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Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, in the Kingdom of Württemberg in the German Empire, on 14 March 1879 into a family of secular Ashkenazi Jews. His parents were Hermann Einstein, a salesman and engineer, and Pauline Koch.
Albert Einstein Biographical Questions and Answers on Albert Einstein. A lbert Einstein was born at Ulm, in Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879. Six weeks later the family moved to Munich, where he later on began his schooling at the Luitpold Gymnasium.
May 28, 2021 · Albert Einstein was a famous physicist. His research spanned from quantum mechanics to theories about gravity and motion. After publishing some groundbreaking papers, Einstein toured the world and gave speeches about his discoveries. In 1921 he won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his discovery of the photoelectric effect.
- 3 min
- Einstein’s Early Life (1879-1904) Born on March 14, 1879, in the southern German city of Ulm, Albert Einstein grew up in a middle-class Jewish family in Munich.
- Einstein’s Miracle Year (1905) While working at the patent office, Einstein did some of the most creative work of his life, producing no fewer than four groundbreaking articles in 1905 alone.
- From Zurich to Berlin (1906-1932) Einstein continued working at the patent office until 1909, when he finally found a full-time academic post at the University of Zurich.
- Einstein Moves to the United States (1933-39) A longtime pacifist and a Jew, Einstein became the target of hostility in Weimar Germany, where many citizens were suffering plummeting economic fortunes in the aftermath of defeat in the Great War.
- Early Life & Family
- Patent Clerk
- Wife and Children
- Nobel Prize For Physics
- Inventions and Discoveries
- Travel Diaries
- Becoming A U.S. Citizen
- Einstein and The Atomic Bomb
- Member of The NAACP
Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany. Einstein grew up in a secular Jewish family. His father, Hermann Einstein, was a salesman and engineer who, with his brother, founded Elektrotechnische Fabrik J. Einstein & Cie, a Munich-based company that mass-produced electrical equipment. Einstein’s mother, the former Pauline Koch, ran the family household. Einstein had one sister, Maja, born two years after him. Einstein attended elementary school at the Luitpold Gymnasium in Munich. However, he felt alienated there and struggled with the institution's rigid pedagogical style. He also had what were considered speech challenges, though he developed a passion for classical music and playing the violin, which would stay with him into his later years. Most significantly, Einstein's youth was marked by deep inquisitiveness and inquiry. Towards the end of the 1880s, Max Talmud, a Polish medical student who sometimes dined with the Einstein family, became an informal tu...
Einstein was eventually able to gain admission into the Swiss Federal Institute of Technologyin Zurich, specifically due to his superb mathematics and physics scores on the entrance exam. He was still required to complete his pre-university education first, and thus attended a high school in Aarau, Switzerland helmed by Jost Winteler. Einstein lived with the schoolmaster's family and fell in love with Winteler's daughter, Marie. Einstein later renounced his German citizenship and became a Swiss citizen at the dawn of the new century. READ MORE: What Was Albert Einstein's IQ?
After graduating, Einstein faced major challenges in terms of finding academic positions, having alienated some professors over not attending class more regularly in lieu of studying independently. Einstein eventually found steady work in 1902 after receiving a referral for a clerk position in a Swiss patent office. While working at the patent office, Einstein had the time to further explore ideas that had taken hold during his studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and thus cemented his theorems on what would be known as the principle of relativity. In 1905—seen by many as a "miracle year" for the theorist—Einstein had four papers published in the Annalen der Physik, one of the best-known physics journals of the era. Two focused on the photoelectric effect and Brownian motion. The two others, which outlined E=MC2 and the special theory of relativity, were defining for Einstein’s career and the course of the study of physics.
