Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

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Albert was born in 1879 on March 14 to Hermann and Pauline Einstein. Hermann ran an electrical technology business which was often on the verge of bankruptcy. Hermann's parents were Abraham and Hindel. Albert's parents moved around Europe several times while Albert was still living at home. He was born in Ulm, Germany. Two years Albert became a big brother when his sister Maja (Maria) was born, at this time his family was living at Munich. At the age of nine Albert entered a school in Munich called Luitpold. In school Albert got fairly good grades in his subject while he excelled in mathematics. However, he hated the school because success was based on memorization and obedience rather than how much a child knew. Then when Albert went home he studied mathematics, physics, and philosophy all on his own. Then later his teacher asked him to leave because Albert was causing the other students to loose respect for the teacher. At fifteen Albert took the teacher's advice and left mid term to be with his parents and sister in Italy.

He renounced his German citizenship after enrolling in a cantonal school in Aarau, Switzerland. After he graduated from Aarau he entered the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, received his diploma and became a Swiss citizen. However, Albert had a difficult time holding down a full time job; he held many different part time jobs and it wasn't until he was offered a job with the Swiss Patent Office in Bern did he finally receive a regular salary.

During one of his part time teaching positions his eye was caught by a young Serbian woman, Meleva Maric. She was the only woman in his physics class; yet Albert would not talk of marriage, even after she bore his daughter and gave it up for adoption. Once Albert was hired full time with the Swiss Patent Office in Bern he had enough money to begin thinking about marriage and he and Meleva were married in 1903. With this new job Albert had the time to write his thoughts down and to.

Meleva gave birth to two sons Hans Albert in 1904 and Eduard in 1910. Hans would grow up and become a successful hydraulic engineer, while Eduard grew up being sick most of his life.

In 1914 the German government offered Albert a position at the University of Berlin as well as a membership to the Prussian Academy of Sciences.

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This was a wonderful opportunity and Albert could not say no. This was one of the highest positions someone could reach in the world of science.

Albert did not have enough time for his family and his wife complained. He got sick and tired of her complaining he found himself trying to stay away from her and he reached out to another. He committed adultery with his cousin Elsa Löwenthal. In the summer of 1914 Meleva took the boys for a summer trip and never returned thereby leaving Albert. In 1919 a divorce was formally reached and in that same year he married Elsa and moved in with her and her two grown daughters, from a previous marriage.

In 1905 Albert studied the phenomena of light. He added to Max Planck's work by discovering light quanta and saying that light was not only waves but also particles of energy. This seemed to contradict what was known at the time and shook the physicists' world!

Later that same year Albert found a way to prove that the principle of relativity was linked with the electromagnetic theory. His theory was called the special theory of relativity and was based on an analysis of space and time that even beginning science students would be able to understand. However, because it is based on Newton's second law it is only valid when there are no forces present. Therefore, it cannot be generalized when there is a gravitational field present. There are two major implications that come from the special theory of relativity and they are the equation that Albert is famous for, E=mc2. From this equation E stands for energy, m for mass, and c for the speed of light. This equation explains that a body of a certain mass gives off a certain amount of energy. Another major implication is the dependence of space and time on velocity. Simply put at speeds close to the speed of light, space becomes thin in that direction of motion and therefore time slows down. Our minds have a difficult time wrapping around that idea, and the reason for that is assumed because our minds have a hard time understanding the speed of light and therefore anything involved with the speed of light would be more difficult for us to comprehend.

These theories that Albert "came up with" were like building bricks added to what other scientists already knew. The world of science was being built one brick at a time and Albert added three bricks just around his 26 birthday!

Albert continued trying to relate the force of gravity and the motion of acceleration and in 1915 he was successful. The equations showed how matter was twisted the framework of space and time, and yet they were fairly simple. With the new equations Albert was able to explain an inconsistency in the motion of Mercury that astronomers had been baffled by.

While Albert was in Germany the First World War broke out. When 93 German scientists signed a manifesto defending Germany's war conduct four other scientists including Albert Einstein signed an antiwar counter-manifesto. After the war was over Albert finally became a legal citizen of Germany to support the new country's democracy.

During the 1920's Albert traveled to England, France, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and South America; he even made it to Japan. In 1922 he traveled to Sweden to accept a Nobel Prize for physics. From 1930 to 1933 he traveled to Pasadena's California Institute of Technology for the winter, he spent the spring in Berlin, and the summers near Berlin at Caputh.

When Nazi's came to power they denounced Albert's theory of relativity and called him a "Jewish-Communist physicist". During this time his safety was feared and gave him reason to believe in a world government instead of nationalism, for this reason he supported Zionism.

In 1932 Albert left Germany never to return and in 1933 he renounced his German citizenship. His property was confiscated and his name was on the first Nazi list of people who were stripped of their citizenship. When he renounced his citizenship many countries offered Albert teaching positions at their universities, but he declined because he already had joined the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He arrived in America in the fall of 1933 and in 1940 he became an American citizen.

When the Second World War broke out Albert warned British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and later David Lloyd George of the Nazi danger, but they did not listen. Albert tried to help noted academics who were leaving Germany and so he joined the Displaced German Scholars to try and find homes form the refugees.

In 1936 his second wife died, but his step daughter stayed with him to be his secretary and housekeeper. On April 13, 1955 Albert became fatally ill. He finished some work that he needed to complete. Four days later his doctor left knowing he was sleeping peacefully, but after a while his nurse, Roszel, noticed he was having difficulty breathing. Roszel tried to wake him and when she did he murmured something in German that she did not understand. He took two deep breaths and then died; the date was April 17, 1955. His body was cremated except his brain which was to be used for study.

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