Record

CodeNA5171
Dates1879-1955
Person NameEinstein; Albert (1879-1955); mathematical physicist
SurnameEinstein
ForenamesAlbert
Epithetmathematical physicist
ActivityAlbert Einstein (1879-1955), mathematical physicist, was born to a middle-class German family of Jewish extraction. He was a very quiet child but by the age of twelve was already fascinated by geometry. He left school at the age of 15 and moved with his family to Italy where they set up their electrotechnical business. After six months Albert enrolled in a Swiss School and the following year started at the Federal Institute of Tehnology in Zurich were he graduated in 1900. For the next two years he did odd jobs until he got work as a patent examiner. He married a former classmate. In 1905 Einstein wrote three fundamental papers on light, heat and electromagnetic theory and ordinary motion, which introduced his 'principle of relativity'. In 1909 Einstein became an assistant professor at the University of Zurich and in 1911 he moved to the German University of Prague. The following year he returned to the Federal Institute of Technology as Professor.

Einstein moved to Berlin in 1914, to take up a research post which would free him from teaching duties. He separated from his wife and two sons and when the Second World War broke out he formed a pacifist group. In 1915 Einstein completed his general theory of relativity which overturned previous ideas of space and time and chaned ideas of gravity. With Germany's collapse in 1918, Einstein became more involved in politics and supported a new progressive party. He remarried in 1919 and that same year received confirmation of his theories from British astronomers. In 1921 his work came under attack from anti-semites. He began travelling, visiting Amsterdam and America. In 1922 he received the Nobel Prize. In 1933, to avoid the Nazi government, he joined the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, and worked to rescue Jewish and political victims of the Nazis. In 1939, Einstein warned of the possibility of nuclear bombs. In 1940 he became an American citizen. In 1952 Einstein was invited to become the second president of Israel but declined. He carried on with his work and causes until his death in 1955.
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