Einstein: Before Einstein was Famous

Einstein: Before Einstein was Famous


Albert Einstein Facts

Albert Einstein is one of the most famous people in history. He was a scientific genius whose theories and discoveries have shaped our world forever! Discover more about him with our cool infographic – you can click on the information icons in each image to find out more!

Born in Germany on March 14, 1879 to his father, Hermann, and his mother, Pauline. Einstein had a younger sister, Maja. As an elementary school student, he loved math and science. By the age of 12, he had taught himself geometry! In 1894, Einstein dropped out of school and moved to Switzerland.

After graduating, Einstein planned to teach math and physics. However, he had a bad reputation for not attending his classes because he preferred to study independently. In 1902, Einstein became a clerk in a patent office. While working at the patent office, Einstein made some of the greatest discoveries of his scientific career.

1905 is often called a “miracle year” for the scientist, who was then working as a clerk at a patent office. In that year alone, Einstein had four papers published in the well-known physics journal Annalen der Physik. One paper focused on Einstein’s special theory of relativity, while another outlined his famous equation E=MC2. His theory of relativity declared that gravity, as well as motion, influences time and space!

After World War I, the Nazis began to rise to prominence in Europe. Einstein, who was Jewish, faced hostility and threats.

In 1932, Einstein emigrated to America, where he began working at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton

Einstein was considered a pacifist and a socialist.

However, some of Einstein’s theories, including his equation E=MC2, helped lead to the development of the atomic bomb.

Einstein’s first marriage was to Mileva Maric, a fellow student at Zurich Polytechnic.

The couple had a daughter named Lieserl in 1902, a year before they married, but her life remains a mystery.

Einstein died in Princeton, New Jersey on April 18, 1855. He was 76 years old.

After his death, a team of Canadian scientists studied Einstein’s brain.

I am sure you’ve heard some famous Einstein quotes! Here are some of our favorites!

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

I am sure you’ve heard some famous Einstein quotes! Here are some of our favorites!

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

I am sure you’ve heard some famous Einstein quotes! Here are some of our favorites!

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Let’s find out some facts about him and don’t forget to take our Einstein quiz at the end!

His sayings and quotes are just as famous as his discoveries – Einstein was more than just a scientist. He was a philosopher and a thinker as well.

Early Life

Einstein was born in Germany on March 14, 1879. He was born in a place called Ulm, Württemberg to his father, Hermann, and his mother, Pauline. Einstein had a younger sister named Maja.

As an elementary school student, Einstein attended the Luitpold Gymnasium in Munich. He became interested in classical music and developed a passion for playing the violin.

In addition to classical music, Einstein loved math and science. By the age of 12, he had taught himself geometry. While still a teenager, he wrote his first major paper, “The Investigation of the State of Aether in Magnetic Fields.”

In 1894, Einstein dropped out of school and moved to Switzerland. There, he was admitted to the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich due to his high scores in physics and math on the entrance exam.

Einstein eventually gave up his German citizenship and became a Swiss citizen in 1901.

Career

After graduating, Einstein planned to teach math and physics. However, he had a bad reputation for not attending his classes because he preferred to study independently.

As a result, his professors would not recommend him for teaching positions.

In 1902, Einstein became a clerk in a patent office. While working at the patent office, Einstein made some of the greatest discoveries of his scientific career.

He eventually did find an academic position at the University of Zurich in 1909. In 1913, he began working at the University of Berlin. Einstein later took a position at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

Theories and Scientific Contributions

1905 is often called a “miracle year” for the scientist, who was then working at the patent office. In that year alone, Einstein had four papers published in the well-known physics journal Annalen der Physik.

These papers covered various topics, including Brownian motion and the photoelectric effect. One paper focused on Einstein’s special theory of relativity, while another outlined his famous equation E=MC2.

In 1915, Einstein published the paper considered his masterwork. In this paper, he outlined his general theory of relativity. This theory declared that gravity, as well as motion, influences time and space.

The theory was a worldwide sensation. Einstein toured the world speaking about his theories and scientific work.

In 1921, Einstein won the Nobel Prize for his work on the photoelectric effect. At that point, some of his work on relativity was still controversial. Not everyone agreed with Einstein’s revolutionary theories.

Einstein in America

After World War I, the Nazis began to rise to prominence in Europe. Einstein, who was Jewish, faced hostility and threats. Jewish citizens were also prevented from working in universities or having other official jobs.

In 1932, Einstein emigrated to America, where he began working at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Einstein lived and worked in America for the rest of his life, eventually becoming a citizen.

Politics

Einstein was considered a pacifist and a socialist. He was distrusted by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover because of these views.

Some of Einstein’s theories, including his equation E=MC2, helped develop the atomic bomb. After he learned about the bombing of Hiroshima, Einstein became involved in limiting the usage of nuclear weapons.

In the 1940s, Einstein also became a member of the NAACP. He called racism a “disease” and campaigned for civil rights.

Personal Life

Einstein’s first marriage was to Mileva Maric, a fellow student at Zurich Polytechnic. The couple had a daughter named Lieserl in 1902, a year before they married, but her life remains a mystery.

After getting married in 1903, Einstein and Maric had two sons, Hans Albert and Eduard. The marriage ended in divorce in 1919.

