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Friday, 26 December 2014

Albert Einstein

Dr Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, a city in the kingdom of Württemberg in the German empire.


His parents were Hermann Einstein, who was in the then very new electrical engineering business and Pauline, a musician whose maiden name was Koch. The family was Jewish (and non-observant).

Albert was unable to speak until the age of three when at supper one night he broke his silence to say "The soup is too hot." His parents asked why he hadn't talked before. "Because up to now everything was in order," he replied.

Einstein at the age of 3 in 1882

Young Albert was known as "Beider Meier" (Honest John) because of his prodigiously accurate way of speaking.

Young Albert enjoyed building card towers and doing jigsaws as a child.

At the age of five, Albert's father showed him a pocket compass, and the young Einstein realized that something in "empty" space acted upon the needle; he would later describe the experience as one of the most revelatory of his life.


Albert attended a Munich Catholic elementary school where he was considered a slow learner, possibly due to dyslexia, simple shyness, or the significantly rare and unusual structure of his brain.

Two of his uncles fostered Albert's intellectual interests during his late childhood and early adolescence by suggesting and providing books on science and mathematics.

In 1894, following the failure of Hermann's electrochemical business, the Einsteins moved from Munich to Pavia, Italy (near Milan). Albert remained behind alone in Munich lodgings to finish school.

Albert completed only one term before leaving school in spring 1895, without telling his parents. He convinced the school to let him go with a medical note from a friendly doctor, but this meant he had no secondary-school certificate.

Despite excelling in the mathematics and science portion, Albert failed the liberal arts portion of the entrance exams to Zurich's polytechnic at his first attempt. He was sent by his family to Aarau, Switzerland, to finish secondary school, where he received his diploma in September 1896.

Albert finally entered the Swiss National Polytechnic in Zurich at the age of 17.  He did not enjoy the methods of instruction there and often missed classes, using the time to study physics on his own or to play his beloved violin.

Albert Einstein worked for a bit of extra pocket money at Munich's Oktoberfest in 1896. His worked involved screwing in light bulbs in the Schottenhamel tent and helping construct the first light installation on the festival grounds

Albert passed his examinations and graduated in 1900 by studying the notes of a classmate. His professors did not think highly of him and would not recommend him for a university position.

In 1905 Einstein received his doctorate from the University of Zurich for a theoretical dissertation on the dimensions of molecules.


Upon graduation, Einstein could not find a teaching post, mostly because his brashness as a young man had apparently irritated most of his professors. The father of a classmate helped him obtain employment as a technical assistant examiner at the Swiss Patent Office in Berne.

In 1909 Einstein was appointed Lecturer in Theoretical Physics at the University of Zurich.

In 1911 Einstein was offered the better paid Professorship in Prague but he was unhappy because of anti-semitic problems there so switched to his old Zurich Polytechnic as professor.

Between 1913-33 Einstein worked as Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin. He earned a great deal of money and still had plenty of time to research. In 1933 Einstein was deprived of his post by the Nazis.

In 1922 Einstein was appointed to the League of Nations commission for intellectual co-operation. He resigned a year later when the League refused to act on France's occupation of the Ruhr

In 1933 Einstein was appointed Director of Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey.

Albert Einstein's inferior parietal lobe, the part of the brain that is linked to math and spatial processing, was 15% wider than normal.


In 1905 Einstein published in the physics journal Annalen de Physik (Annals of Physics) four papers on the production and transformation of light and on the electro dynamics of moving bodies.

His revolutionary papers explained the photo electric effect by showing that the light in both particle and wave form moves by tiny particles of light (photons). Einstein also issued a hypothesis that the velocity of light is independent of the motion of the observer who measures it. His third paper On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, introduced special relativity.

Albert Einstein's fourth paper Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content? which revealed the relationship between energy and mass was published on November 21, 1905. This led to the equation E=mc².

This was all thought through whilst working as a clerk in a Swiss patent office. Einstein worked out his theories on scraps of paper when his employer wasn't looking.

His papers only caused a small stir in the academic world. The critics doubted a young patent clerk's views who had not been inside a laboratory since his university days.

Was  E=MC2 where E=energy. C= speed of light, M=mass, the greatest formula ever or blown up out of proportion?
1.) It proved the equivalence of energy and mass and by showing a small mass can be converted into a huge amount of energy, was responsible for the invention of the atom bomb.
2.) It revealed the secret of the sun. E=MC2 explained why it is still burning as huge quantities of light and heat could still be liberated with loss of a very small mass.
3.) E=MC2 demonstrated that time, mass and dimension alter depending on speed travelling. A man travelling at 161,000 miles a second his watch would go exactly twice as fast as a stationary man's watch. He would also be half his usual length but everything he carried to test it out would also be half its usual length. (His tape measure would shrink in the same proportion) so he'd be unaware of any change.

