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He was the theoretical physicist behind ‘the world’s most famous equation’, E = mc2.
He also inspires countless costumes annually, when people dress themselves, their children, and sometimes their pets, as eccentric scientists.
Here are some facts about the real Albert Einstein.
1. He was born in Germany
Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Württemberg on 14 March 1879.
His father, Hermann, was at the time joint partner in a bed feather shop. When the family moved to Munich in 1880, he founded an electrical engineering company, Einstein & Cie, with his brother. Albert’s sister, Maja, was born whilst the family lived in Munich.
Both Hermann and Pauline Koch, Albert’s mother, came from Jewish families.
Maja and Albert Einstein, c.1886 (Credit: Public Domain).
2. He renounced his German citizenship to avoid conscription
Although the Einstein family moved to Italy in 1894 for Hermann’s business, Albert was supposed to remain in Munich to finish his education.
He followed them, however, and then in 1895 moved to Switzerland to complete his secondary education in Aarau. He later enrolled at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School – Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule – in Zurich.
To avoid the accusation of desertion which would have resulted from not reporting for conscription in Germany by the age of 17, Albert renounced his German citizenship in January 1896.
He then remained stateless until 1901 when, with his reputation attested for by the police and a payment of 600 Francs, he became a naturalized Swiss citizen.
Das Polytechnikum, 1865 from Hundred Years: Pictures from the history of the city of Zurich from 1814–1914. Volume 1, Zurich 1914 (Credit: Public Domain).
3. He had trouble finding employment after he graduated
By the time he came to the end of his studies, Einstein was not on good terms with his professors. As such he failed to be employed as an assistant to any of them.
Instead he found employment as an assistant examiner at the patent office and pursued his research mostly outside work hours.
4. He had a ‘miracle year’ when he was 26
During his ‘Annus Mirabilis’ of 1905 Einstein published four papers which were to lead to his recognition in the scientific community by 1908, when he was finally appointed as a lecturer at the University of Bern.
The four papers, published in ‘Annalen der Physik’, concerned the production and transformation of light – the photoelectric effect, proof of the existence of atoms with Brownian motion, special relativity, and mass-energy equivalence. The final paper led to the equation E=mc2.
Albert also submitted his PhD paper to the University of Zürich in 1905. Despite being best remembered as an older man, all of this occurred whilst he was still just 26.
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5. He returned to Germany in 1914
After teaching in Bern, Prague and Zürich, Albert moved to Berlin to take membership of the Prussian Academy of Sciences.
He also became director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in 1917, after a delay caused by the war.
Despite returning to Germany just before its beginning, Albert was not in support of the war. He was one of four signatories of a manifesto published to counter another signed by 93 scientists, scholars and artists which proclaimed support for military action.
As a Swiss, not German, national, Albert had to renew his residence permit for Germany regularly.
6. He was an accomplished musician
In addition to being a gifted mathematician and physicist, and being interested in philosophy, Albert was a talented violinist.
He had begun playing possibly as early as the age of five, at the behest of his mother. During his teenage years he developed a love of Mozart and was noted as ‘remarkable’ when playing Beethoven.
Throughout his life, Albert played in private and occasionally with professional musicians.
Albert Einstein with Elsa Einstein and Charlie Chaplin as they arrive for the opening of Chaplin’s silent movie. Los Angeles,1931 (Credit: Public Domain).
7. He had several affairs
During his life Albert Einstein was married twice. First, from 1903 until 1919, to Mileva Marić, a fellow student of the Mathematics and Physics teaching diploma in Zürich, and a Serbian Christian, to the displeasure of Albert’s parents.
During this marriage, Albert remained in contact with an early love of his, the daughter of the family he lodged with in Zürich, Marie Winteler. The marriage broke up, however, after Mileva found that Einstein was attracted to his cousin, Elsa Löwenthal, who became his second wife in 1919.
Albert Einstein and his first wife, Mileva in 1912 (Credit: Public Domain).
Prior to Elsa’s death in 1936, Albert spent time with at least six other women. This emerged in 2006 when 1,300 letters, previously in storage at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem were released to the public.
8. He had a daughter and two sons
Whilst married, Albert and his first wife, Mileva, had two sons. First was Hans Albert, born in 1904, who became a professor of Hydraulic Engineering at the University of California.
Second came Eduard, who was musically talented and began studying medicine before being diagnosed with schizophrenia aged 20. Eduard was repeatedly institutionalised and received electroconvulsive therapy.
Prior to having sons, however, and before they were married, the couple had a daughter, Lieserl. Letters between Albert and Mileva were published in 1987 which mentioned this daughter, born in 1902.
It is unknown what happened to Lieserl. She may have been adopted, or have died of scarlet fever in 1903.
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9. He was awarded a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1922
Albert Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in 1922, after it was reserved for a year as none of the nominees met Alfred Nobel’s criteria.
His prize was ‘for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.’ Einstein was to publish more than 300 scientific and 150 non-scientific papers during his lifetime.
10. He settled in the United States during the Second World War
Although the Einstein family were non-observant, Albert’s Ashkenazi Jewish heritage resulted in backlash from the rising Nazi movement. His ‘Jewish physics’ was denounced with the help of other Nobel prize winners in 1931.
