Albert Einstein Biography

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Remember the Genius - Albert Einstein

The world-famous German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Germany. He revolutionized modern physics (and quantum mechanics) with the famous thesis on the Theory of relativity and the photoelectric effect. He is widely known to the people for the mass-energy equivalence formula, E = mc2. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for his work on the photoelectric effect.


Albert Einstein's Childhood and Education

Einstein was born to a middle-class Jews family. His father, Hermann Einstein, was a featherbed salesman, and he later ran an electrochemical company. His mother, Pauline Einstein, was a homemaker. Einstein also had a sister, Maria, who was two years younger than him.


Einstein significantly recalled two events from his early life that intrigued him with his passion for science. One was at the age of five when he was first introduced to compass. He was astonished by the invisible forces that were deflecting the compass' needle. Secondly, at the age of 12, when he was fascinated by the geometry book, he even named the book a "sacred little geometry book".


Einstein was always brilliant in Maths and Physics. Although in school, he felt that the Prussian teaching method suppressed a student's creative freedom and originality. One of the most important influences that motivated him to pursue physics was his tutor, Max Talmey. Talmey introduced him to philosophy and higher mathematics.


Einstein underwent a rough patch when his father was moved from Munich to Milan because of the business contract's unfulfillment. He was left alone at a boarding house in Munich to complete his education. Feeling lonely and miserable about joining the military at the age of 16, he left Munich and went to see his parents. Einstein appeared for the entrance examination for a Polytechnic School in Zurich.


Although he could not reach the standard required for admission in the school, he excelled in maths and physics. To complete his secondary schooling, he then joined Agrovian cantonal school in Aarau, Switzerland. While schooling in Aarau, he met his future wife, Mileva Maric. They were initially good friends, which eventually later turned to romance.


Both of them had similar interests. They spent hours after hours reading books together and discussed and debated extra-curricular physics. According to Einstein, those were the golden years of his life. He met his lifelong friends, Marcel Grossman and Besso, with intense long-hour conversations about time and space.


Einstein faced hardships after he graduated in 1900. During his school life, he used to bunk classes to study subjects and their aspects beyond the classroom syllabus. This is the reason why the teacher there started a sense of hostility towards him. He was not even offered a letter of recommendation.


Therefore, Einstein was refused every academic position he applied for. During this time, his father also went bankrupt. When he decided to marry Maric, his family vehemently opposed it because of their cultural gap. In January 1902, Einstein and Maric even had a girl child together. Their child's fate is still unknown. It was assumed that she had scarlet fever and died eventually or was given to an adoption centre.


Einstein was unable to pursue his passion, he took up some tutoring jobs to support his family, but he got fired from these jobs. Slowly things were starting to get better. He was offered the position of clerk in the Swiss patent office in Bern by the father of his very close friend, Marcel Grossman. Around this time, his father's health was deteriorating. When his father was in the last days of his life, he blessed his son to marry Maric.


Einstein and Maric finally married in 1903. They had two children, Hans and Eduard, in 1904 and 1910, respectively. Despite their attachment to each other before, the couple divorced in 1919.


Albert Einstein's Achievements

He used to complete the work at the patent applications before time to give time to think about the various aspects of physics. Einstein now started focusing his mind on understanding the nature of light and the correlation between time and space. He even started a small discussion group, "The Olympia Academy" in Bern with a few of his friends he met in Berlin.


They regularly met and discussed science and philosophy. In 1905, Einstein submitted his paper for a doctorate on A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions. As a result, the University of Zurich awarded him a Ph.D. During that year itself, he even published four revolutionary papers on modern physics. The four papers were on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, equivalence of mass and energy, and on The Theory of Relativity. Therefore, 1905 is often considered a miracle year of life.


In 1908, he was appointed as the lecturer at the University of Bern and was also recognized as one of the leading scientists. Later, Einstein became a full-time professor at Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague, Germany. During that time, he was completely devoted to his study and accomplished in writing 11 scientific works.


