- NAME: Albert Einstein
- OCCUPATION: Physicist
- BIRTH DATE: March 14, 1879
- DEATH DATE: April 18, 1955
- EDUCATION: Luitpold Gymnasium, Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule (Swiss Federal Polytechnic School)
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Ulm, Württemberg, Germany
- PLACE OF DEATH: Princeton, New Jersey
- Full Name: Albert Einstein
Best Known For
Albert Einstein was a German-born physicist who developed the theory of relativity. He is considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century.
Albert Einstein's vision and innovation created a lasting impact on both the world of science and our society. Click "buy Now" to learn more about the authorized Albert Einstein Archives. Video courtesy of Open Road Media.
Albert Einstein's vision and innovation created a lasting impact on both the world of science and our society. Click "Buy Now" to learn more about the authorized Albert Einstein Archives. Video courtesy of Open Road Media.
In 1919, a Solar Eclipse occurred, giving Einstein the ability to prove his Theory of Relativity correct.
The rising threat of the Nazi party forced Einstein to abandon his pacifist principles and write a letter to President Roosevelt that triggered the the Manhattan Project.
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Fortunately, Einstein was able to apply directly to the Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule (Swiss Federal Polytechnic School) in Zürich, Switzerland. Lacking the equivalent of a high school diploma, he failed much of the entrance exam but got exceptional marks in mathematics and physics. Because of this, he was admitted to the school provided he complete his formal schooling first. He went to a special high school run by Jost Winteler in Aarau, Switzerland,
and graduated in 1896 at age 17. He became lifelong friends with the Winteler family, with whom he had been boarding, and fell in love with Wintelers' daughter, Marie. At this time, Einstein renounced his German citizenship to avoid military service and enrolled at the Zurich school.
Einstein would recall that his years in Zurich were some of the happiest of his life. He met many students who would become loyal friends, such as Marcel Grossmann, a mathematician, and Michele Besso, with whom he enjoyed lengthy conversations about space and time. He also met his future wife, Mileva Maric, a fellow physics student from Serbia.
After graduating from the Polytechnic Institute, Albert Einstein faced a series of life crises over the next few years. Because he liked to study on his own, he cut classes and earned the animosity of some of his professors. One in particular, Heinrich Weber, wrote a letter of recommendation at Einstein’s request that led to him being turned down for every academic position that he applied to after graduation. Meanwhile, Einstein's relationship with Maric deepened, but his parents vehemently opposed the relationship citing her Serbian background and Eastern Orthodox Christian religion. Einstein defied his parents and continued to see Maric. In January, 1902, the couple had a daughter, Lieserl, who either died of sickness or was given up for adoption—the facts are unkown.
At this point, Albert Einstein probably reached the lowest point in his life. He could not marry Maric and support a family without a job, and his father's business had gone bankrupt. Desperate and unemployed, Einstein took lowly jobs tutoring children, but he was unable to hold on to any of them. A turning point came later in 1902, when the father of his lifelong friend, Marcel Grossman, recommended him for a position as a clerk in the Swiss patent office in Bern, Switzerland. About this time, Einstein’s father became seriously ill and just before he died, gave his blessing for him to marry. With a small but steady income, Einstein married Maric on Jan. 6, 1903. In May, 1904 they had their first son, Hans Albert. Their second son, Eduard, were born in 1910.
At the patent office, Albert Einstein evaluated patent applications for electromagnetic devices. He quickly mastered the job, leaving him time to ponder on the transmission of electrical signals and electrical-mechanical synchronization, an interest he had been cultivating for several years. While at the polytechnic school he had studied Scottish physicist James Maxwell's electromagnetic theories which describe the nature of light, and discovered a fact unknown to Maxwell himself, that the speed of light remained constant.
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