Einstein - The Genius
Albert Einstein was born to a middle-class German family of Jewish ancestry. His
parents were concerned that he scarcely talked until the age of three, but he
was not so much a backward as a quiet child. He would build tall houses of cards
and hated playing soldier. At the age of twelve he was fascinated by a geometry
age of fifteen Albert quit high school disgusted by rote learning and martinet
teachers, and followed his family to Italy where they had moved their failing
electrotechnical business. After half a year of wandering and loafing, he attended
a congenial Swiss school. The next year he entered the Federal Institute of Technology
working hard in the laboratory but skipping lectures, Einstein graduated with
an unexceptional record. For two grim years he could find only odd jobs, but he
finally got a post as a patent examiner. He married a former classmate.
became an assistant professor at the University of Zurich, his first full-time
physics job. In 1911 he moved on to the German University of Prague. He continued
to publish important physics papers, and was beginning to meet fellow scientists,
for example, at the exclusive Solvay Conference. The next year he returned to
the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich as Professor.
year 1914, Einstein moved to Berlin, taking a research post that freed him from
teaching duties. He separated from his wife and two sons. When the First World
War broke out, Einstein rejected Germany's aggressive war aims, supporting the
formation of a pacifist group.
a decade of thought, with entire years spent in blind alleys, Einstein completed
his general theory of relativity. Overturning ancient notions of space and time,
he reached a new understanding of gravity. Meanwhile he continued to sign petitions
Germany collapsed, Einstein became more involved in politics and supported a new
progressive party. The next year he remarried. And his general theory of relativity
received stunning confirmation from British astronomers: as Einstein had predicted,
gravity bends starlight. In the popular eye he became a symbol of science and
of thought at its highest.
contributed to the struggling new quantum theory. Meanwhile, he searched for a
way to unify the theories of electromagnetism and gravity. In 1929 he announced
a unified field theory, but the mathematics could not be compared with experiments;
his struggle toward a useful theory had only begun. Meanwhile he argued with his
colleagues, challenging their belief that quantum theory can give a complete description
to live in Germany under the new Nazi government in 1933, Einstein joined the
Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He turned away from strict
pacifism, and warned world political leaders to prepare for German aggression.
He also worked to rescue Jewish and other political victims of the Nazis.
In 1939, Einstein
signed a letter that informed President F. D. Roosevelt of the possibility of
nuclear bombs, warning that the Germans might try to build them. The next year
Einstein became an American citizen. Einstein was asked to become the second
President of the State of Israel, but declined. He was supporting many causes,
such as the United Nations and world government, nuclear disarmament and civil
The search for a true unified field theory for a more profound understanding of nature continued to fill Einstein's days. While corresponding about a new anti-war project and writing a speech for Israel, he was stricken and died in 1955.