In 1932, Einstein left Germany. He settled in Princeton, New Jersey, and did not return. In 1934, Einstein again relinquished German citizenship. He gained United States citizenship in 1940.
Albert Einstein receiving his certificate of American citizenship from Judge Phillip Forman (Credit: Public Domain).
11. He was influential in the creation of an atomic bomb.
When, in 1939, other physicists began to warn that the Nazis were researching the creation of an atomic bomb, Einstein wrote to President Roosevelt to encourage the government of the United States to engage in a similar project.
This was against the pacifist principles Einstein had otherwise demonstrated and later said that ‘had I known that the Germans would not success in developing an atomic bomb, I would have done nothing.’
He was not permitted the security clearance to work on the Manhattan Project because of his left-leaning political beliefs.
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Albert Einstein, (born March 14, 1879, Ulm, Württemberg, Germany—died April 18, 1955, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.), German-born physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. Einstein is generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century.
What did Albert Einstein do?
Albert Einstein was a famous physicist. His research spanned from quantum mechanics to theories about gravity and motion. After publishing some groundbreaking papers, Einstein toured the world and gave speeches about his discoveries. In 1921 he won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his discovery of the photoelectric effect.
What is Albert Einstein known for?
Albert Einstein is best known for his equation E = mc 2 , which states that energy and mass (matter) are the same thing, just in different forms. He is also known for his discovery of the photoelectric effect, for which he won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921. Einstein developed a theory of special and general relativity, which helped to complicate and expand upon theories that had been put forth by Isaac Newton over 200 years prior.
What influence did Albert Einstein have on science?
Albert Einstein had a massive influence on contemporary physics. His theory of relativity shifted contemporary understanding of space completely. Along with his equation E = mc 2 , it also foreshadowed the creation of the atomic bomb. Einstein’s understanding of light as something which can function both as a wave and as a stream of particles became the basis for what is known today as quantum mechanics.
What was Albert Einstein’s family like?
Albert Einstein was raised in a secular Jewish family and had one sister, Maja, who was two years younger than him. In 1903 Einstein married Milena Maric, a Serbian physics student whom he had met at school in Zürich. They had three children: a daughter, named Lieserl, and two sons, named Hans and Eduard. After a period of unrest, Einstein and Maric divorced in 1919. Einstein, during his marriage, had begun an affair with his cousin Elsa Löwenthal. They were married in 1919, the same year he divorced Maric.
How did Albert Einstein die?
After suffering an abdominal aortic aneurysm rupture several days before, Albert Einstein died on April 18, 1955, at age 76.
Albert Einstein’s Biography For Kids
Albert Einstein was born to Jews Hermann and Pauline Einstein. His father was a salesman while his mother was a homemaker. Einstein had a younger sibling Maria “Maja,” Einstein, who was born on November 18, 1881, in Munich.
It is said that young Albert had a lot of exposure to science and electronics from his father. Einstein loved maths and science but could not finish his schooling in Germany. As a child, Einstein didn’t like the way English grammar was taught to him in school. He was not bothered about the strictness and authority. So he got expelled from school. At the age of seven, he started loving mathematics and science. When Einstein was ten years old, a much older friend gave him many books on science, mathematics, and philosophy.
Later, he studied physics and maths during the final years of his education in Switzerland. After graduating in 1900, he started to work at a patent office in Switzerland despite his inclination towards learning and teaching physics.
If we look at Einstein’s scientific breakthroughs, in 1905, he roused quite a controversy in the five research papers that he published. Through these papers, the people changed their perception about the Universe. The year 1921 was a memorable one for Einstein, during which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on new light properties. In another scientific paper, he presented what we call now the particular Theory of Relativity. In 1933, when Germany was under Nazi control, he left the country and settled in The United States.
10 Surprising Facts About Albert Einstein
We all know the basics about Albert Einstein. He was one of the greatest scientists of all time. He came up with the theory of relativity. He was born in Germany but moved to America, where he died in 1955. And yes, he rocked a wild hairdo.
But over the years many other facts about the famous physicist have come to light -- including some that are pretty surprising. Consider these 10:
Fact #1: Einstein wasn't a beautiful baby. When Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, the back of his head was reportedly so huge that his family worried something was wrong with him. But within the first few weeks, the shape of his head became more normal-looking.
Fact #2: Einstein was slow to talk. Some say he didn't start speaking until age four. Stanford economist Dr. Thomas Sowell even coined the controversial term "Einstein Syndrome" to describe exceptionally bright people whose speech is delayed.
Einstein at the age of three. This is believed to be the oldest known photo of Einstein.
Fact #3: Einstein did NOT flunk math. It's long been rumored that Einstein was a bad student -- and these rumors have been fueled in part by headlines like one in a "Ripley's Believe it or Not!" newspaper: "Greatest living mathematician failed in mathematics." In fact, Einstein was not a poor student. He was conversant in college physics before he was 11 years old, was a ''brilliant'' violin player, and received high marks in Latin and Greek. Before age 15 he had already mastered calculus.