That same year, Einstein married his cousin Elsa Lowenthal. They remained married until Lowenthal’s death in 1936.

Famous Quotes

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

“A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.”

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

Later Life & Death

In the later years of his life, Einstein was focused on a unified field theory.

This theory would incorporate all the laws of physics. He became isolated from other scientists, who were more interested in other work.

In 1950, Einstein published an article on his unified field theory, but it remained unfinished at the time of his death.

Einstein died in Princeton, New Jersey on April 18, 1855. He was 76 years old. After his death, a team of Canadian scientists studied Einstein’s brain.

They found that that his parietal lobe, which processes mathematical thought, was 15 percent wider than in people with normal intelligence.

Researchers believe this discovery may explain Einstein’s intelligence. Whatever the reason for Einstein’s genius, he continues to be known as one of the greatest scientists in history.


Was Einstein the first to discover general relativity?

On November 25, 1915, Einstein submitted one of the most remarkable scientific papers of the twentieth century to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin. The paper presented the final form of what are called the Einstein Equations, the field equations of gravity which underpin Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. A few years ago, we marked the centenary of that theory. Within a few years Einstein’s paper had supplanted Newton’s Universal Theory of Gravitation as our explanation of the phenomenon of gravitation, as well as overthrown Newton’s understanding of such fundamental concepts as space, time and motion. As a result Einstein became, and has remained, the most famous and celebrated scientist since Newton himself.

But what if Einstein was not the first scientist to publish these famous equations? Should they be called, not the Einstein equations, but the Einstein-Hilbert equations, honoring also the German mathematician David Hilbert? In 1915, Einstein visited Hilbert in Gottingen, and Hilbert convinced him that the goal of a fully general relativistic theory was achievable, something Einstein had nearly convinced himself could not be done. Einstein returned to work, and by November, he had found the field equations which give General Relativity its final form. However, Hilbert also worked on the ideas Einstein had discussed with him and published a paper discussing how Einstein’s theory fitted in with his own ideas on the role of mathematics in physics. The argument for honoring Hilbert lies in a paper written by him which included the Einstein equations, derived from fundamental principles.

This paper, while appearing several months after Einstein’s, was submitted on November 20, and Hilbert even sent Einstein a copy which probably reached Einstein before he submitted his own paper. In fact, a few people have even gone so far as to propose that Einstein might have stolen the final form of his equations from Hilbert. Of course even if that were true, we are talking only about one final term in the equations (Einstein had published a close to correct version earlier in the month) and to Einstein would still belong sole credit for the enormous amount of work which went into the argument by which equations with these unique properties were singled out in the first place. We would still recognize Einstein for the critical physical thinking, while acknowledging Hilbert’s superior mathematical ability in more quickly finding the final correct form of the equations. Still, perhaps Hilbert would deserve a share of the credit for that final step.

Why then do celebrations mention Einstein only and omit Hilbert almost completely? One reason is that in the late 1990s a historian working on Hilbert named Leo Corry made a remarkable discovery. He found a copy of the proofs of Hilbert’s paper, with a printers stamp dating it to December 6, 1915. These proofs show that Hilbert made significant changes to the paper after this date. In addition, the proofs do not contain the Einstein equations. The proofs have been cut up here and there (probably by the printers themselves as they worked), so it is possible that the equations would be there if we had the missing pieces. But it is also quite possible that amidst the changes Hilbert made to the paper, he took the opportunity to include the final form of the equations from Einstein’s paper. Indeed some of the changes he made after December 6 were to update his argument from earlier versions of Einstein’s theory to the later version.

Certainly it was Einstein who felt himself to be the injured party in this short-lived priority dispute (arguably the only occasion in his life when Einstein found himself in such a dispute). He complained to a friend that Hilbert was trying to “nostrify” his theory, to claim a share of the credit. Einstein complained to Hilbert himself indeed, and some of the changes made in proofs by Hilbert included the addition of remarks giving credit for the basic ideas behind the theory to Einstein. At any rate, Einstein tried not to let proprietary feelings color his feelings of gratitude for Hilbert. He recalled well that Hilbert had played an important role in encouraging Einstein to return to his theory at a time when Einstein had, to some extent, given up on his original goals. On December 20, 1915, he wrote to Hilbert: “There has been a certain resentment between us, the cause of which I do not want analyze any further. I have fought against the feeling of bitterness associated with it, and with complete success. I again think of you with undiminished kindness and I ask you to attempt the same with me. It is objectively a pity if two guys that have somewhat liberated themselves from this shabby world are not giving pleasure to each other.” (translated and quoted in Corry, Renn and Stachel, 1997). So if Einstein was becoming the new Newton, as the man who solved the riddle of gravity, he was far from being a new Newton in another sense of being the sort of man who carries on scientific grudges to the detriment of his friendship with the other great thinkers of his day.

Daniel Kennefick is associate professor of physics at the University of Arkansas, an editor of the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, and the author of An Einstein Encyclopedia and Traveling at the Speed of Thought: Einstein and the Quest for Gravitational Waves (Princeton). For more on Einstein’s field equations, check out this article by Dennis Lehmkuhl at Caltech.


