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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

commemorative coins ~ Swiss mint Albert Einstein coin

Coins are always interesting.  It is reported that Government Mint, Hyderabad (IGMH), is currently minting 2019 series visually challenged-friendly coins and will soon release 20 coins.  Over a few years now, India has stopped importing the coins from 10 foreign countries, including the UK and South Korea.  It was further reported that in addition, the Mint is   engaged in melting, refining and assaying of silver and gold to BS standards from different temples such as TTD, Shri Sai Sansthan Trust, Huligamma Temples, Sri Kalahasti Devasthanam. 

‘Albert Einstein’ is an anagram of ‘Ten elite brains’. What is relativity? Succinctly put, it is the notion that the laws of physics are the same everywhere. We here on Earth obey the same laws of light and gravity as someone in a far off corner of the universe. The universality of physics means that history is provincial.  The theory is based on two key concepts. First, the natural world allows no “privileged” frames of reference. Second, light travels at an unvarying speed of 186,000 miles a second. No matter how fast an observer is moving or how fast a light-emitting object is moving, a measurement of the speed of light always yields the same result. Starting from these two postulates, Einstein showed that space and time are intertwined in ways that scientists had never previously realized.

All Professors and learned persons look very intelligent too .. .. yet, part of Albert Einstein’s charm was his dishevelled look. In addition to his uncombed hair, one of Einstein’s peculiar habits was to never wear socks. To Einstein, socks were a pain because they often would get holes in them.  .. .. more important is the fact that he was a genius.  The Nobel Prize in Physics 1921 was awarded to Albert Einstein "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect."

Albert Einstein was born at Ulm, in Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879.  In 1905 he obtained his doctor’s degree. During his stay at the Patent Office, and in his spare time, he produced much of his remarkable work and in 1908 he was appointed Privatdozent in Berne. In 1909 he became Professor Extraordinary at Zurich, in 1911 Professor of Theoretical Physics at Prague, returning to Zurich in the following year to fill a similar post. In 1914 he was appointed Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Physical Institute and Professor in the University of Berlin. He became a German citizen in 1914 and remained in Berlin until 1933 when he renounced his citizenship for political reasons and emigrated to America to take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton. He became a United States citizen in 1940 and retired from his post in 1945. After World War II, Einstein was a leading figure in the World Government Movement, he was offered the Presidency of the State of Israel, which he declined, and he collaborated with Dr. Chaim Weizmann in establishing the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Einstein always appeared to have a clear view of the problems of physics and the determination to solve them.  It is stated that after his marriage to Mileva Maric hit the rocks in the early 1910s, Einstein left his family, moved to Berlin and started a new relationship with his cousin, Elsa. He and Maric finally divorced several years later in 1919. As part of their separation agreement, Einstein promised her an annual stipend plus whatever money he might receive from the Nobel Prize—which he was supremely confident he would eventually win.  The post is about a coin unveiled by Switzerland – a small coin admeasuring just 0.12 inch and weighing just one 500th of an ounce and showing .. .. the famous Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue [visible only if you have a magnifying glass]

State-owned Swissmint said the coin would be go on sale for 199 francs (£155). Switzerland has minted a gold coin so small that a magnifying glass is needed to see each side - one of which shows Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue. State-owned Swissmint said that the 0.12-inches (2.96-millimetre) gold coin is the smallest in the world. It is similar in size to the combined thickness of two pieces of paper. The coin weighs just 1/500th of an ounce (0.063 grams) and has a nominal value of 1/4 Swiss francs (about 20p). Its weight is comparable to that of two grains of rice.

The famous image of Einstein sticking out his tongue came on his 72nd birthday on March 14, 1951. United Press photographer Arthur Sasse was trying to persuade him to smile for the camera, but having smiled for photographers many times that day, Einstein stuck out his tongue instead.  Swissmint said the coin, of which just 999 have been made, will be sold for 199 francs (£155) with a special magnifying glass so owners can see the famous physicist on its face.  Swissmint said it wanted to push boundaries with the coin and stretch the limits of technology and achieve something unique. It cited Einstein's determination and patience as reason for its remarkable coin.

Einstein lived mainly in Switzerland from 1895 to 1914, where he also completed his studies in 1900, at today's ETH in Zurich.  In 1901, he was granted Swiss citizenship and in 1902 he found permanent employment as a technical expert in the Patents Office in Bern.  It was in 1905 that he published what is probably the most famous formula in the world: E=mc2. It shows that energy (E) and mass (M) are interchangeable; they are different forms of the same thing.

The smallest gold coin in the world comes in specially developed packaging. Neither image on the minted sides can be discerned with the naked eye.  The obverse of the smallest coin therefore features the famous image of Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue, and the year date 2020. The reverse shows the nominal value of 1/4 franc together with the inscription 'Helvetia' and the Swiss cross, supplemented by the alloy mark 'AU 999.9' and the weight (1/500 ounce).

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th Feb 2020.

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