18 November 1905

Prince Carl of Denmark becomes King Haakon VII of Norway.

King Haakon VII of Norway, born Prince Carl of Denmark, was the first monarch of Norway following its declaration of independence from Sweden in 1905.

Birth and Early Life:
Haakon VII was born as Prince Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar Axel on August 3, 1872, in Charlottenlund Palace, Denmark.
He was the second son of King Frederick VIII of Denmark and Princess Louise of Denmark.

Selection as Norwegian King:
In 1905, when Norway sought to dissolve the union with Sweden and become an independent kingdom, the Norwegian government offered the throne to Prince Carl of Denmark.
The Norwegian people voted in a referendum in favor of establishing a monarchy, and Prince Carl accepted the offer.

Name Change:
Upon his accession to the Norwegian throne on November 18, 1905, Prince Carl took the Norwegian name Haakon and became King Haakon VII.

Role During World War II:
King Haakon VII played a crucial symbolic role during the German occupation of Norway in World War II. When the Germans invaded Norway in 1940, the Norwegian government and royal family fled to London.
King Haakon became a symbol of Norwegian resistance, and his refusal to collaborate with the Nazi regime boosted the morale of the Norwegian people.

Return to Norway:
After the liberation of Norway in 1945, King Haakon returned to Oslo amid great celebrations. His return marked the restoration of the Norwegian monarchy and the continuity of the constitutional monarchy.

Constitutional Monarch:
Throughout his reign, King Haakon VII adhered to the constitutional principles of Norway, which limited the monarch’s powers. He respected the democratic institutions and played a largely ceremonial and symbolic role.

Death and Legacy:
King Haakon VII reigned until his death on September 21, 1957.
His son, Olav V, succeeded him as the King of Norway.
King Haakon VII is remembered for his role in Norway’s transition to independence, his steadfast resistance against the German occupation during World War II, and his contributions to the stability and continuity of the Norwegian monarchy.

23 September 1905

Norway and Sweden sign the Karlstad Treaty, peacefully dissolving the Union between the two countries.

The dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden occurred in 1905 and is often referred to as the “Norwegian dissolution of union” or “Norwegian independence.” It marked the end of the political union that had existed between Norway and Sweden since 1814.

Union Background:
The union between Norway and Sweden began in 1814, following the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna. Norway was transferred from Danish to Swedish control as part of a larger European settlement.
The union was, in many ways, unequal, with Sweden holding more political power and influence over Norway.

Growing Norwegian Dissatisfaction:
Over the years, Norwegians grew increasingly dissatisfied with the union, as they felt their own national identity was being suppressed by Swedish rule.
Calls for greater autonomy and independence became more pronounced in Norway during the 19th century.

The Union’s Weakening:
The union faced a significant challenge in 1905 when a dispute arose over the issue of Norway’s own consular service. Norway wanted its own consuls, separate from Sweden, to represent its interests abroad.
Negotiations between Norway and Sweden failed to resolve this issue, leading to a political crisis.

The Norwegian Independence Movement:
In response to the deadlock, Norway’s parliament (the Storting) declared the union with Sweden dissolved on June 7, 1905. This unilateral declaration was a bold move toward independence.
Prince Carl of Denmark (later known as King Haakon VII of Norway) was offered the Norwegian throne, and he accepted.

Peaceful Resolution:
The dissolution of the union was handled peacefully, and there was no armed conflict between Norway and Sweden.
The international community, particularly the great powers of Europe, supported Norway’s right to self-determination and independence.

Treaty of Karlstad:
On September 23, 1905, Norway and Sweden signed the Treaty of Karlstad, which recognized Norway’s independence and settled the terms of the dissolution.
The treaty established the borders between Norway and Sweden and included agreements on various practical matters, such as the division of assets and liabilities.

King Haakon VII:
King Haakon VII ascended to the Norwegian throne on November 18, 1905, marking the formal establishment of the Kingdom of Norway.