  • Einstein wrote the letter to fellow physicist Ludwik Silberstein in October 1946
  • It is one of only four known examples of E = mc² having been written in his hand
  • The letter is being sold by RR Auction in Boston, with bids closing on May 20
  • E = mc², the mass–energy equivalence formula, arose from special relativity
  • It explains how tiny amounts of mass can be turned into vast amounts of energy

Published: 14:08 BST, 12 May 2021 | Updated: 15:54 BST, 12 May 2021

A letter penned by Albert Einstein which is rare for containing his famous 'E = mc²' mass–energy equivalence formula has gone on sale for the sum of £282,000.

The German-born theoretical physicist corresponded with a fellow researcher in October 1946, telling him a question could 'be answered from the E = mc² formula.'

The one-page letter, which is signed off 'A. Einstein', is being auctioned off by Boston-based RR Auction in a timed sale which will end next week, on May 20.

It is only one of four known examples of the mass–energy equivalence formula having been written down in Einstein's own hand.

A letter penned by Albert Einstein which is rare for containing his famous 'E = mc²' mass–energy equivalence formula (pictured) has gone on sale for the sum of £282,000

E = mc² EXPLAINED

E = mc² — the mass–energy equivalence formula — details the relationship between mass and energy of a system at rest.

It describes the energy (E) of a particle as a product of its mass (m) and the square of the speed of light (c).

The speed of light is an enormous number in everyday units, being 299 792 458 metres per second.

Given this, the formula shows how a small amount of mass at rest is equal to a massive amount of energy.

This accounts, for example, for the phenomenal amounts of energy that can be released by nuclear reactions, which convert tiny amounts of mass into energy.

E = mc² was derived by Albert Einstein as a result of his work on special relativity.

This explained how space and time are linked for non-accelerating objects.

Composed on Princeton University letterhead, the letter was written to the Polish-American physicist Ludwik Silberstein, who had previously contested part of Einstein's theory of general relativity.

Translated into English, Einstein's response read: 'Your question can be answered from the E = mc² formula, without any erudition.'

'If E is the energy of your system consisting of the two masses, E₀ the energy of the masses when they approach infinite distance, then the system's mass defect is E₀ - E / c2,' he continued.

Following a more complex answer, Einstein went on to conclude that 'one must first a theory that contains the correct unification of gravitation and electricity.'

The search for this 'unified field theory' would go on to consume the final third of the extraordinary physicist's life.

Einstein demonstrated mass-energy equivalence in 1905 - his so-called 'miracle year which also saw him publish ground-breaking papers introducing the theory of special relativity, explaining Brownian motion and outlining the photoelectric effect.

Special relativity - which involves the relationship between space and time - determined that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers and that light's speed in a vacuum is fixed, regardless of observer or source motion.

To this understanding Einstein later succeeded in factoring in acceleration and he published this in 1915 as his theory of general relativity, which explained that objects with mass distort the fabric of space and time, which we experience as gravity.


Does Einstein’s First Wife Deserve Some Credit for His Work? That’s the Wrong Question to Ask

W ho was the real Mileva Einstein-Maric, the wife of the famed physicist Albert Einstein? Trained alongside Einstein in physics and mathematics, what role did she play, if any, in the famous papers of her husband, which transformed contemporary physics? Was she an unsung contributor or even a co-author, a sounding board, the top fiddle, a glorified assistant, an unglorified housewife, the one who made it all possible?

What does it even matter? It matters, of course, because Einstein&rsquos work and his theories of relativity, quantum theory, and atomic theory formed the foundations of contemporary physics. Without the true story of what really happened&mdashhow these fundamental theories came about&mdashwe cannot fully understand their historical significance. Moreover, we cannot bestow credit where credit is due for these achievements, especially when we recognize how often the contributions of women scientists, especially the scientific spouses and partners of celebrated male scientists, are overlooked, forgotten, and even suppressed.

Much has been written over the past decades in support of one or more of the above perspectives on Mileva Einstein-Maric, often with fervent certitude.

It is well known that Albert Einstein, the world-famous scientist declared the &ldquoperson of the century&rdquo by TIME magazine, was married. But until the 1990s, few people knew that he had two wives, the first of whom was trained in mathematics and physics. Einstein&rsquos nonscientific second wife, Elsa, did become widely known, especially in the United States, when she accompanied her husband on several well-publicized visits during the 1920s, then settled with him in Princeton in 1933 (she died three years later). The two had married in 1919, the same year that the first public confirmation of Einstein&rsquos theory of general relativity, one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century, brought him worldwide fame.

But it was his first wife, Mileva Einstein-Maric (approximately pronounced Mar-itch), who accompanied and supported him intellectually and emotionally throughout the difficult early years of his rise from a beginning physics student in 1896 to the top of his profession by 1914. Little was known about her or his children with her &mdash and there was little interest in finding out &mdash until the discovery in 1986 of her correspondence with Einstein brought Mileva Einstein-Maric to widespread public attention. The letters had been in the possession of the Einsteins&rsquo first son, Hans Albert Einstein, and his family in Berkeley, Calif.

The story of Mileva Einstein-Maric encompasses many facets of great human and scientific interest related to the struggle of women in science as revealed by observing one woman&rsquos struggle to realize her dreams for a scientific career and examining a married couple&rsquos scientific and personal partnership that unfortunately did not succeed.