In 1907, while still working at the patent office, Einstein had what he would call his "happiest thought". He realized that the principle of relativity could be extended to gravitational fields.

By 1913 Einstein was an international figure due to the continuing results of his research being published.

Whilst working on his General Theory of Relativity during World War One, Einstein lived on coffee, cheap sausages and rolls.

Albert Einstein needed ten hours of sleep per night or eleven hours if was planning to do mathematical work the next day.

Ten years after Einstein had shown how motion warps space and time, Einstein combined this with another observation: that gravity’s effects on a body with mass cannot be distinguished from the effects of an acceleration. He concluded that gravity is a product of warped space-time.

After three years of working day and night on his General Theory of Relativity, Einstein collapsed with stomach pains and within two months he had lost four stone.

Einstein published his General Theory of Relativity on March 20, 1915 in the German scientific journal Annalen der Physik.

On November 25, 1915, Albert Einstein presented his equations of general relativity to the Prussian Academy Of Sciences.

Based on calculations Einstein made in 1911, about his new theory of general relativity, light from another star would be bent by the Sun's gravity. In 1919 that prediction was confirmed by Sir Arthur Eddington during the solar eclipse of May 29th.

In 1917 Einstein had introduced an extra term into his equations, the cosmological constant, to balance out gravity and produce a static universe that is neither expanding nor contracting. Five years later, Alexander Friedmann, a Russian mathematician, introduced the idea of an expanding universe that contained moving matter after discovering a solution to Einstein’s general relativity field equations. Friedmann found this after he realized to his amazement Einstein had made an elementary algebraic error that caused him to overlook a solution to his own equations. He had divided by zero at one point in his calculations, a mathematical impossibility.

At first, Einstein thought that the expanding universe solution was erroneous, but he later agreed that they were in fact correct, and indeed that they shed new light on the whole subject.

In 1921, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Although relativity is his most widely remembered achievement, Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers (along with over 150 non-scientific works). The Nobel Prize in Physics he received was "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect"—a pivotal step in the evolution of quantum theory. Einstein's relativity was considered still somewhat controversial at the time.

He delivered his first lecture in Britain in 1921 to 1,000 people at Manchester. Einstein spoke without notes in German for 48 minutes.

Patent number US1781541 was awarded to Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd for their invention, the Einstein refrigerator on November 11, 1930. An absorption refrigerator which has no moving parts, the Einstein refrigerator operates at constant pressure, and requires only a heat source to operate.
The refrigerator was not immediately put into commercial production, the most promising of their patents being quickly bought up by the Swedish company Electrolux. A few demonstration units were constructed from other patents.

After going into exile 100 Nazi professors published a book condemning his theory of relativity. "If I were wrong". said the unconcerned Einstein "One professor would have been enough."

The last twenty years of Einstein's life was spent unsuccessfully attempting to find a unified theory, which brought together an explanation for the four forces in nature. - gravity, electromagnetism and the weak and strong nuclear forces. In 1949 he published his findings but admitted his new theory could not be tested experimentally

As Einstein was reluctant to sign autographs he charged people a dollar before signing anything. He gave the proceeds to charity.

A young friend of Einstein's proudly presented his 18-month-old son to the great scientist. The child looked up into the old man's smiling face and promptly began to heal. Einstein patted him on the head and said fondly "you're the first person for years who has told me what you really think of me."

Einstein worked until a few hours before his death, and he left 12 pages along his bedside. The last line in those pages was the last equation he ever wrote.


Albert Einstein had a classic scientist appearance with his black, later grey, hair awry and eyes gazing past onlookers. He was 5' 9¼" (1.76 m), thick set, solidly built, pale, sallow complexion.

Einstein used to wash and shave with the same soap as he claimed using two kinds would needlessly complicate life.

He minimized his wardrobe so that he would not need to waste time in deciding on what to wear.

Albert Einstein never wore sock as he deemed them unnecessary.. He gave them up as a child, annoyed at the holes made by big toes.

Albert Einstein was much respected for his kind and friendly demeanor rooted in his pacifism. He was modest about his abilities, and had distinctive attitudes and fashions.

He was the stereotypical "absent-minded professor"; Einstein was often forgetful of everyday items, such as keys, and would focus so intently on solving physics problems that he would often become oblivious to his surroundings.

He occasionally had a playful sense of humour. On Einstein's 72nd birthday in 1951, an unknown UPI photographer was trying to coax him into smiling for the camera. Having done this for the photographer many times that day, Einstein stuck out his tongue instead.


