Albert Einstein’s Ph.D. Thesis

Areeba Merriam in Cantor’s Paradise:

Einstein completed his Ph.D. thesis in 1905 with Professor Alfred Kleiner, who was an experimental physicist at the University of Zürich. He was awarded a doctorate degree with the dissertation entitled “A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions.’’ It was not the same institute from where Einstein completed his previous degree, it was ETH, and ETH was not allowed to award PhDs at that time. Until 1909, their students were authorized to submit their dissertations to the University of Zürich.

The year 1905 was known to be the annus mirabilis means “marvelous year” of Albert Einstein’s life. That year he successfully published four groundbreaking research papers that reshaped the scope of the subject. One of them was on the photoelectric effect which made him achieve the Nobel prize in physics in 1921. The others were on Brownian motion, special relativity, and the one in which he introduced equivalence of mass and energy i.e E=mc².

All of his efforts provided him with the attention of academic society at such a young age. Moreover, his fifth paper became his Ph.D. thesis. The first four research papers attained widespread attention but unfortunately, his doctoral thesis was not considerably appreciated in the early years. So I decided to write about it to have a bit of insight into it today.

More here.