Widespread public recognition of the captivating story of Einstein&rsquos wife Mileva Einstein-Maric emerged during the years following the publication of the first volume of The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein in 1987. That volume, titled The Early Years, 1879&ndash1902, documented young Einstein&rsquos youth, education, and early career. Of special interest in the volume was the first publication of 51 of the then newly discovered Einstein-Maric letters in the possession of Hans Albert&rsquos family. Subsequent letters have appeared in later volumes.

That first volume of Einstein&rsquos Collected Papers also brought to public attention a previously little-known but subsequently highly influential biography of Mileva Einstein-Maric by the Serbian science professor Desanka Trbuhovic-Gjuric, Im Schatten Albert Einsteins: Das tragische Leben der Mileva Einstein-Maric (In the Shadow of Albert Einstein: The Tragic Life of Mileva Einstein-Maric). Originally published in Serbian in 1969, it went through two German editions and four printings as well as one French translation from 1982 to 1995, but it has never been published in English translation. Nonetheless, her biography (through its intermediaries) has helped more than any other work so far to shape the dominant public story of Mileva Einstein-Maric and her personal and scientific relationships with Albert Einstein.

While tracing Mileva Einstein-Maric&rsquos life story, Trbuhovic-Gjuric argued, often without source citation or solid evidence, that Maric was a brilliant mathematician who surpassed Einstein in mathematics, if not physics. Moreover, owing to her expert collaboration with Einstein, Maric was allegedly an unrecognized co-author of her husband&rsquos famous relativity paper of 1905. If true, such claims would mean that once again, as so often in the past (and present), the contributions made by the wife of a great man have been sadly overlooked by the public, forgotten by history, and apparently even suppressed by her husband.

On Feb. 18, 1990, nearly three years after the publication of the first volume of Einstein&rsquos Collected Papers, a session on &ldquoThe Young Einstein&rdquo during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in New Orleans brought Mileva Einstein-Maric and her marriage with Einstein to widespread public attention. Most of the speakers at the AAAS session presented scholarly reevaluations of Einstein&rsquos early biography, cultural environment, and philosophy. But two of the speakers, both of whom were without any prior work on Einstein studies, seized upon the opportunity to create a full-scale interpretation of Maric and her scientific relationship with Einstein for English-speaking audiences.

Drawing upon Trbuhovic-Gjuric and the Einstein-Maric letters for their individual papers, they forcefully argued the startling conclusion that Mileva Einstein-Maric made substantive contributions to Einstein&rsquos early work.

The sweeping and surprising assertions about Mileva Einstein-Maric and her husband drew enormous public and media interest, as well as an outpouring of books and articles on the apparent injustices suffered by &ldquoEinstein&rsquos first wife.&rdquo She seemed to be the most prominent and most blatant example of how history has forgotten, even deliberately so, the contributions female scientific spouses and partners made to the great achievements of male scientists. The early history of contemporary physics thus required immediate correction. Many of the resulting popular works unquestioningly repeated, and even embellished, the claims of their predecessors, in some cases without apparent regard for common standards of nonfiction writing. Over the years what might be called the &ldquoMileva Story&rdquo emerged and entered the public domain as the generally accepted account of Mileva Einstein-Maric&rsquos unrecognized collaboration with her former husband and her contributions to his work. But at the same time, on closer examination, Einstein scholars have generally rejected most of this story on the basis of the available documentary evidence. As the physics historian Alberto Martínez wrote, &ldquoI want her to be the secret collaborator. But we should set aside our speculative preferences and instead look at the evidence.&rdquo

Historians&rsquo objections to the Mileva Story have gained increasing support in the years since 1990 with the abundance of new documentary material and information made available about Maric, Einstein, and their relationship. In view of the mounting primary and secondary material, it seems appropriate at this time, nearly three decades since the public emergence of the Mileva Story, to reevaluate the many elements of such an important historical assertion on the basis of all of the available evidence, new and old.

This approach reveals how far one can go wrong when standards for historical and nonfiction writing are not carefully followed. But more importantly, it reveals the very human, real story of a fallible, yet brave and determined young woman who, for various reasons, was not able to fulfill her dreams for the career and marriage she had hoped for. This more realistic and compelling story of Mileva Maric offers a far greater service to her&mdashand to readers&rsquo appreciation of her international pioneering role in helping to open science and science education to female students&mdashthan any exaggerated or unfounded assertions regarding her activities.


The History Of Einstein's Most Famous Equation

Albert Einstein is easily one of the most brilliant physicists who ever lived. His theories of general relativity changed our understanding of the cosmos, as did his work on quantum theory. But his genius has also led many to hold him up as a poor stereotype of science. The lone genius who ignores the science of his day to overturn everything with a simple brilliant theory. He's become the icon of every crackpot who feels compelled to send emails to scientists about their idea that will revolutionize science if we only take the time to listen (and work out all the math for them). But as revolutionary as Einstein's ideas were, they weren't entirely unexpected. Other scientists had similar ideas, and developed similar equations. Take, for example, Einstein's most famous equation, E = mc 2 .

The equation appears in Einstein's 1905 paper "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?", and it expresses a fundamental connection between matter and energy. Energy was long known to be a property of matter in terms of its kinetic motion, heat and interactions, but Einstein's equation proposed that matter, simply by having mass, has an inherent amount of energy. It allowed us to understand how radioactive particles decay and how stars create energy through nuclear fusion. But the idea had been proposed by others before.

