Albert Einstein life and biography

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Albert Einstein biography

Date of birth : 1879-03-14
Date of death : 1955-04-18
Birthplace : Ulm, Kingdom of Württemberg, German Empire
Nationality : German
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2010-04-28
Credited as : Scientist/physicist and philosopher, Nobel Prize in Physics, photoelectric effect/theories of relativity

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Albert Einstein (14 March 1879–18 April 1955) was a German-born Swiss-American theoretical physicist, philosopher and author who is widely regarded as one of the most influential and best known scientists and intellectuals of all time. He is often regarded as the father of modern physics. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect".

His many contributions to physics include the special and general theories of relativity, the founding of relativistic cosmology, the first post-Newtonian expansion, explaining the perihelion advance of Mercury, prediction of the deflection of light by gravity and gravitational lensing, the first fluctuation dissipation theorem which explained the Brownian movement of molecules, the photon theory and wave-particle duality, the quantum theory of atomic motion in solids, the zero-point energy concept, the semiclassical version of the Schrödinger equation, and the quantum theory of a monatomic gas which predicted Bose–Einstein condensation.

Einstein published more than 300 scientific and over 150 non-scientific works. Einstein additionally wrote and commentated prolifically on numerous philosophical and political issues.

Receiving a compass at the age of five from his father ignited the passion to learn about the invisible forces of nature in young Albert Einstein. As the compass pointed northward, he gasped in disbelief that something unseen should have such a profound affect. From that time on, his voracious appetite involving the physical world around him would control his destiny.

As a calm, collect and patient child, Einstein spent long hours reading books. He also attended a Catholic elementary school, even though his family was of Jewish descent. Further enhancing his intellectual upbringing, his uncles provided him with books on philosophy, math, and science. With a fortitude in science and math coupled with an open-minded upbringing in education, Einstein taught himself Euclidean Geometry and Calculus before the age of fourteen. At the age of 16, after quitting school he came up with one of his first theories of light and relativity – that the speed of light is separate from the observer – as he looked into a mirror, an experiment often dubbed “Albert Einstein’s Mirror”.

After finishing secondary school, Albert attended the Federal Polytechnic Institute and went on to teach there in 1900. After his teaching sting, Einstein went on to work for the Swiss Patent Office where he would examine other’s applications. He soon married Mileva Marić who, as it has been often debated, collaborated or was at least influential on Einstein’s publications.

Just five years later, Einstein obtained his doctorate from the University of Zurich with his theory about the molecular dimensions. In this same year, he published four groundbreaking papers. In these papers, he discusses the photoelectric effect (for which he would be awarded a Nobel Prize), relativity, and the movement of molecules. But, by 1911, Einstein was focusing more on his theories of relativity, which would only be measurable during a solar eclipse. Scientists and physicists all around the globe stood by to wait for the measurable outcome that would prove that light could bend in a gravitational field. Einstein’s theory proved correct, which would solidify his place as the world’s top physicists.

Albert Einstein received more honorary doctorate degrees than can be counted on both hands. For his work in science, mathematics, and philosophy, Einstein not only became a popular icon of the time, which included recognition of his famed E=MC2 theory, but gave him the freedom to work and lecture in the United States, where he became a citizen.

Albert Einstein rejected violent governments and renounced his own nationality on more than two occasions while living in Europe. During Germany’s rise to power, before World War II, Einstein and other scientists knew it was using Uranium in an attempt to make an atomic weapon. Although not directly involved in its manufacturing, Einstein’s theories of molecular movement and energy were used to create the first atomic weapon, dubbed the “Manhattan Project” for the United States.

While no one biography written about Einstein could cover all his contributions to science and humanity, the impact he had over mankind is undisputed. In the mid-1900s, Einstein was invited to become the second president of Israel, which he declined in order to remain in the United States to continue his studies. He did, however, help establish the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. And, even though he died in 1955, Albert Einstein was named Person of the Century by TIME Magazine in 1999.

Known for
General relativity
Special relativity
Photoelectric effect
Brownian motion
Mass-energy equivalence
Einstein field equations
Unified Field Theory
Bose–Einstein statistics
Notable awards
Nobel Prize in Physics (1921)
Copley Medal (1925)
Max Planck Medal (1929)
Time Person of the Century


* Albert Einstein has been recognized numerous times for his achievements. The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics named 2005 the “World Year of Physics” in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the publication of the Annus Mirabilis Papers.

* The Albert Einstein Memorial in central Washington, D.C. is a monumental bronze statue depicting Einstein seated with manuscript papers in hand. The statue commissioned in 1979, is located in a grove of trees at the southwest corner of the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences on Constitution Avenue.

* The chemical element 99, einsteinium, was named for him in August 1955, four months after Einstein’s death.

* In 1999 Time magazine named him the Person of the Century, beating contenders like Mahatma Gandhi and Franklin Roosevelt, and in the words of a biographer, "to the scientifically literate and the public at large, Einstein is synonymous with genius". Also in 1999, an opinion poll of 100 of today's leading physicists ranked Einstein the "greatest physicist ever". A Gallup poll recorded him as the fourth most admired person of the 20th century in the U.S.

* 2001 Einstein is an inner main belt asteroid discovered on 5 March 1973.

* The Albert Einstein Award (sometimes called the Albert Einstein Medal because it is accompanied with a gold medal) is an award in theoretical physics, that was established to recognize high achievement in the natural sciences. It was endowed by the Lewis and Rosa Strauss Memorial Fund in honor of Albert Einstein’s 70th birthday. It was first awarded in 1951 and included a prize money of $ 15,000, which was later reduced to $ 5,000. The winner is selected by a committee (the first of which consisted of Einstein, Oppenheimer, von Neumann and Weyl) of the Institute for Advanced Study, which administers the award. Lewis L. Strauss used to be one of the trustees of the institute.

* The Albert Einstein Peace Prize is an award that is given yearly by the Chicago, Illinois-based Albert Einstein Peace Prize Foundation. Winners of the prize receive $50,000.

* In 1990, his name was added to the Walhalla temple for "laudable and distinguished Germans", which is located east of Regensburg, in Bavaria, Germany.

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