'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

02 June 2011

Albert Einstein

"Gravity cannot be held responsible for people falling in love." -- Albert Einstein

"When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, it seems like two minutes. When you sit on a hot stove for two minutes, it seems like two hours. That's relativity." -- Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany on March 14, 1879 to non practicing Jewish parents Hermann and Pauline. They moved to Munich and then to Milan. He had not finished secondary school and failed an exam to allow him to study electrical engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He spent the next year in Aarau, Switzerland and finished high school. Einstein returned in 1896 to the Swiss Institute. In 1898 he fell in love with a Hungarian classmate, Mileva Maric, and in 1900 graduated as a secondary school teacher of mathematics and physics. He became a Swiss citizen in 1901 and avoided Swiss military service on the grounds that he had flat feet and varicose veins.
 In January 1902 Mileva had a daughter Lieserl at her parents home in Hungary, but they put her up for adoption and she disappeared from the records. He worked at the Swiss patent office in Bern from 1902-1909 and completed a number of publications in theoretical physics, written in his spare time without close contact with scientific literature or colleagues. In 1905 Einstein earned a doctorate from the University of Zurich for a thesis 'On a new determination of molecular dimensions' and his Special Theory of Relativity was born. On June 30th, he submitted his paper, "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" to the leading German physics journal. At age 26, he formulated the equation e=mc2. In 1908 he sent a second paper to the University of Bern and became a lecturer there. Einstein then became associate professor of physics at the University of Zurich. In that period Einstein’s father died 1902, he married Mileva 1903 and they had a son Hans Albert 1904. A second son Eduard was born in 1910. In 1911 they move to Prague and on to Zurich in 1912.

Einstein was recognized throughout German-speaking Europe as a leading scientific thinker and went on to professorships at the German University of Prague and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. In 1914 he took up the most prestigious and best-paying professorship at the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gesellschaft in Berlin. Albert and Mileva divorced in1914, WWI began and the following year he completed the General Theory of Relativity. In 1917 he nearly died, but was nursed back to health by his cousin, Elsa whom he married on May 29, 1919. That year British eclipse expeditions confirmed his predictions, Einstein was mobbed by the popular press and The London Times ran the headline on 7 November 1919:-
'Revolution in science - New theory of the Universe - Newtonian ideas overthrown.'
 He was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1922. At 53 his is identified as a Jew and he began to feel the effect of Nazi Germany, so in 1933 they moved to Princeton in the United States, but Elsa died in 1936. When WWII began Einstein wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt warning that Germany could develop an atomic bomb and urged him to undertake nuclear research. This contributed to Roosevelt's decision to fund the Manhattan Project. He became an American Citizen in 1940 but retained his Swiss citizenship. In 1944 he made a contribution to the war effort by hand writing his 1905 paper on special relativity and putting it up for auction. It raised six million dollars, the manuscript is in the Library of Congress.
  His first wife Mileva died in 1949 and on April 16,1955 Einstein died of heart failure. Einstein was cremated at Trenton, New Jersey at 4 pm on the day of his death. His ashes were scattered at an undisclosed location. He left his scientific papers to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, which he had raised funds for, served as a governor of from 1925 to 1928 but he had turned down a post there in 1933 being critical of its administration. Also after the death of the first president of Israel in 1952, the Israeli government offered the presidency to Einstein. He refused.
During his life he travelled constantly, changed his citizenship several times, was a pacifist, a Zionist and changed man's view of the universe.

"He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable an ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder." -- Albert Einstein

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." -- Albert Einstein
Einstein's Brain

Other Scientist's Biographies here.
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