Biography Of Einstein

This biography about Albert Einstein tells of his eccentricities & genius behind the Theory of Relativity.

Albert Einstein, generally regarded as the greatest theoretical physicist of all time, was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm in southern Germany. The Einsteins were Jewish by descent but did not practice the faith. At the age of five Albert was sent to a Catholic elementary school. His first headmaster reported that young Einstein would never amount to anything. From any early age he displayed a decided dislike for authoritarianism and convention.

At the age of ten Albert went on to the Luitpold School. Hating his school work he soon found an interest in books on Algebra given to him by a family friend. In 1894 he managed to get himself expelled from school for undermining the authority of his teachers.

In 1895 the Einsteins moved to Italy. Albert, however, attended a Swiss secondary school for a year before gaining entrance to the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. He decided to study math and physics. According to one teacher, however, young Einstein was "˜ a lazy dog who never bothered about mathematics at all.' Although he graduated, he was the only one in his class unable to get a regular academic or teaching post. In February, 1901 he became a Swiss citizen. He was, however, without a job. In 1902 he also became a father. The woman he was soon to marry, Mileva Maric bore him a daughter Lieserl. The child was adopted out.

In June, 1902 Albert took up a position as a new technical officer for the Swiss Patent office in Bern. After receiving his father's death bed permission, Albert and Mileva were married in January, 1903. Einstein spent his evenings working on physics and in 1905 published four papers on physics as well as producing his completed doctoral thesis. Early in 1908 he became an unpaid lecturer at the University of Bern and in July of 1909 he resigned from the Patent Office to become an associate Professor at the University of Zurich. Three years later he was offered a full Professorship at the University of Prague in Germany which he accepted. At Prague he had much more scope to conduct his research. Just a year later, however, he returned to Zurich, where he took up a chair at the Institute.

By now Einstein's marriage was faltering. His wife and two young boys were living apart from him. His pursuit of professional advancement made any sort of normal family life very difficult. When Albert was lured back To Germany to take up a prestigious position at the Berlin University, the marriage was effectively over.

The outbreak of the First World War put great strain on Albert. Unlike other German scientists, he publicly denounced the war and Germany's role in it. In 1917, Einstein fell ill. He was nursed back to health by his cousin, Elsa Lowenthal. A relationship developed and Elsa, who already had two daughters, married Albert in 1918.

Albert continued working on his General Theory of Relativity during the war years. On November 6, 1919 his refined theory was given the nod of approval by the Royal Society and overnight the Jewish physicist with the shock plug hair and the confusing theory became a celebrity. Within a year, more than 100 books on relativity would be published. Einstein made tours of both America and Japan over the next year, speaking to enthusiastic crowds. In 1922 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Over the next 10 years, Einstein took up various visiting posts around the world, including Oxford and California. With the growing Nazi threat in his home country, Albert was less and less inclined to spend time in Germany. In 1932 he took his family to California, never to return to Germany. He took up a position at Princeton University, where he would stay for the rest of his life. In 1936 Einstein's wife Elsa died. He coped by throwing himself into his work. In 1939, he wrote to President Roosevelt warning of the dangers of atomic weapons. After witnessing the unleashing of such power on Japan six years later, Albert Einstein retired from public life. In 1952 he was offered the Presidency of Israel but declined.

Albert Einstein died of heart failure on April 18, 1955.

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