of a system of one or more particles).

Understanding Einstein isn’t always easy, but it is rewarding. Check out this Yale University Lecture on Einstein for the Masses, or this video on How Einstein Used Intellectual Play to Create Our View of Reality, or check out the Einstein facts and myths below.

## Einstein Was a Poor StudentMyth

Einstein wasn’t a poor student. Despite minor troubles in French and the Humanities, Einstein was a prodigy in math and physics from a young age.

## Identifying a Problem is Often Harder than Solving itFact

Identifying a problem is often harder than solving it. Solving a problem requires a proper diagnosis, and that requires asking the right questions.

## Sir Isaac Newton Discovered the Laws of MotionFact

Sir Isaac Newton can be said to have discovered the laws of motion, but more accurately, he refined the work of Aristotle, Galileo, Descartes, and others.

## Light is Both a Particle and a WaveFact

Light is a particle (a photon), that acts like a wave (“both a particle and a wave”), which can be measured as an excited quantized state of the electromagnetic field.

## Einstein Wrote ‘E=mc^2’ in His Famous PaperMyth

Einstein’s 1905 paper on mass-energy equivalence doesn’t actually say ‘E=mc^2‘ it says, roughly, ‘m=L/c^2‘.

## Everything Depends on Frame of ReferenceFact

Everything we perceive depends on our frame of reference. What we observe is relative to our point of view. In other words, “it is all a matter of perspective”.

## Gravitational Waves are Ripples in SpacetimeFact

Gravity is the result of the curvature of spacetime by matter. Non-symmetric acceleration of matter produces gravitational waves that ripple across the universe at light speed.

## Nothing Can Travel Faster Than the Speed of LightFact

No “thing” (including particles) can travel faster than light speed, but some “non-things” can. In both ways “nothing travels faster than the speed of light”.

## There are Different Ways to Measure MassFact

There are different ways to measure mass, but all of them are related to rest-mass (invariant mass) the “true” inertial mass of an object at rest.

## E=mc^2 (Mass and Energy are Equivalent)Fact

Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence equation (E=mc2) shows that mass and energy are equivalent (but not “exactly the same”) properties of a physical system.

## Energy is Neither Created or DestroyedFact

Energy can’t be created or destroyed and neither can mass. Although energy can change forms, all energy in a closed system must remain constant.

## Time is RelativeFact

Time is relative to speed and gravity (time dilation), and so is space (length contraction). Light speed is constant for all observers, so time and space can’t be.

## What is Light?

We explain “light,” both as electromagnetic radiation within a visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, and as electromagnetic energy carried by photons.

## The Point of Life is Happiness

We present a discussion on “the meaning of life as happiness,”the Greatest Happiness Theory,” “the Good Life,”the Pursuit of Happiness,” and Virtue Theory.

## Reference Frames Examples (Physics)

Reference frames and relativity in physics explained using math-free examples. We cover: frames of reference, inertial frames, accelerated frames, and relativity.