Like Einstein, J. J. Thompson wondered about the connection between light and matter. He thought that electromagnetism was more fundamental than Newton's laws of motion, and tried to figure out how mass could be created by electric charge. In 1881 he showed that a moving sphere of charge would create a magnetic field, and this caused a kind of drag on its motion. This acts as an effective mass of the charge. Thompson found that the electromagnetic mass of the electron is given by m = (4/3) E/c 2 , which is surprisingly close to Einstein's equation. Thompson's derivation was rather cumbersome, but other researchers found the same result with more elegant derivations.

Thompson's model was not without it's problems. For one, it only applied to objects that have charge, and only when they are moving. Another problem came from Thompson's assumption of a uniform sphere of charge. If an electron were an extended sphere of charge, some kind of force or pressure must keep the electron from flying apart. This pressure would obviously have some energy. This led Henri Poincaré to propose non-electromagnetic stresses to hold the electron together. When he calculated the energy of these stresses, he found it amounted to a fourth of an electron's total mass. Thus, the "actual" mass of the electron due to its electric charge alone must be m = E/c 2 . Poincaré's paper deriving this result was published in June of 1905, just a few months before Einstein's paper.

Although the equation is often attributed to Einstein's 1905 paper, Einstein didn't actually derive the equation from his theory of relativity. The paper is only two pages long, and only shows how the equation can arise from approximations to relativity. It's more of a proof of concept than a formal derivation. It took other scholars to definitively prove that the equivalence between mass and energy is a consequence of special relativity.

None of this detracts from Einstein's brilliance, but it does demonstrate that even radical ideas in science rarely come from a single individual. The ideas of Thompson,Poincaré, and others were on the right track, as were the ideas of Einstein. Over the decades the scientific evidence we've gathered has further confirmed Einstein's theory as the best representation of reality. And in the end it's the best models that win, regardless of who first thought of them.


How Albert Einstein Used His Fame to Denounce American Racism

As the upcoming March for Science gathers momentum, scientists around the country are weighing the pros and cons of putting down the lab notebook and taking up a protest poster.

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For many, the call to enter the political fray feels necessary. “Sure, scientific inquiry should be immune from the whims of politicians. It just isn't,” science editor Miriam Kramer recently wrote in Mashable. Others worry that staging a political march will “serve only to reinforce the narrative from skeptical conservatives that scientists are an interest group and politicize their data,” as coastal ecologist Robert Young put it in a controversial opinion article in The New York Times.

But the question of whether scientists should speak their opinions publicly didn't start in the Trump administration. Today’s scientists have a well-known historical model to look to: Albert Einstein.

Einstein was never one to stick to the science. Long before today’s debates of whether scientists should enter politics and controversial scientist-turned-activist figures like NASA’s James Hansen hit the scene, the world-renowned physicist used his platform to advocate loudly for social justice, especially for black Americans. As a target of anti-Semitism in Germany and abroad between the World Wars, the Jewish scientist was well aware of the harm that discrimination inflicts, and sought to use his platform to speak out against the mistreatment of others.

In 1919, Einstein became perhaps the world’s first celebrity scientist, after his groundbreaking theory of relativity was confirmed by British astronomer Arthur Eddington and his team. Suddenly, the man—and not just his science—was front-page news around the world. 

"Lights all askew in the heavens Men of science more or less agog over results of eclipse observations Einstein theory triumphs," read a November 20 headline in The New York Times. The Times of London was no less breathless: "Revolution in Science Newtonian ideas overthrown." J. J. Thomson, discoverer of the electron, called his theory “one of the most momentous, if not the most momentous, pronouncements of human thought.” Einstein's social circles expanded to encompass the likes of Charlie Chaplin and the Queen of Belgium.

As soon as he had the limelight, Einstein began speaking out. In interviews, he advocated for an end to militarism and mandatory military service in Germany (he had renounced his German citizenship at age 16, choosing statelessness over military service). While he never fully endorsed the Zionist cause, he spoke frequently of his Jewish identity and used his fame to help raise money for the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, making him a very public face not just of science but of Jewishness.

"I am really doing whatever I can for the brothers of my race who are treated so badly everywhere," he wrote in 1921.

His identity politics aroused the ire of many people in Germany, including those who were motivated by nationalism and anti-Semitism. Nobel Prize-winner Philipp Lenard, who eventually became a Nazi, fought hard behind the scenes to make sure Einstein wouldn't win a Nobel himself. Ultimately the Nobel committee decided not to award any physics prize in 1921, partly under anti-Semitic pressures from Lenard and others. (They honored Einstein the following year, giving him the delayed 1921 prize alongside his friend Niels Bohr, who got the 1922 prize.)

In 1929, a German publisher distributed a book titled One Hundred Authors Against Einstein. Although it was primarily a compilation of essays seeking to disprove the theory of relativity, the book also included some openly anti-Semitic pieces.

But it wasn’t just anti-Semitic scientists who criticized Einstein. Fellow scientists, including Einstein’s friends, expressed disapproval of his love of the limelight. "I urge you as strongly as I can not to throw one more word on this subject to that voracious beast, the public," wrote Paul Ehrenfest, Einstein's close friend and fellow physicist, in 1920. Max and Hedwig Born, two other friends, were even more adamant, urging him to stay out of the public eye: "In these matters you are a little child. We all love you, and you must obey judicious people," Max wrote to him the same year.