At Zurich polytechnic Einstein met a young Serbian from Hungary, Mileva Marić. Mileva was shy, thin and exotic with thick dark hair and was to become an accomplished physicist. They would work together in the laboratory long after other students had left. Albert called her "Street Urchin" or "Little Frog".

In 1902 Mileva had an illegitimate daughter, Lieser, who was born mentally handicapped and sent away for adoption. The fate of Lieser is unknown: some believe she died in infancy of scarlet fever, while others believe she was adopted by a friend or family member.

Einstein married Mileva Marić on January 6, 1903. Einstein's marriage to Marić was both a personal and intellectual partnership: Einstein referred to Mileva as "a creature who is my equal and who is as strong and independent as I am."

Albert and Mileva Einstein, 1912

Einstein had around ten mistresses and famously told Mileva to "expect neither intimacy nor fidelity."

On May 14, 1904, the couple's first son, Hans Albert Einstein, was born. Hans became a professor of hydraulic engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, having little interaction with his father.

Albert Einstein and Mileva with Hans Albert, 1904.

Their second son Eduard was born in 1908. He was institutionalized for schizophrenia and died in an asylum.

Mileva was the unacknowledged co-discover of relativity. However her loss of a daughter and Einstein's lack of recognition of her talents in physics helped shoehorn her into depression.

Albert and earnest reserved Mileva had little in common. When he moved to Berlin in 1913 the increasingly sullen and uncommunicative Mileva refused to move with him.

Einstein had already began a relationship with a second cousin, Elsa Löwenthal, a plumpish yellow haired widow with two daughters from her first marriage. They began seeing each other at Easter 1912

Elsa was three years older than Albert and she nursed him to health after he suffered a partial nervous breakdown combined with a severe stomach ailment.

Einstein divorced Mileva on February 14, 1919. He persuaded her to agree to the divorce by offering her the money he would hopefully some day receive if he ever won a Nobel Prize. After thinking it over for a week, she accepted and got the money when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921

He married Elsa on June 2, 1919. They had no children from this marriage, but Albert adopted her two daughters, Ilsa and Margot. when they were both around eleven years old.

Elsa Einstein with her husband, Albert Einstein.

The motherly Elsa had a warm, sympathetic manner and was an excellent manager of Einstein at home and on his travels. However their marriage was undermined by Einstein's womanising.

Elsa was once asked if she understood her husband's theory of relativity. "No" she replied loyally, "but I know my husband. I know he can be trusted." Elsa died in 1936.

Einstein on Relativity “When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, you think it’s only a minute. But when you sit on a hot stove for a minute, you think it’s two hours."

His best friend was Nobel Prize winning German physicist Max Born, the Grandad of Olivia Newton John.


Einstein had a deep love of music, he relaxed by listening to Mozart and violin pieces by Yehudi Menuhin.

An accomplished violinist, Einstein played Bach and Mozart with feeling and insight and with an excellent sense of rhythm.

During his time in Princeton, New Jersey, Einstein used to play his violin in a string quartet. One of the other players complained of him. "He can't count".

By E. O. Hoppe (1878-1972). Published on LIFE -

Einstein once invited some friends to attend the Metropolitan opera. Halfway through the second act he became bored and excused himself to get some fresh air. Once outside the absent minded scientist got into his car and drove home forgetting his friends whom he had driven. They had to take a late train home.

Einstein was said to be a huge fan of the legendary Bob Clampett television show, Time For Beany. It is believed that he once ended a meeting with scientists by saying, "Pardon me, gentlemen, but it's Time for Beany!"

Einstein devoted much of his library space to books on mathematical games.

He disliked competitive games even chess.

Albert Einstein never learned to swim, but enjoyed sailing as a hobby.

When he was in his 70s Einstein tried to cheer up a depressed pet parrot by telling it jokes.

Einstein came from a family of non active Jews. Though he didn’t belief in a Heaven or a Hell he later admitted, “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a Spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe. A Spirit vastly superior to that of man and one in the face of which we modest powers feel humble.”

Einstein named the 17th century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza as the thinker most influential on his world view. When asked by a Rabbi if he believed in God, the renowned physicist replied "I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings."

Einstein's Theory of Relativity says that time can actually be altered, sped up or slowed down when objects travel at speeds close to that of light. This would suggest that it is possible that God and other heavenly beings such as angels can operate outside the limits of time and space.

Einstein: "Science without religion is lame . Religion without science is blind."  My Later Years 1950.

He expressed concern of the expansion of German naturalism. Einstein considered himself a pacifist, a humanitarian, and in later years, a committed democratic socialist.

In the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s Einstein spoke out on the need for the nation's intellectuals to make any sacrifice necessary to preserve political freedom.

