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Archive for the ‘Scientists’ Category

Albert Einstein Biography

Posted On September 20th, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was a philosopher, a theoretical physicist and an author who is considered as one of the best and the most influential scientists of all times. He is also called the ‘Father of Modern Physics’. He incepted the relativity theory and made significant contributions to the growth of quantum mechanics, cosmology and statistical mechanics. He was awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize in 1921 for his discovery of the laws of photoelectric effect and his overall contribution to theoretical physics.

Albert Einstein has published more than 150 non-scientific and 300 scientific works. In addition, he has profusely commented on several political and philosophical subjects. His innovative approach to science and great intelligence has earned him the reputation of a ‘genius’.

Early Life and Education

Albert Einstein was born on 14th March, 1879 in Ulm, a part of the German Empire. His father, Hermann Einstein, was an engineer and a salesman, whereas his mother Pauline Einstein was a housewife. The family moved to Munich in the year 1880, where his father started a company called ‘Elektrotechnische Fabrik J. Einstein & Cie’ along with his uncle. This company manufactured electrical equipments running on direct current.

Einstein belonged to the family of Jews and he attended a Catholic school from the age of 5. Even with suffering from speech difficulties, Einstein was a topper in elementary school. While growing up, Einstein built different models and mechanical devices for amusement. He also started showing a natural talent for mathematics in school. At the age of 10, he was introduced to a poor Jewish medical student called Max Talmud in the year 1889. He introduced Einstein to mathematics, philosophy and some important texts in science. His father’s company failed in 1894 and the family moved to Italy in search of a newer business.

Einstein stayed back in Munich to complete his studies at Luitpold Gymnasium. His parents wanted him to pursue a career in electrical engineering but Einstein protested against the teaching methods at school and moved back to Italy with his parents. During this time, he wrote his first scientific investigative study on ‘Aether in Magnetic Fields’.

Later on, he applied directly to ETH (Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule) in Zurich; however he lacked the pre-requisites for the program. He was required to give the entrance test where he failed even while scoring exceptional marks in physics and mathematics. His family sent him to Aarau to complete secondary school. He stayed with Professor Jost Winteler and his family. He studied about the Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetic waves. He graduated at the age of 17 and renounced his citizenship with the German Empire, so as to avoid the service in military. In 1896, Einstein enrolled for a program in physics and mathematics at a Polytechnic in Zurich and graduated in 1900.

Marriages & Family

Albert Einstein met his future wife Mileva Maric during his course at the Polytechnic in Zurich. The couple got married in January 1903 and they had two sons called Hans and Eduard. In 1914, Einstein moved to Berlin whereas his wife remained in Zurich with the sons. After living apart for five years, they divorced on 14th February, 1919. Meanwhile, Einstein had a relationship with Elsa Lowenthal since 1912. They got married on 2nd June 1919 and moved to United States. Elsa was diagnosed of serious kidney and heart problems in 1935, and she later died in December 1936.

Academic Career

Einstein wrote a paper on ‘capillary forces’ of a straw in 1901, which was published in the reputed ‘Annalen der Physik’. In 1903, he acquired a full time job as an examiner at the Swiss Patent Office. He completed his thesis on 30th April 1905 along with his professor of Experimental Physics called ‘Alfred Kleiner’. University of Zurich awarded Einstein a PhD after the completion of his dissertation on different molecular dimensions. 1905 has been a ‘miracle year’ in the life of Einstein since he published four revolutionary papers on the laws of photoelectric effect, special relativity, Brownian motion and the equivalence of energy and matter. These papers brought him a lot of recognition as far as the academic world was concerned. One of these papers on photoelectric effect also brought him the Nobel Prize in 1921.

By the year 1908, he was recognised as one of the leading scientist and was later appointed as a professor at the University of Bern. The subsequent year, he quit lectureship as well as the patent office and took up a position as a lecturer in University of Zurich. In 1911, he became a full professor at the University in Prague called Karl-Ferdinand. He was appointed as a director of the ‘Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics’ and moved back to Germany in 1914. He became the president of the ‘German Physical Society’ in 1916.

Based on his theory about general relativity, Albert Einstein had calculated that light emitted by other stars would be bent due to the gravitational force of Sun. After these calculations in 1911, Sir Arthur Eddington confirmed these observations during a solar-eclipse expedition of May 1919. Einstein became world famous after the international media reported these studies. However much later, numerous questions were raised about the accuracy of these calculations. Relativity was considered to be one of the most controversial topics of those times and hence the Nobel Prize was awarded to him for his explanation of the photoelectric laws. In addition, he was also awarded the Copley Medal in 1925, a prestigious honour from the Royal Society.

Death

Albert Einstein suffered from internal bleeding due to the rupture of the abdominal aortic aneurysm in 1948. However this was surgically reinforced by Dr. Rudolph Nissen. He experienced the same bleeding again on 17th April 1955. Einstein did not believe in surgery since he did not believe in artificial extension of life. He died at the age of 76 on the same day itself, while he was hospitalized at the Princeton Hospital. His remains were cremated but his ashes were sprinkled all around the grounds of Institute of Advanced Studies. While performing the autopsy, Thomas Stoltz Harvey, the pathologist in the Princeton Hospital removed Albert Einstein’s brain without informing his family, so that neuroscience would be able to find something that made the scientist this intelligent.


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