Einstein

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Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879. His interest in science began at age five, when his father showed him a compass, and young Einstein wondered what made the needle turn. When Einstein was 10, the family invited a college-educated friend to come over for meals. This friend began tutoring Einstein in science. One of the books he showed Albert described a fictional character riding alongside an electrical current in a telegraph wire. Albert began wondering what a light beam would look like if he traveled alongside it at exactly the same speed. This book led to his theory in relativity.

In 1892, the Einsteins moved to Italy. Albert followed a short while later, dropping out of school and renouncing his German citizenship to avoid military service. He didn’t even have the equivalent of a high school diploma. However, he was able to enroll in a special school and moved to Zurich, Switzerland.

Einstein then attended the Polytechnic Institute, but ended up on the wrong end of some of the professors’ feelings, as he cut classes to study on his own. After graduating, he was unable to get and hold a job. Finally, he was able to get a job in a patent office, and married Mileva Maric. He did very well at his new job, and had time to think over different scientific theories. In 1905, Einstein figured out his famous E=mc2 formula, and had four papers published in a major physic journal. His fame spread, but his marriage fell apart. In 1919, he finally divorced Maric and married his cousin, Elsa Löwenthal.

In 1921, Einstein won the Nobel Prize for physics for his theory in relativity. Within the next ten years, however, the Nazis had risen to power in Germany. In 1931, the Nazis started denouncing Einstein’s theories. The Nazis had even released a magazines listing assassination targets, with Einstein being the number one target. Einstein moved to the US in December of 1932.

Upon his arrival, Albert took a position at the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, New Jersey. In the summer of 1939, Einstein and Leo Szilard wrote a letter to the President, talking about the Germans and their nuclear projects. President Roosevelt invited Einstein to meet with him, and a short time later, the US started the Manhattan Project. However, afterward, the government kept Einstein out of the project, almost going as far as exporting him; however, the US State Department overruled that attempt.

After the war was over, Einstein continued to work on his theory of relativity. He quickly isolated himself from the rest of the physics community. The last years of his life were spent withdrawn from the public, and he died on April 17, 1955. His brain was removed during the autopsy without permission of his family, and was studied for decades after his death.

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