Einstein sent a letter to Roosevelt on August 2, 1939 suggesting America start researching the atom bomb with war looking imminent in order to prevent Germany making it first. Roosevelt agreed to set up the project to build the bomb under Oppenheimer, with Einstein's special theory of relativity forming its theoretical basis.

A copy of the letter

Einstein reacted to the destructive elements of the atom bomb by saying. "If only I had known I should have become a watchmaker."

After World War Two Einstein campaigned for abolition of all nuclear weapons.

Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel in 1952. He refused as he had "no head for problems" and was too naive.

The FBI has over 1,800 pages on tracking Albert Einstein.


Enistein moved with his parents at the age of one to Munich where his father and his uncle founded Elektrotechnische Fabrik J. Einstein & Cie, a company that manufactured electrical equipment based on direct current.

His family moved to Milan in 1894 after Einstein's father's business failed then onto Zurich and Berlin.

When working as an office patent clerk between 1903 and 05. Einstein lived at Kramgasse 49 Berne. It is, now the Einstein House Museum.

Einstein said in an address to Sorbonne: "If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare me as a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew."

In 1917 during World War I, Einstein he developed a new type of aerofoil section for a German aircraft manufacturer. It was not a great success.

In 1917 Einstein moved into a flat opposite Elsa's in the same building on Haberland Strasse 5 in Berlin. During World War II Einstein's house there was completely destroyed in an air raid.

Einstein was granted an American visa on December 5, 1932. He visited the United States the following year and when Adolf Hitler came to power the Jewish theoretical physicist did not go back to Germany. A price of 20,000 marks was placed on Einstein's head.

Portrait taken in 1935 in Princeton

Einstein finally became an American citizen in 1940. but retained his Swiss citizenship.

When the US entered World War II, Einstein was living at Old Grove Rd., Nassau Point, Peconic, Long Island as an American citizen under an assumed name to avoid the attentions of journalists.

Einstein never learned to drive a car.

In 1922, Einstein and his wife Elsa boarded the S.S. Kitano Maru bound for Japan. The trip also took them to other ports including Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

From the 1920s he lectured all over the world and Einstein was in California when Hitler came to power in 1933.

Once when visiting Mount Wilson observatory in California with Elsa, Mrs Einstein pointed to a complex piece of equipment and asked its purpose. The guide said that it was used to determine the shape of the universe. "Oh" she said not at all impressed. "My husband uses the back of an old envelope to work that one out. "


Einstein was wary of doctors and medicine and he suffered life long stomach pains due to a weakness in the wall of a major abdominal blood vessel.

After a long illness Einstein was admitted to a hospital in Princeton. He died during the night of April 18, 1955, when his weakness in the wall of a major abdominal blood vessel burst.

The only person present at Einstein's deathbed, a hospital nurse, said that just before his death he mumbled several words in German that she did not understand.

Einstein was cremated without ceremony on the same day he died at Trenton, New Jersey in accordance with his wishes. His ashes were scattered at an undisclosed location.

Einstein's eyes were removed during his autopsy and stored in a safety deposit box. They were put up for auction in 1994.

His brain was removed, cut into 240 pieces which were pickled and sent around America to be studied by specialists. Many of the remains were found in the 1970s inside an old cider carton in a doctor's office.


The Super Furry Animals 1997 single “Hermann Loves Pauline” about Einstein's parents got to #26 in the UK charts.

Kelly Clarkson's mid tempo jam “Einstein” finds her singing about a deadbeat boyfriend. "I may not be Einstein but dumb + dumb ='s YOU!"

The fifth verse of Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row" finds him imagining a washed-up Albert Einstein living on Desolation Row.

"Einstein A Go-Go" was a #5 hit in the UK for British group Landscape in 1982.

In the film Insignificance, (originally a play by Terry Johnson)  Marilyn Monroe explains relativity to Einstein in a New York hotel room in 1954 with the help of clockwork trains and balloons.

In the comedy Young Einstein, where the scientist is played by Yahoo Serious, he invents a way of putting froth on beer and falls in love with Marie Curie.

Phillip Glass's opera "Einstein on the Beach" was premiered on July 25, 1976, at the Avignon Festival in France.

The face of ET was designed by Steven Spielberg by putting Einstein's eyes and forehead onto a picture of a baby.

Yoda, from Star Wars, was modeled after the appearance of Albert Einstein.


Einstein had a chemical element, Einsteinium, named after him.

 In a 1999 Reuters poll of leading figures in politics, business and the arts Einstein was named "Personality of the Millennium."

In 1999, Einstein was named "Person of the Century" by Time magazine.

Albert Einstein is an anagram of Ten elite brains.

Sources Toastmasters Quips and Stories , Daily Telegraph, Cassells Book of Humorous QuotationsReaders Digest Did you Know?The Faber Book of Anecdotes, Encarta Encyclopedia.

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