Albert Einstein was born at Ulm, in Württemberg, Germany, on March 14,
Six weeks later the family moved to Munich, where he later on began his
schooling at the Luitpold Gymnasium. Later, they moved to Italy and Albert
continued his education at Aarau,
Switzerland and in 1896 he entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in
Zurich to be trained as a teacher in physics and mathematics. In 1901, the year
he gained his diploma, he acquired Swiss citizenship and, as he was unable to
find a teaching post, he accepted a position as technical assistant in the Swiss
Patent Office. In 1905 he obtained his doctor's degree.
During his stay at the Patent Office, and in his spare time, he produced much of
his remarkable work and in 1908 he was appointed Privatdozent in Berne. In 1909
he became Professor Extraordinary at Zurich, in 1911 Professor of Theoretical
Physics at Prague, returning to Zurich in the following year to fill a similar
post. In 1914 he was appointed Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Physical Institute
and Professor in the University of Berlin. He became a German citizen in 1914
and remained in Berlin until 1933 when he renounced his citizenship for
political reasons and emigrated to America to take the position of Professor of
Theoretical Physics at Princeton*. He became a United
States citizen in 1940 and retired from his post in 1945.
After World War II, Einstein was a leading figure in the World Government
Movement, he was offered the Presidency of the State of Israel, which he
declined, and he collaborated with Dr. Chaim Weizmann in establishing the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem.
Einstein always appeared to have a clear view of the problems of physics and the
determination to solve them. He had a strategy of his own and was able to
visualize the main stages on the way to his goal. He regarded his major
achievements as mere stepping-stones for the next advance.
At the start of his scientific work, Einstein realized the inadequacies of
Newtonian mechanics and his special theory of relativity stemmed from an attempt
to reconcile the laws of mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field.
He dealt with classical problems of statistical mechanics and problems in which
they were merged with quantum theory: this led to an explanation of the Brownian
movement of molecules. He investigated the thermal properties of light with a
low radiation density and his observations laid the foundation of the photon
theory of light.
In his early days in Berlin, Einstein postulated that the correct interpretation
of the special theory of relativity must also furnish a theory of gravitation
and in 1916 he published his paper on the general theory of relativity. During
this time he also contributed to the problems of the theory of radiation and
Albert Einstein, 1905
In the 1920's,
Einstein embarked on the construction of unified field theories, although he
continued to work on the probabilistic interpretation of quantum theory, and he
persevered with this work in America. He contributed to statistical mechanics by
his development of the quantum theory of a monatomic gas and he has also
accomplished valuable work in connection with atomic transition probabilities
and relativistic cosmology.
Albert Einstein, 1920
After his retirement he continued to work towards the unification of the basic
concepts of physics, taking the opposite approach, geometrisation, to the
majority of physicists.
Einstein's researches are, of course, well chronicled and his more important
works include Special Theory of Relativity (1905), Relativity
(English translations, 1920 and 1950), General Theory of Relativity
(1916), Investigations on Theory of Brownian Movement (1926), and The
Evolution of Physics (1938). Among his non-scientific works, About
Zionism (1930), Why War? (1933), My Philosophy (1934), and
Out of My Later Years (1950) are perhaps the most important.
Albert Einstein received honorary doctorate degrees in science, medicine and
philosophy from many European and American universities. During the 1920's he
lectured in Europe, America and the Far East and he was awarded Fellowships or
Memberships of all the leading scientific academies throughout the world. He
gained numerous awards in recognition of his work, including the Copley Medal of
the Royal Society of London in 1925, and the Franklin Medal of the Franklin
Institute in 1935.
Albert Einstein, at Princeton
Einstein's gifts inevitably resulted in his dwelling much in intellectual
solitude and, for relaxation, music played an important part in his life. He
married Mileva Maric in 1903 and they had a daughter and two sons; their
marriage was dissolved in 1919 and in the same year he married his cousin, Elsa
Löwenthal, who died in 1936. He died on April 18, 1955 at Princeton, New Jersey.
Albert Einstein Named Person of the Century on the cover of TIME Magazine
(December 31, 1999 Vol. 154 No. 27)
Matter can be
changed into energy. The famous scientist Albert Einstein created the
mathematical formula that explains this.
This equation says:
stands for the speed of light.
means c times c, or the speed
of light raised to the second power -- or c-squared.]