Dr. Albert Einstein, center, a German physicist, stands with his wife Elsa Einstein, and Charles Chaplin, second right, as they arrive for the opening of Chaplin's silent movie, in Los Angeles, Calif., Feb. 2, 1931. (AP Photos)

Just as Einstein's enemies used his Jewish identity to attack his science, Einstein himself drew on his Jewishness to amplify his message about social justice and American racism. "Being a Jew myself, perhaps I can understand and empathize with how black people feel as victims of discrimination," he said in an interview with family friend Peter Bucky. While his political opinions made him a controversial figure, they also got traction, because his words resonated more than most.

Einstein's first aggressive criticism of American racism came in 1931, before Hitler's rise to power. That year, he joined writer Theodore Dreiser's committee to protest the injustice of the "Scottsboro Boys" trial.

In the trial, now one of the most iconic instances of a miscarriage of justice in America, nine African-American teenagers were falsely accused of raping a white woman. Eight were convicted and sentenced to death without evidence or adequate legal defense, and under pressure from armed white mobs. The case was then successfully appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, an effort led by both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Communist Party. As a result, many white Americans took the wrong side of the case not only out of racism, but out of anti-Communist sentiment.

Robert Millikan, American physicist and Nobel Prize-winner, criticized Einstein for associating himself with left-wing elements in the Scottsboro case, calling his politics “naïve.” (Their disagreement didn't stop Millikan from trying to recruit Einstein for Caltech.) Other Americans were less polite: Henry Ford of car manufacturing fame republished libelous essays from Germany against Einstein.

Also in 1931, Einstein accepted an invitation from the great African-American sociologist and NAACP co-founder W.E.B. Du Bois to submit a piece to his magazine The Crisis. Einstein took the opportunity to applaud civil rights efforts, but also to encourage African-Americans not to let racists drag down their self-worth. "This . more important aspect of the evil can be met through closer union and conscious educational enlightenment among the minority,” he wrote, “and so emancipation of the soul of the minority can be attained."

Yet whatever problems America had with inequality and racism at this time, Europe had problems of its own. In 1933, a well-timed job offer in the states led Einstein to become a citizen of the nation he loved enough to criticize.

Einstein and his wife, Elsa, en route on their first trip to America in 1921. (AF archive / Alamy)

Einstein and his wife Elsa left Germany in December 1932. Armed with 30 pieces of luggage, the pair were ostensibly taking a three-month trip to America. But they knew what was coming: In January 1933, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party took full control of the German government.

While the Einsteins were in California, the Nazi government passed a law banning Jews from teaching in universities. "It is not science that must be restricted, but rather the scientific investigators and teachers,” wrote one Nazi official. Only “men who have pledged their entire personality to the nation, to the racial conception of the world . will teach and carry on research at the German universities.”

In their absence, the police raided the Einsteins' apartment and their vacation cottage under the pretense of looking for weapons. When they found nothing, they confiscated the property and put a $5,000 bounty on the physicist’s head, distributing his picture with the caption "not yet hanged." By the spring of 1933, the most famous scientist in the world had become a refugee.

Einstein was a more fortunate refugee than most. By that time he was already a Nobel Prize winner and media celebrity, recognizable around the world. That fame made him a high-profile enemy for the new Nazi government in Germany, but it also guaranteed him safe places to go. Ultimately he ended up in America at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, where he would spend the rest of his life.

Einstein saw racism as a fundamental stumbling block to freedom. In both his science and his politics, Einstein believed in the need for individual liberty: the ability to follow ideas and life paths without fear of oppression. And he knew from his experiences as a Jewish scientist in Germany how easily that freedom could be destroyed in the name of nationalism and patriotism. In a 1946 commencement speech at Lincoln University, the oldest black college in the U.S., Einstein decried American racism in no uncertain terms.

“There is separation of colored people from white people in the United States,” said the renowned physicist, using the common term in the day. “That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.”

Einstein at his home in Princeton on September 15, 1950. (Keystone Pictures USA / Alamy )

After settling down in America, Einstein continued to publicly denounce American racism. In a 1946 address to the National Urban League Convention, he even invoked the Founding Fathers in his critique. "It must be pointed out time and again that the exclusion of a large part of the colored population from active civil rights by the common practices is a slap in the face of the Constitution of the nation," he said in the address.

The irony of ending in Princeton, one of the most racially segregated towns in the northern U.S., was not lost on Einstein. While no town was free of racism, Princeton had segregated schools and churches, generally following the Jim Crow model in practice if not by law. The University didn't admit any black students until 1942, and turned a blind eye when its students' terrorized black neighborhoods in town, tearing porches off houses to fuel the annual bonfire.

Einstein loved to walk when he was thinking, and frequently wandered through Princeton's black neighborhoods, where he met many of the residents. He was known for handing out candy to children—most of whom were unaware he was world-famous—and sitting on front porches to talk with their parents and grandparents, little-known facts reported in the book Einstein on Race and Racism by Fred Jerome and Rodger Taylor.

Black Princeton also gave him an entrance into the civil rights movement. He joined the NAACP and the American Crusade Against Lynching (ACAL), an organization founded by actor-singer-activist Paul Robeson. At Robeson's invitation, Einstein served as co-chair of ACAL, a position he used to lobby President Harry S. Truman.

