Einstein’s 1905 paper on the Photoelectric Effect

About six weeks before he submitted his doctoral thesis at the University of Zürich in 1905, Einstein on March 18th submitted the paper Über einen die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichttspunkt (“On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light”) to Annalen der Physik, the premier physics journal at the time. In the paper, Einstein first proposed the idea of energy quanta, light particles now called photons, motivated by Max Planck’s earlier derivation of Planck’s law of black body radiation.

Einstein was 26 years old at the time. Continue reading