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Albert Einstein Biography
Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 and died on April 17, 1955. During this time he changed the way the world thinks. Few names are as famous as Einstein in the world of science, and his contributions are taught in schools alongside Galileo and Hippocrates. It is quite an honor for a man who is only 55 years old in this world, and makes the life of Albert Einstein of great interest.
Albert was born in Germany into a family of non-practicing Jews. He was a brilliant mind from the start and always curious about how the world worked around him. A poor medical student tutored him for six years in his late childhood and early teens, and enthusiastically taught him all he could about the many educational pursuits that interested young Albert.
After dropping out of high school after arguing with his father about becoming an electrical engineer, which he felt didn’t allow for enough creative thinking, Albert tried to get into a university. Although he got excellent grades in math and science, he failed the exam overall and his family paid him to complete his high school education at another institute.
To avoid German military service during World War I, Einstein renounced his German citizenship in 1917 and moved to Switzerland to pursue studies in mathematics and science. There he met his future wife, the only student in the program out of six. A child was born out of wedlock to the couple in 1902, but its existence and future are unknown after 1903.
In 1903 Einstein married his first wife, Mileva Maric. In 1904 and 1910 they had two sons, then separated in 1914. They divorced in 1919. Then in 1919 he married Elsa Lowenthal, a woman who was his first cousin on one side and his first cousin on the other. In 1933 they emigrated to the United States, and by the end of 1936 Elsa had died of heart problems.
Returning to Germany after separating from his first wife, Einstein was forced to flee for his life in 1933 when the Nazis took over the country. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921, but his Jewish background made him undesirable for the Nazis. He was just one of fourteen Nobel laureates and 26 of 60 professors of theoretical physics nationwide who were forced to do so. He did it with a $5,000 bounty on his head.
In 1939, Einstein spoke out in favor of the construction by the allies of a nuclear bomb. He said he only did so because he felt there was a significant risk of the Germans resorting to such devices, and later expressed regret for doing so. In 1940, he became an American citizen and became a professor at Princeton.
Einstein worked in theoretical physics throughout his academic career. Although he is best known for his work on relativity which earned him the distinction of a Nobel Prize, he also worked on fundamental elements of our scientific understanding such as photons (the particles of which light is composed) and thermodynamics. His scientific achievements were, like all great achievements, initially viewed with skepticism. But many leading experts in the field supported him, and many of his theories gained wide acceptance over time.
Albert Einstein died on April 17, 1955 of a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. Internal bleeding caused his death. He was offered surgery to possibly correct the problem, but said he thought artificially prolonging life was “tasteless” and it was time to go.
By necessity, any Albert Einstein biography of less than a hundred pages touches on only a few of the most important events in the great man’s life. But even in a brief cover, it’s easy to see how a boy who constantly wondered how the world works managed to understand some of the most important principles of science. Maybe we should all ask more questions.
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