The subject of the equivalence of mass and energy was contained in a third paper published by Einstein in 1905. This concept is expressed by the famous equation E=mc2. Einstein's biographers categorize this as "his most famous and most spectacular conclusion." Even though this idea is an obvious conclusion of Einstein's earlier relativity paper, it was not included in that paper but was published as an afterthought later in the year. Still, the idea of energy-mass equivalence was not original with Einstein.
That there was an equivalence between mass and energy had been shown in the laboratory in the 1890s by both J.J. Thomsom of Cambridge and by W. Kaufmann in Göttingen. In 1900, Poincaré had shown that there was a mass relationship for all forms of energy, not just electromagnetic energy. Yet, the most probable source of Einstein's plagiarism was Friedrich Hasenöhrl, one of the most brilliant, yet unappreciated physicists of the era. Hasenöhrl was the teacher of many of the German scientists who would later become famous for a variety of topics. He had worked on the idea of the equivalence of mass and energy for many years and had published a paper on the topic in 1904 in the very same journal which Einstein would publish his plagiarized version in 1905. For his brilliant work in this area, Hasenörhl had received in 1904 a prize from the prestigious Vienna Academy of Sciences.
Furthermore, the mathematical relationship of mass and energy was a simple deduction from the already well-known equations of Scottish physicist James Maxwell. Scientists long understood that the mathematical relationship expressed by the equation E=mc2 was the logical result of Maxwell's work, they just did not believe it.
THUS, THE EXPERIMENTS OF THOMSON, KAUFMANN, AND FINALLY, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, HASENÖRHL, CONFIRMED MAXWELL'S WORK. IT IS LUDICROUS TO BELIEVE THAT EINSTEIN DEVELOPED THIS POSTULATE, particularly in light of the fact that Einstein did not have the laboratory necessary to conduct the appropriate experiments. In this same plagiarized article of Einstein's, he suggested to the scientific community, "Perhaps it will prove possible to test this theory using bodies whose energy content is variable to a high degree (e.g., salts of radium)." This remark demonstrates how little Einstein understood about science, for this was truly an outlandish remark. By saying this, Einstein showed that he really did not understand basic scientific principles and that he was writing about a topic that he did not understand. In fact, in response to this article, J. Precht remarked that such an experiment "lies beyond the realm of possible experience." The last subject dealt with in Einstein's 1905 papers was the foundation of the photon theory of light. Einstein wrote about the photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect is the release of electrons from certain metals or semiconductors by the action of light. This area of research is particularly important to the Einstein myth because it was for this topic that he UNJUSTLY received his 1922 Nobel Prize.
But AGAIN IT IS NOT EINSTEIN, BUT WILHELM WIEN AND MAX PLANCK WHO DESERVE THE CREDIT. The main point of Einstein's paper, and the point for which he is given credit, is that light is emitted and absorbed in finite packets called quanta. This was the explanation for the photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect had been explained by Heinrich Hertz in 1888. Hertz and others, including Philipp Lenard, worked on understanding this phenomenon.
Lenard was the first to show that the energy of the electrons released in the photoelectric effect was not governed by the intensity of the light but by the frequency of the light. This was an important breakthrough. Wien and Planck were colleagues and they were the fathers of modern day quantum theory. By 1900, Max Planck, based upon his and Wien's work, had shown that radiated energy was absorbed and emitted in finite units called quanta. The only difference in his work of 1900 and Einstein's work of 1905 was that Einstein limited himself to talking about one particular type of energy light energy. But the principles and equations governing the process in general had been deduced by Planck in 1900. Einstein himself admitted that the obvious conclusion of Planck's work was that light also existed in discrete packets of energy. Thus, nothing in this paper of Einstein's was original.
After the 1905 papers of Einstein were published, the scientific community took little notice and Einstein continued his job at the patent office until 1909 when it was arranged by World Jewry for him to take a position at a school . Still, it was not until a 1919 A Jewish newspaper headline that he gained any notoriety. With Einstein's academic appointment in 1909, he was placed in a position where he could begin to use other people's work as his own more openly.
He engaged many of his students to look for ways to prove the theories he had supposedly developed, or ways to apply those theories, and then he could present the research as his own or at least take partial credit. In this vein, in 1912, he began to try and express his gravitational research in terms of a new, recently developed calculus, which was conducive to understanding relativity. This was the beginning of his General Theory of Relativity, which he would publish in 1915.
BUT THE MATHEMATICAL WORK WAS NOT DONE BY EINSTEIN - HE WAS INCAPABLE OF IT. Instead, it was performed by the mathematician Marcel Grossmann, who in turn used the mathematical principles developed by Berhard Riemann, who was the first to develop a sound non-Euclidean geometry, which is the basis of all mathematics used to describe relativity.
The General Theory of Relativity applied the principles of relativity to the universe; that is, to the gravitational pull of planets and their orbits, and the general principle that light rays bend as they pass by a massive object. Einstein published an initial paper in 1913 based upon the work which Grossmann did, adapting the math of Riemann to Relativity. But this paper was filled with errors and the conclusions were incorrect.
It appears that Grossmann was not smart enough to figure it out for Einstein. So Einstein was forced to look elsewhere to plagiarize his General Theory. Einstein published his correct General Theory of Relativity in 1915, and said prior to its publication that he, "completely succeeded in convincing Hilbert and Klein." He is referring to David Hilbert, perhaps the most brilliantmathematician of the 20th century, and Felix Klein, another mathematician who had been instrumental in the development of the area of calculus that Grossmann had used to develop the General Theory of Relativity for Einstein.
Einstein's statement regarding the two men would lead the reader to believe that Einstein had changed Hilbert's and Klein's opinions regarding General Relativity, and that he had influenced them in their thinking.
However, the exact opposite is true. EINSTEIN STOLE THE MAJORITY OF HIS GENERAL RELATIVITY WORK FROM THESE TWO MEN, THE REST BEING TAKEN FROM GROSSMANN. HILBERT SUBMITTED FOR PUBLICATION, A WEEK BEFORE EINSTEIN COMPLETED HIS WORK, A PAPER WHICH CONTAINED THE CORRECT FIELD EQUATIONS, OF GENERAL RELATIVITY.