Einstein in 1893 at age 14.
Fact #4: Einstein had an illegitimate child. Before Einstein and his first wife, Mileva Marić, married, she secretly gave birth to their daughter at her parents' home in Serbia, Time magazine reported. But the fate of the baby, who was named Lieserl, is unclear. She essentially disappeared from historical records shortly after birth. There is no evidence that Einstein ever saw his daughter.
Fact #5: Einstein set weird rules for his wife. Einstein demanded a lot from Mileva. In fact, he gave her a set of rules to follow. Included on the list was that she had to serve three meals day, to stop talking if he asked her to, and to expect no intimacy from him.
Einstein and his first wife, Mileva.
Fact #6: Einstein got along really well with his cousin. So well, in fact, that she -- Elsa Einstein -- became his wife in 1919. The two reportedly were romantically involved during Einstein's first marriage, according to Bio.com.
Einstein with his second wife, Elsa.
Fact #7: Einstein was popular with the ladies. In letters that he wrote to Elsa, Einstein readily acknowledged many extramarital affairs. He wrote that his girlfriends showered him with "unwanted" affection, The Telegraph reported.
Fact #8: Wearing socks wasn't Einstein's thing. In another letter to Elsa, Einstein wrote that he "got away without wearing socks" at the University of Oxford. The world-renowned genius eventually became known for his unkempt appearance -- though more attention was focused on his hair than on his feet.
Fact #9: Einstein was a member of the NAACP. Specifically, the chapter in Princeton, N.J., where he lived and worked. But even before Einstein moved permanently to America in 1933, he corresponded with civil rights activist and scholar W.E.B. Dubois, a founder of the NAACP. And during a 1946 speech at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, Einstein called racism “a disease," the Harvard Gazette reported.
Einstein as he appeared in the 1950s.
Fact #10: Einstein may have hastened his death. Einstein died on April 18, 1955 after suffering a burst blood vessel. According to the website of the American Museum of Natural History, doctors suggested surgery, but Einstein declined, saying, "It is tasteless to prolong life artificially."
Einstein realized his life was at risk after Hitler assumed power in Germany. Einstein fled to Belgium, where he learned that his boat and cottage had been seized. He then escaped to England, and he was kept under armed protection until he found safety in America.
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Albert Einstein was passionate about sailing, a passion that never came to an end. He would go sailing in Zurich. The problem was that he wasn’t very good at it. In fact, he was a horrible sailor. He would often ask to be rescued, tho.via National Maritime Historical Society
Believe it or not, Albert Einstein actually had a very weird sense of humor. As a matter of fact, he was often referred to as obscene. He really liked dirty jokes. And since people knew him for that, they would carry along his bawdy jokes.
Not only was he a great scientist, but Einstein was also passionate about social issues
He had been a pacifist during World War I, but he became concerned at the rising anti-Semitism in Germany following the war. He began to speak out in favor of creating a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine. Einstein visited the United States in the early 1920s to raise funds for what is now known as Hebrew University. In 1952, he was even invited to become the president of Israel, but he turned the job down.
He put it in writing that he could order her to be quiet
Einstein and Marić married in 1903 and had another baby the following year. She settled into more housewifely duties and largely abandoned pursuing a degree. By 1905, Einstein's papers became famous, and he began taking on more academic roles.
Marić chose to devote herself to her family, but according to Scientific American, there's a strong possibility she helped develop many of Einstein's theories. The two had co-authored several papers as students, though submitted only with Einstein's name. As a trained physicist, she could be a sounding board for her husband. Einstein's letters to her also frequently used the pronouns "ours" and "we" when referring to theories. Nature pointed out, however, that claims that Marić had a hand in helping create the Theory of Relativity or something like that are flimsy.
Either way, Marić and Einstein had a quiet marriage. She gave birth to their second son Eduard in 1910 and moved with the whole family when Einstein got teaching positions. Things fell apart by 1912. Einstein reconnected with a first cousin, Elsa Lowenthal, and began an affair. Marić demanded he stay with the family, and he did — but with conditions. The New York Times reported Einstein wrote to Marić that he would remain provided she lay out his clothes, fix him three meals a day, shut up when told to, and leave when ordered. He also told her she must renounce all personal relationships with him.
Living in Switzerland, the physicist figures out that matter—the tiny particles that form objects—can be turned into energy, and vice versa. He also comes up with the famous formula E=mc2, which calculates the energy produced by converting a given amount of matter. He’s now a star!
Einstein wows the world by publishing his theory of relativity. The theory explains gravity—basically ginormous objects such as planets bend the space around them as they travel or pulsate. These curves in space then produce a gravitational pull toward the planet.
Einstein was subsidiary with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, until his passing in 1955. He distributed in excess of 300 logical papers and in excess of 150 non logical works. His scholarly accomplishments and innovation have made &ldquoEinstein&rdquo inseparable from &ldquovirtuoso&rdquo. Eugene Wigner contrasted him with his counterparts, composing that &ldquoEinstein&rsquos arrangement was more profound even than Jancsi von Neumann&rsquos. His brain was both more entering and more unique than von Neumann&rsquos.&rdquo