He made friends with Robeson, who had grown up in Princeton, and found common cause with him on a wide variety of issues. As Jerome and Taylor note, "almost every civil rights group Einstein endorsed after 1946 . had Robeson in the leadership." In particular, Einstein joined Robeson and other civil rights leaders in calling for national anti-lynching legislation.

For his anti-racist activism, he was placed under FBI surveillance by J. Edgar Hoover. While Hoover's FBI refused to investigate the Ku Klux Klan and other white terrorist organizations, there wasn't a civil rights group or leader they didn't target. By the time of his death, the FBI had amassed 1,427 pages of documents on Einstein, without ever demonstrating criminal wrongdoing on his part.

But to a large degree, his celebrity protected him against enemies like Hoover and more garden-variety American anti-Semites. Hoover knew better than to publicly target Einstein. Einstein used his profile and privilege, volunteering to serve as character witness in a trumped-up trial of W.E.B. Du Bois. His influence had the desired effect: When the judge heard Einstein would be involved, he dismissed the case.

Einstein’s fame afforded him a larger platform than most, and protection from the threats that faced black civil rights leaders. What is remarkable is that, throughout his career, he continued to throw his full weight behind what he saw as a larger moral imperative. "[W]e have this further duty," he said to an audience in the Royal Albert Hall in England in 1933, "the care for what is eternal and highest amongst our possessions, that which gives to life its import and which we wish to hand on to our children purer and richer than we received it from our forebears." 


What did Albert Einstein invent?

Albert Einstein is legitimately popular for formulating his theory of relativity, which altered our comprehension of space, time, gravity, and the universe. Relativity additionally demonstrated to us that matter and energy are only two unique types of something very similar, a reality that Einstein communicated as E = mc2, the most widely perceived equation ever. In any case, relativity is just a single piece of Einstein&rsquos massive heritage. He was similarly imaginative when it went to the material science of atoms, particles, and light. Today, we can see mechanical tokens of his virtuoso wherever we look. Here are a couple of the ordinary items that grandstand Einstein&rsquos contributions to science past relativity.

Paper Towels

Credit for developing paper towels goes to the Scott Paper Company of Pennsylvania, which presented the dispensable item in 1907 as a more sterile option in contrast to material towels. However, in the absolute first material science article that Einstein ever distributed, he investigated wicking: the marvel that permits paper towels to absorb fluids in any event, when gravity needs to drag the liquid descending.

This cycle is the thing that maneuvers hot wax into a flame wick (subsequently the epithet). All the more officially known as hairlike activity, it is likewise what assists sap with ascending in trees and keeps ink streaming into the nib of a wellspring pen. Einstein&rsquos paper, distributed in 1901, was an endeavor to clarify how this fascination functioned. It was certainly not an awesome endeavor, as he, at the end of the day, later conceded. He contended at the time that water atoms were pulled into particles in the dividers of a cylinder by means of a power like gravity, which isn&rsquot right.

In any case, that first paper showed that Einstein was at that point grasping the idea of particles and atoms&mdashsomething that was disputable at that point. Since these minuscule, speculative chunks of issue were dreadfully little to see or gauge, a great deal of senior physicists guaranteed that they couldn&rsquot be essential for thorough science.

Stock Market Forecasts

Stock exchanges follow what mathematicians call an arbitrary walk: Unless some fantastic occasion happens, the costs toward the end of some random day are similarly prone to have diminished as they are to have risen. On the off chance that there are designs that can be misused, they should be amazingly unobtrusive and elusive, which is the reason financial mathematicians are so generously compensated.

Furthermore, a portion of the math behind these sensitive stock market examinations can be followed back to Einstein. He was attempting to clarify an odd certainty that was first seen by English botanist Robert Brown who in 1827, glanced through his magnifying instrument and saw that the residue grains in a bead of water were jittering around erratically. This Brownian movement, as it was first named, had nothing to do with the grains being alive, so what kept them moving?

A full clarification needed to sit tight for Einstein&rsquos paper regarding the matter in 1905. As yet considering particles and atoms, Einstein understood that the obvious grains were really getting bumped by undetectable water atoms. Einstein transformed this understanding into a condition that depicted the jittering numerically. His Brownian movement paper is generally perceived as the main undeniable verification that iotas and atoms truly exist, it actually fills in as the reason for some stock market conjectures.

Solar Power

In March 1958, the United States Naval force dispatched a grapefruit-size circle named Vanguard I into space around Earth. Individuals focused, somewhat on the grounds that it was the first to be fueled by an advanced innovation known as sun oriented cells, shiny sections of semiconductor that transformed daylight into power. Once more, Einstein didn&rsquot develop sunlight based cells the primary rough forms of them go back to 1839. Be that as it may, he portrayed out their fundamental rule of activity in 1905. His beginning stage was a straightforward similarity: If matter is uneven, that is, in the event that each substance known to mankind comprises iotas and atoms, at that point without a doubt light should be knotty too.

As indicated by Einstein, the energy of every bundle would be corresponding to the light&rsquos recurrence, and that recommended a simple method to test the thought: Point a light shaft at a metal surface. On the off chance that the recurrence was sufficiently high, in any event a couple of its energy bundles would have enough punch to thump electrons free from the metal and send them flying out, so experimenters could recognize them. Sunlight based cells work basically along these lines: Light gushing from the sun kicks electrons in the phone up to higher energy levels, creating a progression of electric flow.

