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2005: Year of physics

In 1905, Albert Einstein submitted five papers for publication in Annalen der Physik, covering three topics: the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, and the special theory of relativity. Although diverse in subject matter, these contributions are landmarks in their field - and testament to Einstein's genius. To honour their centenary, 2005 has been designated 'World Year of Physics'. Here, Nature news joins the celebrations.

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How Einstein claimed his place in the changing landscape of physics during his annus mirabilis.

Commentary | | Nature

“I did not believe that it was possible to study the Brownian motion with such a precision.” From a letter from Albert Einstein to Jean Perrin (1909).

Concepts | | Nature

In his later years, Einstein sought a unified theory that would extend general relativity and provide an alternative to quantum theory. There is now talk of a ‘theory of everything’ (although Einstein himself never used the phrase). Fifty years after his death, how close are we to such a theory?

Endgame | | Nature

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To coincide with the centenary of Albert Einstein's ‘Miraculous Year’ — when he wrote articles that form the basis of the theories of relativity, quantum mechanics and brownian motion — 2005 has been declared World Year of Physics. Around the world physics as a university subject is in decline, despite its vital role in the development of the science and technology that underpins the modern world. Physicists, as outlined on http://www.wyp2005.org , plan to raise the political profile of physics as a subject, with the public and especially politicians. Nature's first contribution to the year is a profile of some of the rising generation of physicists.

News Feature | | Nature