Albert Einstein was arguably one of the most brilliant people in history. I am constantly amazed the more I learn about him. His life was incredible and his philosophies profound. Now that his theory of gravitation has been validated, he is once again in the news. Albert Einstein and his theories of relativity and quantum physics is celebrated the world over. Einstein, the scientist, is familiar to all; Einstein, the man, is less well-known.
The following list contains basic facts about Einstein’s life:
Albert Einstein was born in 1879 in Ulm, Germany, and was raised in Munich. A common — and incorrect — belief about Einstein is that he had a learning disability. In fact, he was a top student in grade school and in college. But he had a rebellious character and clashed with teachers and professors. He sometimes missed classes to study what he liked, and he ended up with some bad grades as a result.
Einstein originally wanted to become a mathematics and physics teacher but later changed his mind and wanted to be a university professor.
His first permanent job was as a clerk in a patent office in Bern, Switzerland. In one year, his miracle year of 1905, Einstein discovered the special theory of relativity, the E = mc2 equation, and the idea of the quantum. Einstein developed his special theory of relativity in five weeks. It took him four years to develop the general theory of relativity.
Einstein was married twice: first to his college girlfriend and classmate, Mileva Maric, and then to his cousin, Elsa Einstein. He had three children, all with Mileva. Their first child was a daughter, Lieserl, who was apparently given up for adoption. Their second child was Hans Albert, who became a professor of engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. Their third child, Eduard, was extremely gifted but was institutionalized because of schizophrenia.
Einstein was a citizen of three countries. He was a German citizen by birth but gave up his citizenship in 1896 because he despised Germany’s militarism. He became a Swiss citizen in 1901.
In 1933, he moved to the United States to flee the Nazis, and he became a U.S. citizen in 1940.
In 1939, Einstein wrote a letter to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, bringing to his attention the real possibility that the recent discovery of nuclear fission “would also lead to the construction of bombs.” He warned the president of the dangerous possibility that Nazi Germany might develop the bomb.
Einstein’s involvement with the bomb ended with this letter; he didn’t participate in its development.
Quantum theory started with the first paper of Einstein’s miracle year of 1905, but he always expressed doubts that quantum physics actually described the real world. “An inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing,” he wrote in 1926. In 1952, Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel after the death of the country’s first president. Einstein declined the offer. Einstein died in Princeton, New Jersey, on April 18, 1955.
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”~Albert Einstein
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”~Albert Einstein
“Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.”~Albert Einstein
“I want to know God’s thoughts, the rest are details.”~Albert Einstein
“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”~Albert Einstein
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”~Albert Einstein
“The only real valuable thing is intuition.”~Albert Einstein
“A person starts to live when he can live outside himself.”~Albert Einstein
“I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice.”~Albert Einstein
“God is subtle but he is not malicious.”~Albert Einstein
“Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.”~Albert Einstein
“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.”~Albert Einstein
“The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.”~Albert Einstein
“Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.”~Albert Einstein
“Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.”~Albert Einstein
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”~Albert Einstein
“Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds.”~Albert Einstein
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”~Albert Einstein
“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”~Albert Einstein
“Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one’s living at it.”~Albert Einstein
“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”~Albert Einstein
“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”~Albert Einstein
“God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.”~Albert Einstein
“The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.”~Albert Einstein
“Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.”~Albert Einstein
“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”~Albert Einstein
“The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.”~Albert Einstein
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”~Albert Einstein
“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.”~Albert Einstein
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”~Albert Einstein
“Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.”~Albert Einstein
“Equations are more important to me, because politics is for the present, but an equation is something for eternity.”~Albert Einstein
“If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x, y is play, and z is keeping your mouth shut.”~Albert Einstein
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the the universe.”~Albert Einstein
“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”~Albert Einstein
“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”~Albert Einstein
“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”~Albert Einstein
“In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep.”~Albert Einstein
“The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there’s no risk of accident for someone who’s dead.”~Albert Einstein
“Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves.”~Albert Einstein
“Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them!”~Albert Einstein
“No, this trick won’t work…How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?”~Albert Einstein
“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”~Albert Einstein
“Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever.”~Albert Einstein
“The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking…the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.”~Albert Einstein
“Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.”~Albert Einstein
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”~Albert Einstein
“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties, no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeeded be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”~Albert Einstein
“The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.”~Albert Einstein
“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”~Albert Einstein
“You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.”~Albert Einstein
“One had to cram all this stuff into one’s mind for the examinations, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect on me that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year.”~Albert Einstein
“…one of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one’s own ever-shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life into the world of objective perception and thought.”~Albert Einstein
“He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is, I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.”~Albert Einstein
“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”~Albert Einstein