Albert Einstein Albert Einstein In the next few pages I will talk about a famous mathematician I decided to choose and write an essay about. I chose probably the most well known mathematician/inventor in the world, his name is Albert Einstein. I chose him because he is the one I know the most about and finding information would not have been as hard. In the next few pages I will tell you about his life as a kid, his life as a mathematician, and his life as an inventor. His name was Albert Einstein. He was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Germany.
Before his first birthday, his family had moved to Munich were Albert’s father, Hermann Einstein, and uncle set up a small Electro-chemical business. Albert was a very lucky kid because he was one of the few kids that were very close with their family. 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. Also, he was very close with his younger sister, Maja, and they could often be found in the lakes that were scattered about the countryside near Munich. As a child, Einstein’s sense of curiosity had already begun to stir.
A favorite toy of his was his fathers compass, and he often marveled at his uncle’s explanations of algebra. Although 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 would read the bible most of the day seeking truth, but his religious fervor soon died down when he discovered the intrigue of science and math. To him, these seemed much more realistic than ancient stories. With this new knowledge he disliked class even more. So from already skipping about two times a week it turned to four or five which soon led to his getting expelled from Luitpold Gymnasium, because they considered him a disruptive influence.
Feeling that he could no longer take the attitude of Germany he decided to move to Switzerland where he could continue his education. At sixteen he attempted to enroll at the Federal Institute of Technology but failed the entrance exam. This forced him to study locally for one year until he finally passed the schools 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. He quickly learned that while physicists had generally agreed on major principals in the past, there were modern scientists who were attempting to disapprove outdated theories.
Since most of Einstein’s teachers ignored these new ideas, he was again forced to explore on his own. In 1900 he graduated from the Institute and then achieved citizenship to Switzerland. A group of students that he tutored quickly transformed onto a social club that shared a love of nature, music, and of course science. In 1903 he married Mileva Meric, A mathematician friend. 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.
After publishing these theories Einstein was promoted at his office. He remained at the Patents office for another two years, but his name was becoming too big among the scientific community. In 1908, Einstein began teaching part time at the University of Berne, and the following year, at the age of thirty, he became employed full time by Zurich University. 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 living, but the jobs main advantage was he was able to enter enormous libraries.
That is where he would go to further his theories. In 1912 he chose to accept a job placing him in high authority at the Federal Institute of Technology, were 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. World War 1 had a strong effect on Einstein. While the rest of Germany supported the army, he felt the war was unnecessary, and disgusting.
The new weapons of war, which attempted to mass slaughter people, caused him to devote much of his life toward creating peace. Toward the end of the war Einstein joined a political party that worked to end the war, the government, and Einstein was seen as a traitor. In the same year, Einstein published his General Theory of relativity, this is the result of ten years work. Some say it revolutionized physics. It basically stated that the universe had to be thought of as a curve, and told how light was affected by this. After the war, many aspects of Einstein’s life changed.
He divorced his wife, who had been living in Zurich with the children throughout the war, and married his cousin Elsa Lowenthal. This led to a renewed interest in his Jewish roots, and he became an active supporter of Zionism. Since anti-Semitism was growing in Germany, he quickly became the target of prejudice. There were many rumors about groups who were trying to kill Einstein and began to travel extensively. The biggest change, though, was in 1919 when scientists who studied an eclipse and confirmed that his theories were correct.
Years after Einstein traveled Britain and United States of America raising money for Zionism and lecturing of his findings, he received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1922. He gave all of his money to his ex-wife and their kids to help their lives and education. He built a Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He also gave some speeches in Jerusalem, and than went to his home to study more on his original curiosity, religion. While Einstein was visiting in America in 1933 the Nazi party came to power in Germany.
Again he was subject to anti-Semitic attacks, but this time his house was broken into, and he was publicly considered an enemy of the nation. It was obvious that he could not return to Germany, and for the second time he renounced his German citizenship. In 1939 the Second World War began to take form. There was heated argument during this time over whether the United States should explore the idea of an atomic bomb. Einstein wrote to President Roosevelt warning him of the disaster that could occur if the Nazi’s developed it first. Einstein did not participate in the development of the bomb, but the idea did stem from his equation E= mc2. Just as he knew the bomb was under development, he also knew when it was going to be used.
Just before the bomb was dropped on Japan Einstein wrote a letter to the President begging him not to use this terrible weapon. The rest of Einstein’s life was dedicated to promoting peace. After the war ended, he declared, “The war is won, but the peace is not.” In April 18 of the year 1955 an end came to the life of Albert Einstein. He was thought to be a hero to some and a traitor to others but what he did for our world can’t even be compared to anything anyone has ever done. I hope you found my paper to be informative, educational, and not to boring. I hope that you learned something new reading this, like when he married his cousin, not to many people this little fact. Presented to: By: Bibliography § Microsoft Encarta 95.
Microsoft. IBM PC CD-ROM. 1995 § Grolier Encyclopedia 94. IBM PC CD-ROM. 1994 § “Einstein, Albert.” Random House Encyclopedia, Random House Press, 1990 edition. § Clark, Ronald W., Einstein – The Life and Time, New York: World Publishing, 1971.