Albert Einstein was one of the finest and most prominent physicists of the 20th century. He was not a bright student from his schooldays but he always excelled in mathematics, physics and Latin. He was also fed up with routine school classes and their old-fashioned style of teaching methods. For most of the time, he studied physics, mathematics and philosophy on his own. He was a shy kid but his curiosity was phenomenal. He was extraordinarily curious about the things he came across. He was passionate about music, playing piano or violin and had learnt sonatas of Mozart as well.
I made one great mistake in my life—when I signed the letter to President Roosevelt recommending that atom bombs be made… – Einstein
Date of Birth: March 14, 1879
Place of Birth: Ulm, Germany
Date of Death: April 18, 1955
Place of Death: Princeton, NJ (USA)
Interesting Facts about Albert Einstein
- He had only one sister named Maria Einstein. She was younger than Einstein and known by the name of Maja. In the early years of his life as a kid, Maja was the only friend of Einstein. When Einstein first met Maja (he was just one-year-old kid at the time), he thought Maja was something of a plaything and said,
Yes, but where does it have its small wheels?
- Einstein was a quiet kid in his early years of childhood. While talking, he used to pause a lot until the age of nine years. His parents felt worried whether their child was a below average kid.
- One of the early mentors of Albert Einstein was Max Talmey. He was an ophthalmologist from Poland. Einstein was just 10 years of age when he first met Talmey. Talmey used to give Einstein various books on Mathematics, Science and Philosophy.
- He always disliked rote learning from his schooldays. Besides, he did not like paying illogical respect to teachers which is why one of the teachers in Munich’s high school asked Einstein to go away and walk out from school. As a result, Einstein left the school and went to his parents in Italy. At the time, he was 15 years of age.
- When he was 16 years of age, he gave entry exams in the Zürich’s management and engineering university named Swiss Federal Polytechnic (ETH Zürich). Though he did not succeed in securing high marks overall but he took excellent marks in mathematics and physics.
- When he gave ‘Matura’ exam (which he passed) in 1896, he achieved highest grade of 6 in both mathematics and physics. The grade scale ranges from 1 (minimum) to 6 (maximum). At the age of 17, Einstein was signed up for the program of teaching diploma in Zürich Polytechnic.
- Einstein fell in love with Marić during their teaching program in Zürich Polytechnic. Though Einstein passed teaching diploma in 1900, Marić could not pass.
- Einstein and Marić had a daughter named Lieserl Einstein. She was their first kid and was born in January 1902. However, she died due to scarlet fever on September 18, 1903. Marić wanted a girl to be born while Einstein had desired for a boy. Einstein never saw Lieserl in his lifetime.
- One fine morning Einstein did not have his breakfast because he was occupied in deep thinking. Soon after he started playing piano, then went upstairs and lived there for about 14 days while his wife Elsa brought food for him. After 14 days of hard work, he came down with his papers describing the ‘Theory of Relativity’.
- After the bloodiest Holocaust in World War II, Germany offered Einstein several honors and awards for his achievements but he declined all of them as he did not forgive the Germans for the massacre of Jews.
- When Einstein went back from USA to Belgium in 1933, he realized that Nazis broke into his home. He relinquished his nationality of Germany on March 28, 1933.
- During the time of Nazis, one of the magazines of Germany offered a price of five thousand US dollars for the one who would kill Einstein.
- With so many Jewish scientists left Germany and settled in USA during 1930s, Einstein remarked,
In my whole life I have never felt so Jewish as now.
I do not know how the third World War will be fought, but I can tell you what they will use in the Fourth — sticks and stones – Einstein
- The name of a pathologist who did autopsy of Einstein in 1955 was Thomas Stoltz Harvey. He took out Einstein’s brain from the dead body and preserved it for research.
- Though the brain of Einstein was cut off in 1955 after his death, no one knew this fact because it was made public in 1986.
- After Einstein died in 1955, his brain was taken out within seven and a half hours of his death.
- Einstein was an Ashkenazi Jew. The term Ashkenazi literally means ‘Germany’.
- He was a right-handed person.
- His father wanted him to study Electrical Engineering.
- He had a great obsession in his life to become a musician. He was fond of playing violin and piano.
- Einstein received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Zürich.
- He was awarded Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.
- On 2 April 1921, Einstein came to USA for the first time.
- He went to Palestine and stayed there for about 12 days.
- In 1940, Einstein became a US citizen.
- Einstein was also one of the great supporters of civil rights. On one occasion he paid college fees of one of the black students in Princeton (New Jersey) during 1940s.
- In 1952, the first Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion honored Einstein by asking him to become the Israel’s President. However, Einstein respectfully turned down this proposal.
I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly – Einstein in 1955