Lorentz’s electron theory, though eventually superseded in detail, was pivotal. By recognizing the right answers and posing the right questions, he readied the path to relativity, quantum theory and the physics of today. Near the end of his own life, Albert Einstein penned Lorentz a memorable tribute: “For me personally he meant more than all the others I have met on my life’s journey.”
This article was published in print as "Happy Birthday, Electron."
This article was originally published with the title Happy Birthday, Electron.