Einstein married Mileva Maricon Jan. 6, 1903. While attending school in Zurich, Einstein met Maric, a Serbian physics student. Einstein continued to grow closer to Maric, but his parents were strongly against the relationship due to her ethnic background. Nonetheless, Einstein continued to see her, with the two developing a correspondence via letters in which he expressed many of his scientific ideas. Einstein’s father passed away in 1902, and the couple married shortly thereafter. That same year the couple had a daughter, Lieserl, who might have been later raised by Maric's relatives or given up for adoption. Her ultimate fate and whereabouts remain a mystery. The couple had two sons, Hans Albert Einstein (who became a well-known hydraulic engineer) and Eduard "Tete" Einstein (who was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a young man). The Einsteins' marriage would not be a happy one, with the two divorcing in 1919 and Maric having an emotional breakdown in connection to the split. Einst...
In 1921, Einstein won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect, since his ideas on relativity were still considered questionable. He wasn't actually given the award until the following year due to a bureaucratic ruling, and during his acceptance speech, he still opted to speak about relativity. In the development of his general theory, Einstein had held onto the belief that the universe was a fixed, static entity, aka a "cosmological constant," though his later theories directly contradicted this idea and asserted that the universe could be in a state of flux. Astronomer Edwin Hubble deduced that we indeed inhabit an expanding universe, with the two scientists meeting at the Mount Wilson Observatorynear Los Angeles in 1931.
As a physicist, Einstein had many discoveries, but he is perhaps best known for his theory of relativity and the equation E=MC2, which foreshadowed the development of atomic power and the atomic bomb.
In 2018, readers were allowed a glimpse into some of the unfiltered private thoughts of Einstein as a young man with the publication of The Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein: The Far East, Palestine, and Spain, 1922-1923. The young scientist started a sea journey to Japan in Marseilles, France, in autumn of 1922, accompanied by his second wife Elsa. They journeyed through the Suez Canal, then to Ceylon, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Japan. The couple returned to Germany via Palestineand Spain in March 1923. The Travel Diariescontained unflattering analyses of the people he came across, including the Chinese and Sri Lankans, a surprise coming from a man known for vehemently denouncing racism in his later years. In an entry for November 1922, Einstein refers to residents of Hong Kong as "industrious, filthy, lethargic people ... Even the children are spiritless and look lethargic. It would be a pity if these Chinese supplant all other races."
In 1933, Einstein took on a position at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey. At the time the Nazis, led by Adolf Hitler, were gaining prominence with violent propaganda and vitriol in an impoverished post-World War IGermany. The Nazi Party influenced other scientists to label Einstein's work "Jewish physics." Jewish citizens were barred from university work and other official jobs, and Einstein himself was targeted to be killed. Meanwhile, other European scientists also left regions threatened by Germany and immigrated to the U.S., with concern over Nazi strategies to create an atomic weapon. After moving, Einstein never went back to his native land. It was at Princeton that Einstein would spend the rest of his life working on a unified field theory—an all-embracing paradigm meant to unify the varied laws of physics. Not long after he began his career at Princeton, Einstein expressed an appreciation for American "meritocracy" and the opportunities people had fo...
In 1939, Einstein and fellow physicist Leo Szilard wrote to President Franklin D. Rooseveltto alert him of the possibility of a Nazi bomb and to galvanize the United States to create its own nuclear weapons. The U.S. would eventually initiate the Manhattan Project, though Einstein would not take a direct part in its implementation due to his pacifist and socialist affiliations. Einstein was also the recipient of much scrutiny and major distrust from FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. After learning of the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, Einstein became a major player in efforts to curtail usage of the a-bomb. The following year he and Szilard founded the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, and in 1947, via an essay for The Atlantic Monthly, Einstein espoused working with the United Nations to maintain nuclear weapons as a deterrent to conflict.
In the late 1940s, Einstein became a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), seeing the parallels between the treatment of Jews in Germany and African Americans in the United States. He corresponded with scholar/activist W.E.B. Du Bois as well as performing artist Paul Robesonand campaigned for civil rights, calling racism a "disease" in a 1946 Lincoln University speech.