Out of 11 of his scientific works, fiver was on radiation mathematics and the quantum theory of solids. From 1912 to 1914, he was appointed as a professor at ETH Zurich. There he taught the students thermodynamics and analytical mechanics. Simultaneously, he worked with Marcel Grossman, a mathematician and friend with whom he studied the molecular Theory of heat, gravitation, and continuum mechanics.


Based on calculations using The Theory of relativity, in 1911, he stated that the Sun's gravity bents the light from another star. His prediction in 1911 was confirmed in 1911 by Sir Arthur Eddington during the solar eclipse. Einstein eventually gained mass attention from international media. In 1921, he was also elected as a member of the Foreign Member of the Royal Society.


Although his works on The Theory of relativity were much more dynamic yet controversial, in 1922, he received Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the law of photoelectric effect. In 1925, he was awarded the Copley Medal from the Royal Society.


Einstein's Famous Inventions

  • General relativity

  • Special relativity 

  • Photoelectric Effect

  • Theory of Brownian movement

  • Mass and energy equivalence, E = mc2

  • Planck-Einstein relation, E = hf

  • Bose-Einstein condensate

  • Bose-Einstein statistics

  • Gravitational-wave

  • Cosmological constant

  • EPR paradox

  • Unified field theory

  • Ensemble interpretation

  • Einstein-de Haas effect

  • Einstein-Rosen bridge

  • Stark-Einstein law

And Many More!!


Personal Interests

In 1925, Albert Einstein established the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was the first board of Governors. He also suggested opening up an Institute of Agriculture to make use of the undeveloped land. Upon the death of their president, Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, offered Einstein the position to be the upcoming president. Einstein declined that offer.


At an early age, Einstein developed a music appreciation. In one of his journals, he even wrote that if he were not a physicist, he would have probably pursued music. At the age of 13, he admired Mozart's compositions and learned the pieces on his violin.


On political grounds, Einstein has always been a socialist and was highly critical of a capitalistic society. In 1918, he and his peers founded the German Democratic Party, a liberal party. Einstein also had a good relation with Mahatma Gandhi and appreciated his approach to succeed in India's freedom struggle.


Albert Einstein - The Nobel Prize Winner

The contribution of Albert Einstein in the field of science has been plethoric. His theories on modern physics have been revolutionary. The Theory of relativity laid the foundations for a deeper understanding of space, time, gravity, and the universe. All in all, Albert Einstein was a prolific scientist; posterity will commemorate his contributions. His innumerable contribution earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921, "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect".


Albert Einstein's Death

In 1955, Einstein had a sudden rupture of the abdominal aortic aneurysm, which caused severe internal bleeding. The doctors suggested doing surgery, but he refused it. He preferred to live life naturally rather than being on artificial support. At the age of 76, he died in Princeton Hospital, has continued to work even on his last days.

Thomas Stoltz Harvey, the pathologist of Princeton Hospital, preserved his brain to study the reason for his intelligence without asking any permission from his family members.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What is the Theory of Relativity?

Ans: Theory of Relativity, published by Albert Einstein, incorporates two interconnected theories: special relativity and general relativity. Special relativity deals with all the physical phenomena that occur in the absence of gravity. On the other hand, General relativity deals with the gravitational laws and their relation to other natural forces. It is applied to the cosmological and astronomical fields.

Q2. For Which of Einstein's Works did he Receive the Nobel Prize for Physics?

Ans: Einstein received Nobel Prize for Physics for his work on The photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect is a phenomenon where electrically charged particles are emitted when it is exposed to electromagnetic radiation. It can also be defined as the ejection or release of electrons from a metallic plate when light falls on it.

Q3. Was Einstein Part of the Manhattan Project?

Ans: Manhattan Project was the code-name for the American-led research that first led to nuclear weapons formation during World War II. It is often incorrectly rumoured that Einstein's mass-energy played a crucial role in creating atom bombs. His thesis never explained how to create a nuclear weapon. Einstein was often interrogated regarding this issue. He always answered that he only wrote to President Roosevelt suggesting the United States research atomic weapons before the Germans took control of these deadly weapons.

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