Theoretical physicist and humanitarian, Albert Einstein was born in Germany on March 14, 1879. He died of heart failure in Princeton, New Jersey on April 18, 1955. Although he spoke of himself as a “mathematical ignoramus,” he is known as a genius to the scientific community.
1. Family Life
As an infant, Albert Einstein lived with him mother and father in Ulm, Germany. His mother’s maiden name was Pauline Koch and his father was Herman Einstein. When Albert was one-year-old, he and his parents moved to Munich.
2. Early Education
When Albert was five-years-old, he attended a Catholic grammar school, although his parents were Jewish. He transferred to an advanced elementary school, named Luitpold Gymnasium. Today the school is called Albert Einstein Gymnasium. After seven years of elementary and secondary education, the Einstein family moved to Pavia, Italy. Albert stayed in Munich to complete the school year, and then joined his parents in Italy. He was 15-years-old.
3. Teen Age Years
At the age of 16, Albert Einstein attempted the entrance exam to the Swiss Federal Polytechnic located in Zurich. He passed the mathematics and physics sections but did not score high enough in the arts and languages. Unable to attend Swiss Polytechnic, Albert finished high school in Switzerland at the Aargau Cantonal School, graduating in 1896. At 17, Albert attended Zurich Polytechnic for a four-year program in math and physics, leading to a teaching certificate.
4. Albert’s First Love
While attending Zurich Polytechnic, Albert became friends with Mileva Maric, the only woman studying for the teaching diploma in math and physics. Mileva and Albert became close friends, reading and studying together and eventually falling in love. Albert received his teaching diploma in 1900 but Mileva failed her mathematics exam. Letters written between Albert and Mileva indicate that they had a daughter together in 1902 named Lieseri. She was put up for adoption and there are no records about what happened to the child. Albert Einstein and Mileva Maric were married in January 1903. They had two sons and were divorced in February 1919.
5. Professor and Researcher
After graduating from FIT, Einstein accepted a position as an assistant professor and then a full professor at a German university. The Einstein family moved to Zurich in 1912 where Albert taught Theoretical Physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. After two years, Einstein became a theoretical physics professor at the University of Berlin and the director of Kaiser Wilhelm Institute.
6. Miracle Year
At the age of 26, Albert Einstein made remarkable discoveries and theories. The year was 1905 and became known as the “Miracle Year.” It was during this time that he developed the Theory of Relativity and the equation about mass and energy, E=mc2. During this year, he published his theory, “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies.” Einstein’s explanation of the Brownian movement of molecules was also brought to light in this year.
7. Theory of Gravity
In 1911, Einstein used his relativity theory to determine that light from other stars is bent by the gravity of Sun. A British expedition confirmed Einstein’s theory when they observed an eclipse of the sun in 1919. Although Einstein’s theory was criticized during his lifetime, during the 1960’s, it became vital to scientists in comprehending black holes and uncovering the accelerating universe.
8. A Brush with Death
The world almost lost the greatest astrophysicist of all time in 1917 when Einstein collapsed from exhaustion. After his collapse, Einstein became gravely ill. His cousin, Elsa nursed him back to health and during the same year, published his first work on cosmology. He married Elsa two years later.
9. Awarded the Nobel Prize
At the age of 43, Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for 1921. The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to him for his theoretical physics theories and his work on the law of photoelectric effect.
10. Moved to the United States
Albert Einstein and his wife, Elsa moved to the United States in 1933. They settled in Princeton, New Jersey where Albert began working at the Institute for Advanced Study – Princeton. Three years after moving to Princeton, Elsa died. World War II began and in 1939, Einstein wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt predicting that Germany would build an atomic bomb. He urged the president to begin nuclear research. Albert Einstein became an American citizen in 1940.
Learn more with these Albert Einstein websites.