Albert Einstein birth anniversary: Everything you need to know about the man who created ‘the world’s most famous equation’
Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879. A man of genius, by the age of twelve he had taught himself algebra and Euclidean geometry over a single summer. The man who would go on to win the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for his services to theoretical physics and discovery of the law of photoelectric effect, showcased his genius early in life, independently discovering his own original proof of the Pythagorean theorem when he was only 12 and going on to master integral and differential calculus by the time he was 14.
While Einstein had a romantic inclination towards Marie Winteler, the daughter of his professor Jost Winteler, the relationship never bore fruit and he went on to meet his future wife Mileva Maric at the Zurich Polytechnic, where he had enrolled in a four-year mathematics and physics teaching diploma.
While studying there, the two fell in love and later married in January 1903.
Interestingly, it was later discovered that the couple had a daughter out of wedlock, but the fate of the child was never known. Various theories suggest that the child was either given up for adoption, or that she died of scarlet fever in infancy.
However, Mileva and Einstein’s relationship did not last with them divorcing on February 14, 1919, mostly because of the physicist’s attraction for his cousin Elsa.
Einstein married Elsa Lowenthal in 1919 following five years of relationship. Elsa passed away in 1936 from kidney ailments.
It was in 1900 that Einstein published his first paper Conclusions from the Capillarity Phenomena and in 1905 published four groundbreaking papers on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special relativity, and the equivalence of mass and energy. He was only 26.
By 1908, Einstein was already a leading scientist and in 1922, he was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics. However, Einstein did not win it for His Theory of Relativity. Even though Arthur Eddington had proved the theory of relativity in 1919, the Nobel Committee believed his work was too unreliable to serve as proof.
In 1939, a group of Hungarian scientists tried to alert Washington to regarding Germany’s atomic bomb research. However, the group’s warnings were discounted. The researchers reached out to Einstein who was asked to lend his support by writing a letter to President Roosevelt, asking the US to pay attention and engage in its own nuclear weapons research. It is believed that this led to US adoption of serious investigations into nuclear weapons before their entry into World War II.
Einstein reportedly loved music and had said that if he were not a physicist, he would probably have been a musician.
The scientist was also deeply impressed by Mahatma Gandhi and the two exchanged written letters over the course of their lives.
On April 17, 1955, Einstein experience internal bleeding due to a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm and died early next morning at the age of 76.
Best known for developing the theory of relativity and the mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc2, which has often been dubbed as ‘the world’s most famous equation,’ here are a few memorable quotes attributed to the scientist:
•Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.
•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 you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.
•Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.
•A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
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