SUMMARY: Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955) was a German-born American theoretical physicist.
Albert Einstein was born on March 14,1879 in Ulm, Wuttenberg, Germany. His family was Jewish and his father, Herman Einstein was a salesman and an engineer. His mother, Pauline nee Koch Einstein, was a quiet, well-educated woman who enjoyed the arts. She made Albert begin violin lessons at 5 years old. Albert was the oldest child of Herman and Pauline
The Einstein family moved from Ulm in 1880 to Munich, Germany. Although the family was Jewish, they were not firm in their beliefs. Albert attended a Catholic elementary school. Albert did not talk until he was three years old, but still became a top student in school.
At the age of five, a pocket compass his father showed him fascinated Albert. Early in his youth he built models and mechanical devices for fun. He had a talent for mathematics. At the age of ten, in 1889, Albert was introduced to key texts on science, mathematics and philosophy. Albert began to understand deductive reasoning and by 12 years old, he had learned Euclidean geometry. After Einstein learned geometry he began to explore calculus.
In 1894, Albert was 15 and his father’s business had failed. The family moved to Milan, Italy and then to Pavia, Italy. This is when Albert wrote his first scientific work. “The Investigation of the State of Aether in Magnetic fields.
When the family moved, Albert was left in Munich to finish high school. He dropped out, however and went to join the family. He applied to the ETH Zurich (the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland) instead of completing high school. The ETH required him to take an entrance exam, which he failed. He did get high scores in mathematics and physics.
Albert’s parents sent him to Aarau, Switzerland to finish high school. He was lodging with Professor Jost Winteler and fell in love with his daughter, Sofia Marie-Jeanne Amanda Winteler, “Marie”. Albert’s sister, Maja married the Professor’s son Paul Winteler. Albert did not marry Marie.
At the age of 17, in 1896, Albert Einstein graduated from high school and revoked his German citizenship to avoid going into the military. Albert was finally able to enroll in the mathematics program at ETH Zurich. On February 21, 1901 Albert gained Swiss citizenship, which he never revoked.
In 1903 Albert married Mileva Maric. They met while at the ETH and she was the only woman in the mathematics program. The two had 3 children, Lieserl, born January 1902, Hans Albert, born May 14, 1904, and Eduard, born July 28, 1908.
Albert graduated from the ETH in 1900, with a degree in physics. After graduation it was hard for Albert to get a job teaching, so after searching for two years he got a job at the patent office in Bern, Switzerland. He was an assistant examiner and was responsible for evaluating applications for electromagnetic devices. Einstein continued to write papers and theories while working at the patent office.
In 1911 Albert became an associate professor at the University of Zurich. Shortly after that he accepted a full professorship at the Charles University in Prague. In 1912, Albert returned to Switzerland for a professorship at his alma mater, the ETH.
Albert’s wife, Mileva, and kids made a permanent home in Zurich in 1914, just before WWI. Albert went alone to Berlin, where he became a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. This also allotted him a professorship at the University of Berlin.
Albert and his wife, Mileva had been living apart for two years and divorced February 14,1919. On June 2,1919, Albert married Elsa Lowenthal. She was his first cousin maternally and his second cousin paternally. Together they raised Elsa’s daughters, Margot and Ilse, from her first marriage.
In 1921 Albert Einstein was awarded the Noble Prize in Physics. This was given for his services to Theoretical Physics and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect. This same year, on April 2nd Albert traveled to the United States for the first time.
Albert has had many discoveries and inventions, by himself and with others. He was given many awards. Albert’s wife Elsa died in 1936 and Albert died in 1955 at Princeton, New Jersey.