Nobody before Einstein had the option to completely clarify this marvel. His accomplishment was considered essential to such an extent that when Einstein at last won the Nobel prize in material science in 1921, it was not for relativity, however it was for clarifying this photoelectric effect.

Laser Pointers

In the almost sixty years since physicists showed the main research facility model of a laser in 1960, the gadgets have come to involve pretty much every specialty possible, from scanner tag perusers to frameworks for hair expulsion. Every last bit of it outgrows a thought that Einstein had in 1917, as he was attempting to see more about how light collaborates with issues.

He began by envisioning a lot of molecules that are washed in light. As he probably was aware from his past work, particles that are sitting in their most reduced energy state can ingest photons and leap to a higher energy state. Similarly, the higher energy particles can suddenly radiate photons and fall back to bring down energies. At the point when enough time has passed, everything subsides into balance.

That presumption gave Einstein an equation he could use to ascertain what the radiation from such a framework should resemble. Shockingly, his computations didn&rsquot coordinate what physicists really found in the lab. Something was absent.

So Einstein made a roused surmise: Maybe photons like to walk in sync, so the presence of a lot of them going a similar way will expand the likelihood of a high energy atom producing another photon toward that path. He called this cycle animated outflow, and when he remembered it for his conditions, his computations fit the perceptions impeccably.

A laser is only a device for tackling this wonder. It energizes a lot of particles with light or electrical energy, at that point channels the photons they discharge into a military walking in ideal advance decisively one way. The accolade for Einstein is in that general area in &ldquolaser,&rdquo which is an abbreviation for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.


Einstein’s Real Popularity

But why did Einstein become so popular? Why did he gain rock-star status? How is he in such a position that no one questions him and for many people, have come to deify Einstein as one of the great scientific geniuses of all time, despite the glaring problems?

Einstein participating in a parade – the world’s first science celebrity.

Universal Curiosity About the Universe

Every human being has some curiosity about the universe around them. Anyone who has looked up into the night sky has to ponder the universe in which we live and how it all works. How can light travel so far? How does gravity reach so far into space?

Take magnets for example… For everyone who has seen magnets repel and attract with no apparent physical connection, there is genuine curiosity about what is pushing or pulling these pieces of metal together or apart with great force.

The pull of gravity the keeps us on the ground and the light all around us that allows us to see, are concepts every human understands intimately. Life itself depends on these most basic phenomena. Each is important and curiosity of what each of these things really are, are inherent in almost every human who has ever lived.

If someone were to tell us something about the relationship between gravity and light that was never thought of before, that would be something very profound to the general population. That would be something unforgettable and earth shaking to every human being on this planet.

Einstein’s bending space-time was easy to understand even though it has not physical basis.

And that is EXACTLY what happened in 1919. During the full eclipse of the sun, the English astronomer Arthur Eddington announced to the world that Einstein’s prediction that gravity bent light was proven during the 1919 full eclipse in Brazil. And not only did the science world take notice, but the general public as well. Imagine yourself during that time. After all, gravity and light are so ingrained into every aspect of human experience that the idea that the two were intimately linked, must have been earth shattering to all.

Instead of some complicated equation, the idea that gravity bent light was easy to understand by anyone. Before Einstein, these two important concepts were important but distinct. But now, a human being predicted that gravity would bend light and it was proven so.

This announcement in 1919 captured the hearts and minds of all humans and Einstein became an instant celebrity. And even though his famous equation E = mc^2 and the special theory of relativity was postulated over ten years earlier, it wasn’t until Einstein took two of the most intimate aspects of the universe and predicted a simple relationship between the two, that the entirety of the human race took notice.

Einstein became a superstar. A rebel thinker. After all, until Einstein, the light / gravity relationship was never observed, let alone predicted. Einstein was the man who predicted it and when he did, he became a god and everything he touched was gold.


Why Is Albert Einstein Famous?

Albert Einstein is famous for his contributions to science, particularly his general and special theories of relativity. He also won the Nobel Prize for discovering the law of the photoelectric effect.

Einstein is generally regarded as the greatest mind of the 1900s, with some claiming that Einstein's genius is unprecedented. Although his childhood performance in the German academic institutions he attended was rather poor, Einstein compensated by developing his natural proclivity for mathematics and science. He eventually completed his formal education in Zurich, Switzerland at the Federal Polytechnic Academy.

Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity identified that all laws of physics continue to work the same way and that the speed of light is the same in any frame of reference. This is where he specified the E=mc2 equation. The General Theory of Relativity added to this by specifying the effects of gravity or large masses. An offshoot of this work was the conceptualization and the production of the first model of a wormhole.

Though these theories were very important scientifically, Einstein did not win the Nobel Prize in Physics for them, but for discovering how the photoelectric effect worked. This discovery was a major leap forward for developments in electronics, particularly for radio and television. Einstein's work on light also led to the foundation of quantum theory.

Einstein's work in theoretical physics was key to the development of both nuclear energy and the atom bomb. His philosophical ideas also influenced the development of the League of Nations and later the United Nations. He has also gone on to become a popular and highly recognizable figure in pop culture.