- 4 min
Aug 15, 2019 · Albert Einstein profoundly changed physics and ideas about space and time. Learn his theories, find facts and quotes from the man with an IQ of 160.
- Introduction: Was Einstein An Epistemological “Opportunist”?
- Theoretical Holism: The Nature and Role of Conventions in Science
- Simplicity and Theory Choice
- Univocalness in The Theoretical Representation of Nature
- Realism and Separability
- The Principle Theories—Constructive Theories Distinction
- Conclusion: Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Physicist
Late in 1944, Albert Einstein received a letter from Robert Thornton,a young African-American philosopher of science who had just finishedhis Ph.D. under Herbert Feigl at Minnesota and was beginning a new jobteaching physics at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. He hadwritten to solicit from Einstein a few supportive words on behalf ofhis efforts to introduce “as much of the philosophy of scienceas possible” into the modern physics course that he was to teachthe following spring (Thornton to Einstein, 28 November 1944, EA61–573). Here is what Einstein offered in reply: That Einstein meant what he said about the relevance of philosophy tophysics is evidenced by the fact that he had been saying more or lessthe same thing for decades. Thus, in a 1916 memorial note for ErnstMach, a physicist and philosopher to whom Einstein owed a specialdebt, he wrote: How, exactly, does the philosophical habit of mind provide thephysicist with such “independence of judgment”? Einsteingoes on to...
Any philosophy of science must include an account of the relationbetween theory and evidence. Einstein learned about the historicity ofscientific concepts from Mach. But his preferred way of modeling thelogical relationship between theory and evidence was inspired mainlyby his reading of Pierre Duhem’s La Théorie physique: sonobjet et sa structure (Duhem 1906). Einstein probably first readDuhem, or at least learned the essentials of Duhem’s philosophy ofscience around the fall of 1909, when, upon returning to Zurich fromthe patent office in Bern to take up his first academic appointment atthe University of Zurich, he became the upstairs neighbor of his oldfriend and fellow Zurich physics student, Friedrich Adler. Just a fewmonths before, Adler had published the German translation of LaThéorie physique(Duhem 1908), and the philosophy ofscience became a frequent topic of conversation between the newneighbors, Adler and Einstein (see Howard 1990a). Theoretical holism and the underdeter...
For Einstein, as for many others, simplicity is the criterion thatmainly steers theory choice in domains where experiment andobservation no longer provide an unambiguous guide. This, too, is atheme sounded early and late in Einstein’s philosophical reflections(for more detail, see Howard 1998, Norton 2000, van Dongen 2002, 2010,Giovanelli 2018). For example, the just-quoted remark from 1918 aboutthe apparent determination of theory choice in practice, contrastedwith in-principle underdetermination continues: There is more than a little autobiography here, for as Einsteinstressed repeatedly in later years, he understood the success of hisown quest for a general theory of relativity as a result of hisseeking the simplest set of field equations satisfying a given set ofconstraints. Einstein’s celebration of simplicity as a guide to theory choice comesclearly to the fore in the early 1930s, when he was immersed hisproject of a unified field theory (see, van Dongen 2010 for areconstructi...
In the physics and philosophy of science literature of the latenineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the principle according towhich scientific theorizing should strive for a univocalrepresentation of nature was widely and well known under the name thatit was given in the title of a widely-cited essay by Joseph Petzoldt,“The Law of Univocalness” [“Das Gesetz derEindeutigkeit”] (Petzoldt 1895). An indication that the map ofphilosophical positions was drawn then in a manner very different fromtoday is to found in the fact that this principle found favor amongboth anti-metaphysical logical empiricists, such as Carnap, andneo-Kantians, such as Cassirer. It played a major role in debates overthe ontology of general relativity and was an important part of thebackground to the development of the modern concept of categoricity informal semantics (for more on the history, influence, and demise ofthe principle of univocalness, see Howard 1992 and 1996). One can findno more ardent and cons...
