Albert Einstein:

By: Cindy Sangha- June 2013

Famous Albert Einstein Quotes

Albert in his study thinking about quantum mechanics
Albert in his study thinking about quantum mechanics

Early Years:

Albert Einstein was born in a Jewish family in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879. His father, Hermann Einstein was a salesman and engineer, while his mother’s name was Pauline Einstein. In 1880, his family moved to Munich, where his father founded an electrical equipment manufacturing company, Elektrotechnische Fabrik J. Einstein & Cie, along with his uncle. As a child, Einstein never observed Jewish religious practices and attended a Catholic elementary school. Although he faced speech difficulties in elementary school, he remained a top student. He became a theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). Albert received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics.

At the tender age of five, Einstein was greatly influenced by a pocket compass given to him by his father. The movement of the needle had an everlasting impression on his young mind. In effect, as he grew, he started building models and mechanical devices, showing deep interest in mathematics. The young Albert displayed an early interest in science, but he was unhappy with the principles of obedience and conformity that governed his Catholic elementary school. At the age of ten, Albert switched schools to a more catholic rigourous school where prayer was taught more than science and mathematics. Albert's enthusiasm towards the sciences started when he attended this school and his uncle Talmud would read and lend him many science and philosphy books. This put an abrupt end to the boy's short-lived but intense religious fervor, perhaps to the relief of his nonobservant parents. By the age of twelve, he had learnt Euclidean geometry and studied calculus.

As he grew older Einstein realized that there must be something causing needles to move, despite the apparent "empty space", he built models and mechanical devices for fun and began to show a talent in mathematics.

Einstein did not even complete his high school and directly applied to ETH, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in Zürich, Switzerland. Though he could not get through the entrance exam, he did exceptionally well in mathematics and physics. At the age of 16, he performed his first famous thought experiment, visualizing traveling alongside a beam of light. Einstein completed his secondary school from Aarau, Switzerland and graduated at the age of 17 and then renounced his German citizenship.

Thereafter, he enrolled in the mathematics program at ETH. In 1900, Einstein graduated with a degree in physics. After graduation, he could not find a teaching job and after two years of struggle, was employed at the Federal Office for Intellectual Property, the patent office, as an assistant examiner.


Albert attended a Catholic Elementary school from the ages of five for a total of three years. At which time he was transferred to Luitpold Gymnasuim where he received advanced primary and secondary school education until he left Germany (Seven years later). He struggled from a early age with speech difficulties, which he eventually grew out of it, but it was known to be one of his weaknesses. His fascination for physic's first began when his father gave him a pocket compass which he found intriguing how the needle moved, despite the apparent "empty space. As Albert gew older he built models and mechanical devices for fun.
In 1895 at the age of sixteen Albert sat the entrance examination for the Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zurich, he failed to reach the required standard in several subjects but was exceptionally good at physics and mathematic sections of the exam. He began attending Aargau Cantional School in Aarau (Switzerland), he later passed the Swiss Matau with mostly good grades (including a top grade of 6 in physic's and mathematical subjects on a scale from 1-6).
At the age of seventeen he enrolled into a four year mathematical and physics teaching diploma at ETH Zurich. He then moved to Olsberg, Switzerland for a teaching post.
In 1900, Albert was awarded the Zurich Polytechnic teaching diploma.

**Among the only women in the top 6 students in the mathematical and physics section of the teaching diploma course was Mileva Maric (whom became Einsteins wife). She did not graduate from the Zurich Polytechnic teaching diploma program because she failed the theory of functions section and had a poor grade in the mathematical component.

Marriages and children:

In early 1902, Einstein and Mileva Maric had a daughter they named Lieserl in their correspondence, who was born in Novi Sad where Marić's parents lived. Her full name is not known, and her fate is uncertain after 1903.
Einstein and Marić married in January 1903. In May 1904, the couple's first son, Hans Albert Einstein, was born in Bern , Switzerland. Their second son, Eduard, was born in Zurich in July 1910. In 1914, Einstein moved to Berlin, while his wife remained in Zurich with their sons. Marić and Einstein divorced on 14 February 1919, having lived apart for five years.
Einstein married Elsa Lowenthal (née Einstein) on 2 June 1919, after having had a relationship with her since 1912. She was his first cousin maternally and his second cousin paternally. In 1933, they emigrated permanently to the United States. In 1935, Elsa Einstein was diagnosed with heart and kidney problems and died in December 1936.


In February 1933, Einstein decided to emigrate to the United States due to the rise to power of the Nazis under Germany's new chancellor, Adolf Hitler. While visiting American universities in April, 1933, he learned that the new German government had passed a law barring Jews from holding any official positions, including teaching at universities. Einstein also learned that his name was on a list of assassination targets, with a "$5,000 bounty on his head." One German magazine included him in a list of enemies of the German regime with the phrase, "not yet hanged".
While on his on his visit to the American Universities he undertook a third two-month visiting professorship at the California Institute of Technology.
Einstein was undertaking his third two-month visiting professorship at the California Institute of Technology when Hitler came to power in Germany. On his return to Europe in March 1933 he resided in Belgium for some months, before temporarily moving to England.
Albert became a U.S. citizen in 1940, where he worked along side of the American's, providing his war efforts through his knowledge.

