Issue No. 7 | 01.01.2006
100 years since Einstein's less known revolution: From the pollen dance to atoms and back
David Andelman and Haim Diamant
Twentieth century physics was based on three conceptual revolutions, two of which are well known to the general public: the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. The third revolution – statistical physics – has had less successful public relations despite its vast implications for our daily life. Statistical physics is the theory that allows us to relate the properties of multi-component systems (e.g., the paper or computer display you are currently looking at) to their microscopic components and interactions with the environment. Albert Einstein made crucial contributions to each of these three revolutions, all published during the miraculous year of 1905. In this article we focus on his contribution to statistical physics and its far-reaching impact on a surprisingly broad range of contemporary scientific areas.
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About the Authors
David Andelman and Haim Diamant are faculty members at Tel Aviv University. Professor Andelman works at the School of Physics and Astronomy and Dr. Diamant at the School of Chemistry. They apply principles of statistical physics to understand the behavior of soft matter and biomaterials. Their research interests include polymers, biomembranes, and self-assembling systems.