30 April 1905

Albert Einstein completes his doctoral thesis at the University of Zurich.

Albert Einstein’s doctoral thesis, which he completed in 1905 at the age of 26, was titled “A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions.” The thesis was submitted to the University of Zurich and was later published as a paper in the Annalen der Physik (Annals of Physics) journal.

In his thesis, Einstein developed a new method for calculating the size of molecules in a liquid by analyzing how they scatter light. This method, known as “Einstein’s theory of Brownian motion,” provided a way to experimentally verify the existence of atoms and molecules, which had previously been debated among scientists.

The theory of Brownian motion played a crucial role in the development of modern physics and chemistry, and it remains an important topic of study to this day. Einstein’s thesis marked the beginning of his scientific career and laid the groundwork for his future groundbreaking work, including the development of the theory of relativity.

30 April 1905

Albert Einstein is awarded his doctoral thesis at the University of Zurich.

Einstein’s official 1921 portrait after receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics
In 1900, Einstein’s paper “Folgerungen aus den Capillaritätserscheinungen” was published in the journal Annalen der Physik. On 30 April 1905, Einstein completed his thesis, with Alfred Kleiner, Professor of Experimental Physics, serving as pro-forma advisor. As a result, Einstein was awarded a PhD by the University of Zürich, with his dissertation “A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions”.

In that same year, which has been called Einstein’s annus mirabilis, he published four groundbreaking papers, on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special relativity, and the equivalence of mass and energy, which were to bring him to the notice of the academic world, at the age of 26.

Academic career
By 1908, he was recognized as a leading scientist and was appointed lecturer at the University of Bern. The following year, after giving a lecture on electrodynamics and the relativity principle at the University of Zürich, Alfred Kleiner recommended him to the faculty for a newly created professorship in theoretical physics. Einstein was appointed associate professor in 1909.

Einstein became a full professor at the German Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague in April 1911, accepting Austrian citizenship in the Austro-Hungarian Empire to do so. During his Prague stay, he wrote 11 scientific works, five of them on radiation mathematics and on the quantum theory of solids. In July 1912, he returned to his alma mater in Zürich. From 1912 until 1914, he was professor of theoretical physics at the ETH Zurich, where he taught analytical mechanics and thermodynamics. He also studied continuum mechanics, the molecular theory of heat, and the problem of gravitation, on which he worked with mathematician and friend Marcel Grossmann.

On 3 July 1913, he was voted for membership in the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin. Max Planck and Walther Nernst visited him the next week in Zurich to persuade him to join the academy, additionally offering him the post of director at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics, which was soon to be established. Membership in the academy included paid salary and professorship without teaching duties at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He was officially elected to the academy on 24 July, and he accepted to move to the German Empire the next year. His decision to move to Berlin was also influenced by the prospect of living near his cousin Elsa, with whom he had developed a romantic affair. He joined the academy and thus the Berlin University on 1 April 1914. As World War I broke out that year, the plan for Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics was aborted. The institute was established on 1 October 1917, with Einstein as its director. In 1916, Einstein was elected president of the German Physical Society 1916–1918.

Based on calculations Einstein made in 1911, about his new theory of general relativity, light from another star should be bent by the Sun’s gravity. In 1919, that prediction was confirmed by Sir Arthur Eddington during the solar eclipse of 29 May 1919. Those observations were published in the international media, making Einstein world famous. On 7 November 1919, the leading British newspaper The Times printed a banner headline that read: “Revolution in Science – New Theory of the Universe – Newtonian Ideas Overthrown”.

In 1920, he became a Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1922, he was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”. While the general theory of relativity was still considered somewhat controversial, the citation also does not treat the cited work as an explanation but merely as a discovery of the law, as the idea of photons was considered outlandish and did not receive universal acceptance until the 1924 derivation of the Planck spectrum by S. N. Bose. Einstein was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society in 1921. He also received the Copley Medal from the Royal Society in 1925.