Everything You Need to Know About Einstein

Albert Einstein once exclaimed that God does not play dice with the world. What he meant was that life is not a crapshoot, but an ordered event with many forks of choice in the road that one can travel. His own life portrayed that sense of order.

Einstein, born in Ulm, Württemburg, Germany on March 14, 1879, to Hermann Einstein and Pauline Koch, grew up with his sister, Maria (Maja), and his uncle Jakob's family, in a Munich suburb. His uncle's electrical prowess and technical library provided the young Einstein with plenty of fodder to help form his intellect.

Biographers disagree that Einstein could not speak until he was four years old due to a learning disability. It is also widely argued that dyslexia kept him from reading until he was nine years old. In fact, he was an exemplary student in primary school through his polytechnic years, although he borrowed the notes for his final from fellow student, Marcel Grossman. What seems consistent in his history is that he did shy away from the world even as a youngster.

Some psychologists believe Einstein was a gestalt learner. Gestalt learners see the big picture and only utilize the details that they deem necessary for that understanding. Visualize that as a recipe. Einstein saw the cake; but, the ingredients did not mean as much to him as the cake did. This may be a key reason that biographers referred to him as "LD" or "learning disabled"--a term now diplomatically referred to as "differently-abled."

Now teaching, and financially unstable, as his familial support dried up due to his father's failing business, Einstein turned to other ways of supporting himself: teacher, patent office worker, and other civil service, all the while researching for his doctorate. In the meantime, he fell in love with and married a Serbian physics student named Mileva Maric´. Einstein's parents despised his new love; but, gave the two permission to marry in 1903 after finding that Maric´ had given birth to a daughter, Lieserl. Lieserl was born in 1902 and there is no record of her after 1903. A son, Hans Albert, was born in 1903, and another son, Eduard, was born in 1910. Einstein and his first wife divorced in 1919. A people search brought forth information that he married his first cousin, Elsa Lowenthal, later that same year, after tiring of meaningless trysts. The widowed Lowenthal had nursed him back to health after a heart ailment. He went back to school.

Einstein earned his doctorate in 1905 from the University of Zurich with the thesis "On a new determination of molecular dimensions" which utilized Max Planck's hypothesis describing the electromagnetic radiation emitting from small quantities of light and James Maxwell's revolutionary work on electromagnetic theory and the kinetic energy of gases. He wrote three papers that year all based on the "gestell" or framework of proportions. The second paper, arguably his most famous, was on the special theory of relativity, or that no matter what, physical laws were the same in any framework of reference. Gravity and acceleration held no factor. This led to his famous equation that energy was equal to mass and the constant speed of light, squared--in short, E = MC2. The third paper, on statistical mechanics, continued his work in quantum physics by discussing how molecules and atoms behave in a certain space.

The three papers led finally to his magnum opus, arguably just as much art as science, his "general theory of relativity," in 1915. This general theory expanded on his special theory of relativity by involving the term of acceleration and how gravity affected time and space or "spacetime." Simply put, the special theory of relativity has a distant force acting on an object whereas the general theory of relatively has the force acting at or within the object. Scientists now know that black holes in the universe exemplify this general theory of relativity. The extreme gravitational pull emanating from the black hole is one of which nothing, not even light, can escape its depths.

Einstein's contributions in quantum science have had major repercussions on the world. Scientists who have taken what they have learned from Einstein have delved impossibly deeper into the land of atomic particles and subparticles. No greater example of this was the twentieth's century's devastating atomic bombs over Nagasaki and Hiroshima opening a virtual Pandora's box for twenty-first century science. Einstein was not pleased with the outcome and called for nuclear disarmament.

Through Einstein's science, the world learned that nothing happens by chance--"God does not play dice with the world." But perhaps through the looking glass of Pandora's box, mankind will find, as it searches for the one thing that eluded Einstein--a unified theory of relativity--or the string that ties it all up in a nice, neat package.

Albert Einstein died in 1955 at Princeton, New Jersey. In 2008, Forbes listed Einstein as fourth highest earning dead celebrity of all time with an earnings of $18 million.

Nobel Biography of Albert Einstein

The Albert Einstein Personal Archives

Albert Einstein's Awards

Nova's Interactive Einstein Site

Einstein Quotations

Einstein's Inventions

Albert Einstein's FBI File

Photos of Albert Einstein

"Images and Impact" of Albert Einstein

Timeline: Albert Einstein

Einstein's Theory of Relativity: History and Basics

E=mc (squared) Explained

Listen to Einstein Explain His Famous Formula

Spinning Stars and Einstein at Home

Einstein's General Theory of Relativity in Plain Words

Einstein's Greatest Invention

Books By Albert Einstein

Teaching with Movies: Einstein

The Einstein Family

Eduard Einstein and Schizophrenia

Albert Einstein's Obituary

Whatever Happened to Einstein's Brain?

Albert Einstein Hits the Cover of Time Magazine

Princeton's Einstein Repository

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