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03/09/2005 08:00:00

First of Four Einstein Centennial Lecturesto Be Presented March 17 at Caltech

PASADENA, Calif.--In 1905, Albert Einstein single-handedly formulated the theory of special relativity, demonstrated that light traveling in discrete units is responsible for the photoelectric effect, and calculated how microscopic collisions could account for the phenomenon known as Brownian motion. Any one of the three discoveries would have assured his enduring fame as a physicist.

As part of the worldwide celebration of Einstein's miraculous year, the California Institute of Technology and the Einstein Papers Project at Caltech are sponsoring a series of four lectures on the famed German physicist and his legacy. The first of these, "Albert Einstein in 1905-Finding New Paths to the Depths of Physics," will be presented by Yale emeritus professor Martin J. Klein on Thursday, March 17. The lecture begins at 8 p.m. in Caltech's Beckman Auditorium, and is free and open to the public.

Klein's lecture will concern Einstein's work on the photoelectric effect, the only one of the papers from 1905 that Einstein described as "very revolutionary." Klein, a distinguished historian of science and member of the National Academy of Sciences, is also a former general editor of the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein project that is now located on the Caltech campus.

Other lectures in the series will be held on May 11, when University of Pittsburgh professor John D. Norton will speak on Einstein's demonstration that molecules cause Brownian motion; on September 27, when Max Planck Institute for the History of Science executive director J├╝rgen Renn will discuss special relativity; and on November 17, when Caltech physics professor Kip Thorne will speak on general relativity and its implications for things such as warped space-time, black holes, gravitational waves, and the accelerating universe.

For more information, contact the Caltech Ticket Office at (888) 222-5832, or log on to

Contact: Robert Tindol (626) 395-3631