"It followed from the special theory of relativity that mass and energy are both
but different manifestations of the same thing -- a somewhat unfamiliar
conception for the average mind. Furthermore, the equation E is equal to m
c-squared, in which energy is put equal to mass, multiplied by the square of the
velocity of light, showed that very small amounts of mass may be converted into
a very large amount of energy and vice versa. The mass and energy were in fact
equivalent, according to the formula mentioned above. This was demonstrated by
Cockcroft and Walton in 1932, experimentally."
Frequently Asked Questions About
Question: When was
Albert Einstein born?
Answer: Albert Einstein was born on 14 March 1879.
Question: Where was he born?
Answer: He was born in Ulm, Germany.
Question: When did he die?
Answer: He died 18 April 1955 in Princeton, New Jersey, USA.
Question: Who were his
Answer: His father was Hermann Einstein and his mother was Pauline
Einstein (born Koch).
Question: Did he have
any sisters and brothers?
Answer: He had one sister named Maja.
Question: Did he marry
and have children?
Answer: He was married to Mileva Marić between 1903 and 1919. They had
three children, Lieserl (born 1902), Hans Albert (born 1904) and Eduard (born
1910). He married Elsa Löwenthal in 1919 and they lived together until her death
Question: Where did he
receive his education?
Answer: He received his main education at the following schools:
Catholic elementary school in Munich, Germany (1885-1888)
Luitpold Gymnasium in Munich, Germany (1888-1894)
Cantonal school in Aarau, Switzerland (1895-1896)
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland (1896-1900)
Ph.D. from Zurich University, Switzerland (1905)
Question: When was
Albert Einstein awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics?
Answer: The Nobel Prize Awarding Institution, the Royal Swedish Academy
of Sciences, decided to reserve the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921, and
therefore no Physics Prize was awarded that year. According to the statutes, a
reserved prize can be awarded the year after, and Albert Einstein was awarded
the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922.
Question: Did Albert Einstein attend the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony?
Answer: The Nobel Prize was announced on 9 November 1922. Being too
remote from Sweden, Albert Einstein could not attend the Nobel Prize Award
Ceremony in Stockholm on 10 December the same year.
Question: For what did he receive the Nobel Prize?
Answer: Einstein was rewarded for his many contributions to theoretical
physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric
Question: What is the
Answer: The photoelectric effect is a phenomenon in which electrons are
emitted from the surface of matter (usually metals) when light shines upon it.
Einstein explained the effect by proposing that light consists of small
particles, or quanta, called photons, which carry energy that is proportional to
the frequency of light. The electrons in the matter that absorb the energy of
the photon get ejected. These findings were published in 1905 in the paper "On a
Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light".
Einstein's observations that the photoelectric effect could only be explained if
light behaves like a particle, not a wave, was instrumental in establishing the
hypothesis that light can behave both like a wave and a particle.
Question: What are the
practical applications of the photoelectric effect?
Answer: The photoelectric effect is very important for our daily life. It
is the basis for photosynthesis, which is like a very effective solar cell where
sunlight is absorbed by plants to make them grow. The effect also forms the
basis for a variety of devices such as photodiodes, which are used in light
detection within fibre optics, telecommunications networks, solar cells, imaging
and many other applications.
Question: When did he deliver his Nobel Lecture?
Answer: He gave his Nobel Lecture on 11 July 1923 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Question: What other
scientific accomplishments is Albert Einstein known for?
Answer: Albert Einstein is one of the most influential physicists in the
20th century. In 1905 Einstein published four landmark papers in
physics - on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, the special theory of
relativity and equivalence of matter and energy (E=mc2). The year
2005 was named the "World Year of Physics" in recognition of the 100th
anniversary of Einstein's publications. Einstein is also well known for his
general relativity theory published 1915 that complements his special relativity
theory of 1905.
Quotes from Albert
Quotes from Albert Einstein On Video set to Music
Imagination is more
important than knowledge.
It has become
appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity
It is harder to crack
a prejudice than an atom
Insanity: doing the
same thing over and over again and expecting different results
"If we knew what it
was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"
There are only two
ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The
other is as though everything is a miracle
If one studies too
zealously, one easily loses his pants
The hardest thing in
the world to understand is the income tax
Anyone who has never
made a mistake has never tried anything new
Everything should be
made as simple as possible, but not simpler
Education is what
remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school
The important thing is
not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing
Life is like riding a
bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving
I do not know with
what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be
fought with sticks and stones
From Nobel Lectures, Physics 1901-1921, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam,
This autobiography/biography was first published in the book series Les Prix
Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures.
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