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It's all relative
  1. Robert W Tarr
  1. Correspondence to Dr R W Tarr, Department of Radiology, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, 11100 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA; robert.tarr{at}

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It's poetry in motion She turned her tender eyes to me As deep as any ocean As sweet as harmony But she blinded me with science! Thomas Dolby, 1982

In 1905, Albert Einstein wrote five theoretical manuscripts which revolutionized the field of physics. He was 26 years old at the time. He had graduated from Zurich Polytechnical Institutes but had yet to obtain his doctorate degree and secure a university teaching and research position. During the time Einstein authored these five landmark articles, he was employed as a third tier patent reviewer in Bern, Switzerland.

Einstein eventually won the Nobel prize in 1921, not for what has become his most famous work, the theory of relativity, but rather for his theory of the photoelectric effect, which was one of the manuscripts published in 1905. Part of his work on the photoelectric effect dispelled the then commonly held notion that light, similar to …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.