Albert Einstein Biography & Facts
Albert Einstein ( EYEN-styne; German: [ˈalbɛʁt ˈʔaɪnʃtaɪn] (listen); 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest and most influential physicists of all time. Einstein is best known for developing the theory of relativity, but he also made important contributions to the development of the theory of quantum mechanics. Relativity and quantum mechanics are the two pillars of modern physics. His mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2, which arises from relativity theory, has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation". His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect", a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory. His intellectual achievements and originality resulted in "Einstein" becoming synonymous with "genius".In 1905, a year sometimes described as his annus mirabilis ('miracle year'), Einstein published four groundbreaking papers. These outlined the theory of the photoelectric effect, explained Brownian motion, introduced special relativity, and demonstrated mass-energy equivalence. Einstein thought that the laws of classical mechanics could no longer be reconciled with those of the electromagnetic field, which led him to develop his special theory of relativity. He then extended the theory to gravitational fields; he published a paper on general relativity in 1916, introducing his theory of gravitation. In 1917, he applied the general theory of relativity to model the structure of the universe. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light and the quantum theory of radiation, which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light.
However, for much of the later part of his career, he worked on two ultimately unsuccessful endeavors. First, despite his great contributions to quantum mechanics, he opposed what it evolved into, objecting that "God does not play dice". Second, he attempted to devise a unified field theory by generalizing his geometric theory of gravitation to include electromagnetism. As a result, he became increasingly isolated from the mainstream of modern physics.
Einstein was born in the German Empire, but moved to Switzerland in 1895, forsaking his German citizenship (as a subject of the Kingdom of Württemberg) the following year. In 1897, at the age of 17, he enrolled in the mathematics and physics teaching diploma program at the Swiss Federal polytechnic school in Zürich, graduating in 1900. In 1901, he acquired Swiss citizenship, which he kept for the rest of his life, and in 1903 he secured a permanent position at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern. In 1905, he was awarded a PhD by the University of Zurich. In 1914, Einstein moved to Berlin in order to join the Prussian Academy of Sciences and the Humboldt University of Berlin. In 1917, Einstein became director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics; he also became a German citizen again, this time Prussian.
In 1933, while Einstein was visiting the United States, Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. Einstein, as Jewish, objected to the policies of the newly elected Nazi government; he settled in the United States and became an American citizen in 1940. On the eve of World War II, he endorsed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt alerting him to the potential German nuclear weapons program and recommending that the US begin similar research. Einstein supported the Allies but generally denounced the idea of nuclear weapons.
Life and career
Early life and education
Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, in the Kingdom of Württemberg in the German Empire, on 14 March 1879 into a family of secular Ashkenazi Jews. His parents were Hermann Einstein, a salesman and engineer, and Pauline Koch. In 1880, the family moved to Munich, where Einstein's father and his uncle Jakob founded Elektrotechnische Fabrik J. Einstein & Cie, a company that manufactured electrical equipment based on direct current.Albert attended a Catholic elementary school in Munich, from the age of five, for three years. At the age of eight, he was transferred to the Luitpold-Gymnasium (now known as the Albert-Einstein-Gymnasium), where he received advanced primary and secondary school education until he left the German Empire seven years later.In 1894, Hermann and Jakob's company lost a bid to supply the city of Munich with electrical lighting because they lacked the capital to convert their equipment from the direct current (DC) standard to the more efficient alternating current (AC) standard. The loss forced the sale of the Munich factory. In search of business, the Einstein family moved to Italy, first to Milan and a few months later to Pavia. When the family moved to Pavia, Einstein, then 15, stayed in Munich to finish his studies at the Luitpold Gymnasium. His father intended for him to pursue electrical engineering, but Einstein clashed with the authorities and resented the school's regimen and teaching method. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought was lost in strict rote learning. At the end of December 1894, he traveled to Italy to join his family in Pavia, convincing the school to let him go by using a doctor's note. During his time in Italy he wrote a short essay with the title "On the Investigation of the State of the Ether in a Magnetic Field".Einstein excelled at math and physics from a young age, reaching a mathematical level years ahead of his peers. The 12-year-old Einstein taught himself algebra and Euclidean geometry over a single summer. Einstein also independently discovered his own original proof of the Pythagorean theorem aged 12. A family tutor Max Talmud says that after he had given the 12-year-old Einstein a geometry textbook, after a short time "[Einstein] had worked through the whole book. He thereupon devoted himself to higher mathematics... Soon the flight of his mathematical genius was so high I could not follow." His passion for geometry and algebra led the 12-year-old to become convinced that nature could be understood as a "mathematical structure". Einstein started teaching himself calculus at 12, and as a 14-year-old he says he had "mastered integral and differential calculus".At the age of 13, when he had become more seriously interested in philosophy (and music), Einstein was introduced to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Kant became his favorite philosopher, his tutor stating: "At the time he was still a child, only thirteen years old, yet Kant's works, incomprehensible to ordinary mortals, seemed to be clear to him."
In 1895, at the age of 16, Einstein took the entrance examinations for the Swiss Federal polytechnic .... Discover the Albert Einstein popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Albert Einstein books.