einstein



Einstein
a Life
By Denis Brian
Published by John Wiley & Sons Sept. 97


Of all the scientists to emerge from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries there is one
whose name is known by almost all living people. While most of these do not understand
this man\'s work, everyone knows that its impact on the world of science is astonishing.
Yes, many have heard of Albert Einstein\'s General Theory of relativity, but few know
about the intriguing life that led this scientist to discover what some have called, "The
greatest single achievement of human thought."

Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany on March 14, 1874. Before his first birthday, his
family had moved to Munich where young Albert\'s father, Hermann Einstein, and uncle set
up a small electro-chemical business. He was fortunate to have an excellent family with
which he held a strong relationship. Albert\'s mother, Pauline Einstein, had an intense
passion for music and literature, and it was she that first introduced her son to the violin in
which he found much joy and relaxation.

As a child, Einstein\'s sense of curiosity had already begun to stir. A favorite toy of his was
his father\'s compass, and he often marveled at his uncle\'s explanations of algebra.
Although young Albert was intrigued by certain mysteries of science, he was considered a
slow learner. His failure to become fluent in German until the age of nine even led some
teachers to believe he was disabled.

Einstein\'s post-basic education began at the Luitpold Gymnasium when he was ten. It was
here that he first encountered the German spirit through the school\'s strict disciplinary
policy. His disapproval of this method of teaching led to his reputation as a rebel. It was
probably these differences that caused Einstein to search for knowledge at home. He
began not with science, but with religion. He avidly studied the Bible seeking truth, but
this all changed when he discovered science and mathematics. To him these seemed much
more realistic than ancient stories. With this new knowledge he disliked class even more,
and was eventually expelled from Luitpold Gymnasium being considered a disruptive
influence.

Einstein then moved to Switzerland where he continued his education. At sixteen he
attempted to enroll at the Federal Institute of Technology but failed the entrance exam.
This forced him to study for one year until he finally passed the school\'s evaluation. The
Institute allowed Einstein to meet many other students that shared his curiosity, and It was
here that his studies turned mainly to physics. In 1900 he graduated from the Institute and
then achieved citizenship to Switzerland and married Mileva Meric, a mathematician friend
in 1903.

In 1905, Einstein published five separate papers in a journal, the Annals of Physics. The
first was immediately acknowledged, and the University of Zurich awarded Einstein an
additional degree. The other papers helped to develop modern physics and earned him the
reputation of an artist. Many scientists have said that Einstein\'s work contained an
imaginative spirit that was seen in most poetry. His work at this time dealt with molecules,
and how their motion affected temperature, but he is most well known for his Special
Theory of Relativity which tackled motion and the speed of light. Perhaps the most
important part of his discoveries was the equation: E= mc2.

In 1908, Einstein began teaching party time at the University of Berne, and the following
year, at the age of thirty, he became employed full time by ZurichUniversity. Einstein was
now able to move to Prague with his wife and two sons, Hans Albert and Eduard. Finally,
after being promoted to a professor, Einstein and his family were able to enjoy a good
standard of living, but the job\'s main advantage was that is allowed Einstein to access an
enormous library. It was here that he extended his theory and discussed it with the leading
scientists of Europe. In 1912 he chose to accept a job placing him in high authority at the
Federal Institute of Technology, where he had originally studied. It was not until 1914 that
Einstein was tempted to return to Germany to become research director of the Kaiser
Wilhelm Institute for Physics.

In 1916, Einstein published his General Theory of relativity, This result of ten years
work revolutionized physics. It basically stated that the universe had to be thought of as
curved, and told how light was affected by this. The next year, Einstein published another
paper that added that the universe had no boundary, but actually twisted back on its self.

After the W.W.I,