Topic: Family, Life & ExperiencesMarriage

Last updated: April 19, 2019

Albert Einstein was a German-born physicist who made a lot of discoveries but is best known for his theory of relativity and the equation E=mc2.

He is considered one of the most influential physicists of the 20th century. He is thought to have changed the way one looks at the universe.Albert Einstein was born on March 14th, 1879 in Ulm, Germany. He was the first child born to Jewish parents Hermann and Pauline Einstein. It was clear from his early childhood that Einstein learned in a special way. He liked to do things his own way and that got him into trouble a lot of times. His personality did not fit with the strict German culture of that time. When he was still very young his family moved from Ulm to Munich where his father ran a factory.

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His mother was a talented musician who taught Einstein to play the piano and the violin. He had a younger sister named Maja, who was his lifelong friend. He had developed an interest in science and problem-solving even before he entered school. When he was about four or five years old he had his first scientific experience when his father showed him a pocket compass and he came to know that regardless of where the compass was turned, the needle always pointed north. He started his education at the age of six, when he studied in a Catholic elementary school in Munich, Germany.

He did very good at school and got top marks in his class, but he did not like the strict school life as he grew up. Einstein loved to solve the algebraic problems on his own which were taught by his uncle. He dropped out of school in 1894 and moved to Switzerland and went to school at Swiss Federal Polytechnic Institute in Zurich, and this is where he met Mileva Maric, a classmate. They fell in love and wanted to get married, but his parents were against this marriage because they believed he didn’t have enough money. They got married anyway and had three children. After he divorced Mileva, he married Elsa Lowenthal.In 1905 he was hired as a professor in the University of Zurich. The job at the patent office gave him time to think about his ideas which led to a number of papers he wrote during this time.

In 1905, at the age of twenty-six, he published four major research papers in an important German physics journal. The papers changed the people’s view of the universe forever. For this reason, 1905 is called his “miracle year”. One paper was about the nature of light where he showed that lights is made up of particles called photons. This idea formed a new branch of physics called quantum physics. Another paper proved that atoms were real. Einstein studied the movement of tiny particles made up of atoms.

His third paper was about his “special theory of relativity”, which states that gravity, as well as motion, can affect time and space. His fourth paper was about the relationship of mass and energy. Einstein wrote the world’s most famous math equation about it: E=mc2.

It means that energy can turn into mass and mass can turn into energy. His papers were published in the Annals of Physics, and scientists were amazed by his ideas. In 1915, Einstein completed the theory of general relativity. In 1921, Einstein won the Nobel Prize for his work on the photoelectric effect. In 1932, he decided to move to the United States. His last article was on the unified field theory and though he published an article on it in the Scientific American in 1950, it was unfinished as he died of an aneurysm five years later in 1955.

Einstein’s work continues to inspire scientists all around the world, and they still use his discoveries today. Physicists are still working on his “theory of everything”. Einstein invented the refrigerator which was one of the most important inventions. The theory of relativity led to the creation of nuclear fusion. Einstein’s theories, as well his equation E=mc2 formed the basis of development of the atomic bomb.

His ideas had an influence on inventions such as television, digital cameras, alarm clocks, and GPS. Einstein’s discoveries changed the world we live in today in many ways, and he truly was one the greatest physicists in history.


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