Einstein 1879 - 1955 (76)

Imagination is more important than knowledge.



Albert Einstein ( March 14 1879 - Princeton April 18, 1955 ) was a German physicist, one of the most important scientists of the 20th century, awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. He was born in the city of Ulm in southern Germany, his parents moved for business first to Munich and then to Milan while the little Albert was an intern at the Munich School. At the age of 15 he stopped the school and left to Milan to meet his parents. After 1-2 years of inaction, he gave exam at the Zürich Polytechnic as an autodidact but failed. He was forced to return to high school and two years later he enrolled in mathematics and physics teaching diploma program at the Zürich Polytechnic. A professor there said that Albert is interesting and willing, but he lacks of mind. Along with his studies he had music lessons, playing the violin quite well. He later claimed that if he had not become a scientist, he would have been a musician, admitting that he was thinking his theories based on musicians rules.

After graduation he got a job as an assistant teacher, but quickly he was dismissed because of failure. A friend introduced him to the director of the Swiss patent office in Bern and he hired him. His job was to prepare the documents for the recognition of patents and for this purpose should describe each invention in an understandable and comprehensive way. Here emerged the capacity of Albert to deepen in foreign ideas and recognize the essence of a process or mechanism. In 1901, at the age of 22, he married his fellow student of Serbian origin, Mileva Maric, with whom he had two sons. In recent years it became known that they had a daughter as well, Mileva in 1902 had gone alone in her hometown to give birth, she came back without the infant, Einstein never saw her, it is unknown if she died in childhood or was given for adoption. The marriage ended in 1914, with Albert marrying his cousin Elsa Einstein, with whom he had a relationship since 1909. Elsa died in 1936 from heart and liver problems.

In 1905 Albert publish two works: "A Case for the quanta of light", which extends the Planck's discovery of 1900 , and the "Special Theory of Relativity" which suggest that there is no absolute space and time, but it depends on the individual observer in relation to the position and movement. This works had a huge impression in the scientific world, many scientists began to visit Bern to meet the strange public officer. In 1911, Albert became professor at the German University of Prague and then to Berlin, where along with his teaching work he completed the "General Theory of Relativity." The theory was confirmed experimentally by British scientists and Einstein bacame famous. It is remarkable that the theory of relativity , although tricky even for Physicists, became a popular reading for a large number of educated people who were studying simplified versions of it , best of which was for many decades that of Russell. In 1933 , when the Nazis had been elected to the German government, he was forced to withdraw from the German Academy of Sciences , he renounced German citizenship and left to America .

A new period in his life began at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton University, New Jersey. At that time, a big impression in the scientific community was the announcement that it had been achieved in a laboratory in Germany the splitting of the atom . Researchers began to repeat the experiments bombarding uranium nuclei with neutrons , the discovery of the energy released led to the construction of the atomic bomb . Einstein was persuaded to contribute to the struggle for the construction of the bomb, fearing that if the Nazis had the devastating weapon first, they will overpowers all the world. He sent a letter to President Roosevelt presenting the possibilities but also the danger of the atomic bomb. Eventually the fears of the scientific community for misuse of the bomb became a reality, only from the opposite side, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki . Thereafter and until the end of his life he continued to work at Princeton and also was active in protests for disarmament and peace, often signing proclamations with other scientists.

On 17 April 1955, Albert suffered internal bleeding from ruptured aneurysm of the abdominal aorta, he refused surgery saying: "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”. The next morning he died. Without the consent of his family, they kept his brain for studying it, while the rest of the body was cremated and scattered in an unknown place.