Einstein and his career:

On April 30th, 1905 has been termed Einstein's annus mirabilis, or miracle year, because it was in this year that the scientist published three of his most important papers and completed most of the work for his doctoral degree, which he received in 1906. Einstein's papers dealt with quantum theory, Brownian motion, and special relativity. After graduating from the Zurich Polytechnic with a teaching diploma, he struggled for two years for a teaching position. In 1903, He landed a position at the
Albert Einstein study mechanical physics
Albert Einstein study mechanical physics
Swiss Patent Office as he became a permanent although he was passed over for promotion until he fully was able to master machine technology. By 1908 he was recognized for leading scientist as he was appointed lecturer at the University of Bern. The following year he quit the lectureship to take take a position as a full professor at Karl-Ferdinard University in Prague in 1911. He then returned to Germany in 1914 where he was appoint director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Physics. Albert then became a member of the Prussian Academy of the Science. In subsequent years, he expanded his theory of special relativity to account for accelerating frames of reference, so that he could then theorize that the laws of physics are the same for all observers in all frames of reference. This theory, known as general relativity, was fully formulated by 1915. Albert was the first person to realize the principle of relativity could be extended into gravitational fields. He published a paper on the general theory of relativity, as he continued his research with statistical mechanics and quantum theory. The study on statistical mechanics and quantum theory led him to his explanation of particle theory and the motion of molecules. In 1916 Einstein was appointed president of the German Physical Society. In 1917 applied the general theory of relativity to model the large-scale structure of the universe. In 1919, scientists verified general relativity through measurements taken during a solar eclipse, and Einstein was catapulted into a position of international prominence. However, while his relativity theory won him popular fame, it was his contributions to quantum theory that won Einstein a Nobel Prize in 1922.

For most of Einstein's life, he worked as a university professor. He began at the University of Bern in 1909, but also taught at Prague and Zurich before ultimately settling at the University of Berlin and the Prussian Academy of Sciences in 1915. Although Mileva and their sons initially lived in Berlin with Albert, the couple separated shortly thereafter and in 1919 obtained an official divorce. Einstein remarried that same year, to his cousin Elsa Lowenthal, and lived with her until her death in 1936.

During 1911, had established the basics on his new theory of general relativity, (light from another star would be bent by the sun's gravity). This theory was confirmed by a observation made by a British Expedition led by Sir Arthur Eddington during the solar eclipse that took place on may 19th, 1919.

Throughout the 1920s, he participated in numerous peace campaigns and wrote articles on international peace and disarmament.
However, when Hitler's National Socialist party came to power in Germany in 1933, Einstein began to rethink his rigid pacifist stance. Einstein departed further from his pacifism during World War II leaving his job as a professor at Berlin Academy of Science behind. He actively participated in the war effort, working for the US Navy and writing a letter to President Roosevelt in 1939, in which he urged him to accelerate the nation's nuclear weaponry development. On the eve of the beginning of World War II, Einstein alerted President Franklin D. Roosevelt that Germany could potentially be developing atomic weapons and recommended that the U.S. should do the same. Einstein played a major part in the Manhatton Project, which eventually succeeded and gave the US the first Nuclear Bomb. However, Einstein never advocated the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan and worked in a campaign for international peace and nuclear disarmament until 1955. Einstein was involved with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton,
This is the letter sent from Einstein to Roosevelt. (Page 1 of 2)
This is the letter sent from Einstein to Roosevelt. (Page 1 of 2)

New Jersey, until his death (1955).

**Albert Einsteins Letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt; regarding German Nuclear Weapons The Letter

Einstein's greatest contributions to physics were his synthesis of mechanics and electrodynamics through his relativity theory, and his challenge to Newtonian physics through his quantum theory. His most famous equation E=mc*2 is known by almost every living person and relates matter and energy in the most simplest way. For most of his later career, Einstein tried to come up with a theory of everything that could relate all the 4 fundamental forces of our universe. Even though he did not succeed in this, he lay the foundation for later physicists to come up with string theory.

However, the impact of his ideas was not limited to science: Einstein's achievements influenced philosophy, art, literature, and countless other disciplines. As an individual passionate in his work and outspoken in his politics, Einstein transformed the image of the scientist in the twentieth century. TIME Magazine selected Albert Einstein as "Person of the Century," hailing him as "genius, political refugee, humanitarian, locksmith of the mysteries of the atom and the universe."
Einstein published more then 300 scientific papers along with over 150 non-scientific works.
Albert Einstein Hard at work figuring out relativity intensity kelvin=0xygen2


On 17 April 1955, Albert Einstein ended up having internal bleeding because of a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm, which had previously been worked on surgically by Dr.Rudolph Nissen in 1948. He hoped to finish his drafted speech he was preparing for a television appearance commemorating the State of Israel's seventh anniversary while he was in hospital but unfortunately did not live long enough to complete it. Einstein admittedly refused to get surgery, saying: "I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly." He died in Princeton Hospital early the next morning at the age of 76, he still worked up until almost the day of his death. After his death, the pathologist preforming the autopsy, Thomas Stoltz Harvey, removed Einsteins brain for preservation without receiving permission from his family, he did this hoping that in the future neuroscience would be able to determine just why Einstein was so intelligent.Einstein's remains were cremated and his ashes were scattered at an undisclosed location.

Sources: Wikipedia, Sparknotes, Youtube, convential wisdom