Biography - Albert Einstein Biography



Born in Ulm, Wurttemberg, Germany in 1879, Albert Einstein developed the special and general theories of relativity. In 1921, he won the Nobel Prize for physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. Einstein is generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century. He died on April 18, 1955, in Princeton, New Jersey. CONTENTS Synopsis Early Life Marriage and Family Miracle Year Theory of Relativity Move to the United States Final Years QUOTES The world is a dangerous place to live not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who dont do anything about it. - Albert Einstein « prev1 / 3next » Early Life Born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Wurttemberg, Germany, Albert Einstein grew up in a secular, middle-class Jewish family. His father, Hermann Einstein, was a salesman and engineer who, with his brother, founded Elektrotechnische Fabrik J. Einstein & Cie, a company that manufactured electrical equipment in Munich, Germany. His mother, the former Pauline Koch, ran the family household. Einstein had one sister, Maja, born two years after him. Einstein attended elementary school at the Luitpold Gymnasium in Munich, where he excelled in his studies. He enjoyed classical music and played the violin. However, he felt alienated and struggled with the rigid Prussian education he received there. He also experienced a speech difficulty, a slow cadence in his speaking where hed pause to consider what to say next. In later years, Einstein would write about two events that had a marked effect on his childhood. One was an encounter with a compass at age five, where he marveled at the invisible forces that turned the needle. The other was at age 12, when he discovered a book of geometry which he read over and over. In 1889, the Einstein family invited a poor medical Polish medical student, Max Talmud to come to their house for Thursday evening meals. Talmud became an informal tutor to young Albert, introducing him to higher mathematics and philosophy. One of the books Talmud shared with Albert was a childrens science book in which the author imagined riding alongside electricity that was traveling inside a telegraph wire. Einstein began to wonder what a light beam would look like if you could run alongside it at the same speed. If light were a wave, then the light beam should appear stationary, like a frozen wave. Yet, in reality, the light beam is moving. This paradox led him to write his first scientific paper at age 16, The Investigation of the State of Aether in Magnetic Fields. This question of the relative speed to the stationary observer and the observer moving with the light was a question that would dominate his thinking for the next 10 years. In 1894, Hermann Einsteins company failed to get an important contract to electrify the city of Munich and he was forced to move his family to Milan, Italy. Albert was left at a boarding house in Munich to finish his education at the Luitpold Gymnasium. Alone, miserable, and repelled by the looming prospect of military duty when he turned of age, Albert withdrew from school using a doctors note to excuse him and made his way to Milan to join his parents. His parents sympathized with his feelings, but were concerned about the enormous problems that he would face as a school dropout and draft dodger with no employable skills.

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