As we have seen, Schlick’s Raum und Zeit in den gegenwärtigenPhysik promoted a realistic interpretation of the ontology ofgeneral relativity. After reading the manuscript early in 1917,Einstein wrote to Schlick on 21 May that “the last section‘Relations to Philosophy’ seems to me excellent”(CPAE, Vol. 8, Doc. 343), just the sort of praise one would expect froma fellow realist. Three years earlier, the Bonn mathematician, EduardStudy, had written another well-known, indeed very well-known defenseof realism, Die realistische Weltansicht und die Lehre vomRaume(1914). Einstein read it in September of 1918. Much of ithe liked, especially the droll style, as he said to Study in a letterof 17 September (CPAE, Vol. 8, Doc. 618). Pressed by Study to say moreabout the points where he disagreed, Einstein replied on 25 Septemberin a rather surprising way: Lest there be any doubt that Einstein has little sympathy for theother side, he adds: What could Einstein mean by saying that he concedes tha...
There is much that is original in Einstein’s philosophy of science asdescribed thus far. At the very least, he rearranged the bits andpieces of doctrine that he learned from others—Kant, Mach,Duhem, Poincaré, Schlick, and others—in a strikinglynovel way. But Einstein’s most original contribution totwentieth-century philosophy of science lies elsewhere, in hisdistinction between what he termed “principle theories”and “constructive theories.” This idea first found its way into print in a brief 1919 article inthe Timesof London (Einstein 1919). A constructive theory,as the name implies, provides a constructive model for the phenomenaof interest. An example would be kinetic theory. A principle theoryconsists of a set of individually well-confirmed, high-level empiricalgeneralizations, “which permit of precise formulation”(Einstein 1914, 749). Examples include the first and second laws ofthermodynamics. Ultimate understanding requires a constructive theory,but often, says Einstein, progr...
Einstein’s influence on twentieth-century philosophy of science iscomparable to his influence on twentieth-century physics (Howard2014). What made that possible? One explanation looks to theinstitutional and disciplinary history of theoretical physics and thephilosophy of science. Each was, in its own domain, a new mode ofthought in the latter nineteenth century, and each finally began tosecure for itself a solid institutional basis in the early twentiethcentury. In a curious way, the two movements helped one another.Philosophers of science helped to legitimate theoretical physics bylocating the significant cognitive content of science in its theories.Theoretical physicists helped to legitimate the philosophy of scienceby providing for analysis a subject matter that was radicallyreshaping our understanding of nature and the place of humankindwithin it. In some cases the help was even more direct, as with thework of Einstein and Max Planck in the mid-1920s to create in thephysics dep...
- Don A. Howard, Marco Giovanelli
- Born: Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany to parents Hermann Einstein and Pauline Einstein. At age 29, his father married Pauline Koch. She was eleven years his junior.
- Fathead at birth: Albert had a fat head at the time he was born. This startled his mother and grandmother when they saw him for the first time. However, the fat head slowly receded and turned into a normal size.
- Speech difficulty during childhood: Einstein did not speak until the age of three. He revealed this fact about the delay of his speech abilities to his biographer.
- Early years: he spent his teenage years in Munich. His family operated an electrical equipment business in the city. Einstein at a young age liked to work on puzzles, erect complex structures with his toy building sets.
- “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.” ― Albert Einstein.
- “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.” ― Albert Einstein.
- “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
- “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.” ― Albert Einstein.
- We are slowed down sound and light waves, a walking bundle of frequencies tuned into the cosmos. We are souls dressed up in sacred biochemical garments and our bodies are the instruments through which our souls play their music.
- Weak people revenge. Strong people forgive. Intelligent People Ignore. Albert Einstein. Strong, Revenge, Intelligent.
- The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. Albert Einstein. Love, Funny, Life.
- The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance. Albert Einstein. Love, Life, Family.