The light came in 1905 (On the unparalleled impact of Einstein’s work and vision)
Characteristic for Einstein is the universality of his work and of his message. He opened new roads and vista’s in such diverse fields as cosmology and atomic physics. He tackled subjects ranging from Brownian motion and the specific heat of solids to the meandering of rivers. His work - as is generally known - influenced key developments in 20 th century physics. Present day investigations on quantum cosmology, the development of the laser [including the quantum dot laser], research on BEC and on quantum coherence, are examples of Einstein’s lasting impact. In this lecture the depth of Einstein’s insights, the universality of his views and how they made him a magical figure with the general public [e.g. “Person of the Century” of Time Magazine- December 31, (1999) ], is analyzed. Einstein, like Newton and Darwin, changed our world view. Several elements in this talk are also illuminated from viewpoint of physics in Europe.