Albert Einstein was born on March 5, 1979 in Ulm, Germany.
He was the first child of Hermann and Pauline Einstein.
Although he attended school as a child, he also had Judaism and violin instruction at
At twelve he had taught himself, without tutor or guide, geometry and algebra, and at
fifteen in infinitesimal calculus.
At the age of 16 he did poorly on a qualifying exam to train as an electrical engineer.
He stayed in school and came up with a new plan for his future. Einstein decided to
study mathematics and physics so that he could later become a teacher.
Einstein assumed that he might be good at this because he could think abstractly
and was not good at things that involved the use of creativity and were practical.
Pauline, her mother, played the piano and transmitted to her son her love for music,
among other qualities such as her "perseverance and patience".
From her father, Hermann, he also inherited certain characters such as generosity
and kindness that characterized Albert.
In 1896 he renounced his German citizenship. He was not a citizen of any country
until in 1901 he became a Swiss citizen.
In 1900 he graduated as a professor of mathematics and physics. His teachers didn't
hold him in high regard, so he had trouble getting recommended for a job at the
In 1901 he took a job as a temporary high school teacher and married Mileva
The couple had two children before divorcing. Einstein later married his cousin Elsa
From 1902 to 1909, Einstein worked at the patent office in Bern, Sweden. While
working at the patent office, he published many articles on theoretical physics.
In 1905 he obtained his doctorate in Physics and Philosophy at the Federal Institute of
Technology in Zurich under the supervision of Alfred Kleiner.
In 1905, Einstein wrote a paper on what is now known as the special theory of relativity.
This work contains two hypotheses. The first says that the laws of physics must be the
same in any frame of reference. The second hypothesis says that the speed of light is a
Later that year, Einstein also showed how mass and energy are equivalent.
In 1909 he finally obtained a position at a university when he became a member of the
faculty of the University of Zurich.
In 1911, Einstein taught at the Carl-Ferdinand University in Prague. The following year
he returned to Germany to continue his work.
In 1916 Einstein published his general theory of relativity. This theory connected
gravity, acceleration and space-time (four dimensions). With this theory he was able to
account for the variations in the orbital motions of the planets.
He also predicted that light from stars close to a massive object like the Sun could be
bent. This was confirmed in 1919 during a solar eclipse. This further increased the
adulation with which the press viewed Einstein.
He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for his work on the photoelectric effect.
This work proposed that light was made up of particles called photons.
Einstein later proposed that the energy contained in a photon is proportional to the
frequency of the radiation.
Einstein was not only a scientist, he was also a social activist and a humanist.
He spoke out against Germany's participation in World War I. In 1920 a
demonstration interrupted a class taught by Einstein in Berlin.
There was also increasing criticism of his work by certain Germans. Einstein felt
that the interruptions and criticism stemmed from the fact that he was Jewish.
Einstein traveled the world lecturing and raising funds for a planned Hebrew
University in Jerusalem.
His hectic lifestyle led to his physical collapse in 1928.
By 1930 he was again touring the world, especially the United States. On one
of these visits he was offered a position at Princeton University in New Jersey.
Einstein accepted, believing that he could spend seven months a year in
Munich and five in the United States.
In December 1932 he left for the United States. Within a month of his
departure, the Nazis took control of Germany. Einstein never returned to
In 1935, Einstein obtained permanent residence in the United States and
became a citizen in 1940.
In 1944 he allowed the manuscripts of his 1905 theory of relativity to be put up
for auction. They sold for six million dollars, which he donated to efforts to win
World War II.
Einstein's health deteriorated in 1949.
His health was so deteriorated that he was offered the presidency of
Israel in 1952 and he could not accept.
In 1955, a week before his death, he agreed to put his name on a
manifesto calling for an end to nuclear war.
He passed away in April 1955 in Princeton, New Jersey. Einstein was
cremated and his ashes scattered in an unknown location.
Alfonseca, Manuel (1996). Diccionario Espasa 1000 grandes científicos.
Madrid: Espasa Calpe.
Archibald Wheeler, J. (1980) “Albert Einstein: a Biographical Memoir”.
National Academy of Sciences.
Einstein, A. (1920) “Relativity: The Special and General Theory”. Henry
Holt and Company.
Weinstein, G. (2012) “Albert Einstein’s Methodology”. Research Gate.
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