EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES / AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES / AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Swiss-German physicist Albert Einstein (1879-1955, left) with Dutch physicist Hendrik Lorentz (1853-1928, right). Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for work on the photoelectric effect. However, he is best known for his paper on the special theory of relativity, which resulted in the famous equation E=mc2. Lorentz's early work was on the concept of the electron, a term he coined in 1899, showing how vibrating electrons give rise to electromagnetic waves. He worked with Zeeman on the splitting of spectral lines with a magnetic field (Zeeman effect), work for which they shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics. Lorentz also showed that moving objects contract in the direction of motion (Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction).
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