Albert Einstein

  • Issue: September 2005
  • Designer: Aharon Shevo & Gad Almaliah
  • Stamp Size: 30.8 mm x 30.8 mm
  • Plate no.: 620 (no phosphor bar)
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: offset

In 2005 the whole world is marking the 100th anniversary of the "miraculous year" (Annus Mirabilis) of Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the most prominent scientist of the 20th  century -and perhaps of all times. In 1905, when he was 26 years old and worked at a patent office in Switzerland, Einstein published a number of papers which changed accepted world-views and became the cornerstones of modern physics. That year, Einstein clarified the nature of light and explained the photo-electric effect. This achievement earned him the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics. That year, he established the atomic structure of matter and laid the foundations for Statistical Physics. The highlight of his work in 1905 was the formulation of the Special Theory of Relativity, which shed new light on the concepts of time and space. One of the most important conclusions of this theory is the equivalence of mass and energy expressed in the famous formula E=mc2.

In 1916, Einstein published his General Theory of Relativity which revolutionized Newton's concepts of space, time and gravitation and laid the foundations of modern cosmology dealing with the origin, development and structure of the universe. One of the conclusions of this theory is that light rays reaching earth from distant stars are bent when passing near the sun. Einstein became a world celebrity in 1919 when this prediction was confirmed by astronomic observations. The General Theory of Relativity also predicts the existence of "black holes".

Albert Einstein's fame stems from his achievements in science. However, he also earned great respect beyond the world of physics. The views that he expressed on a variety of subjects generated interest and had an impact. He was a genuine humanist and worked tirelessly for the cause of human rights and freedom, condemning every form of discrimination. In this framework, we note Einstein's strong and long-lasting identification with the destiny of the Jewish people and his opinions on such significant issues as anti-Semitism, the values of Jewish heritage and Jewish nationalism. Einstein supported the Zionist cause, was involved in the establishment of the Hebrew University, and during the first years of its existence, served as a member of is Board of Governors and Chairman of its academic Council. He bequeathed the ollection of his papers to the Hebrew University, thus turning the latter into the eternal home of his intellectual legacy.

In 1952, after the death of Chaim Weizmann, Einstein was offered to serve as the second president of the State of Israel. He refused the offer in a moving letter to David Ben-Gurion, in which he wrote: "My relationship to the jewish people has become my strongest human bond ever since I became fully aware of our precarious situation amongst the nations of the world."

Prof. Hanoch Gutfreund
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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2005 - The World Year of Physics - Albert Einstein