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Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). While best known for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2 (which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation"), he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect". The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory.

Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led to the development of his special theory of relativity. He realized, however, that the principle of relativity could also be extended to gravitational fields, and with his subsequent theory of gravitation in 1916, he published a paper on the general theory of relativity. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light. In 1917, Einstein applied the general theory of relativity to model the large-scale structure of the universe.


Albert Einstein in 1921

He was visiting the United States when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 and did not go back to Germany, where he had been a professor at the Berlin Academy of Sciences. He settled in the U.S., becoming an American citizen in 1940. On the eve of World War II, he endorsed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt alerting him to the potential development of "extremely powerful bombs of a new type" and recommending that the U.S. begin similar research. This eventually led to what would become the Manhattan Project. Einstein supported defending the Allied forces, but largely denounced using the new discovery of nuclear fission as a weapon. Later, with the British philosopher Bertrand Russell, Einstein signed the Russell–Einstein Manifesto, which highlighted the danger of nuclear weapons. Einstein was affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, until his death in 1955.

Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers along with over 150 non-scientific works. His great intellectual achievements and originality have made the word "Einstein" synonymous with genius.

Biography

Early life and education

Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, in the Kingdom of Württemberg in the German Empire on 14 March 1879. His father was Hermann Einstein, a salesman and engineer. His mother was Pauline Einstein (née Koch). In 1880, the family moved to Munich, where his father and his uncle founded Elektrotechnische Fabrik J. Einstein & Cie, a company that manufactured electrical equipment based on direct current.


Einstein at the age of three in 1882

The Einsteins were non-observant Jews. Albert attended a Catholic elementary school from the age of five for three years. At the age of eight, he was transferred to the Luitpold Gymnasium (now known as the Albert Einstein Gymnasium) where he received advanced primary and secondary school education until he left Germany seven years later. Contrary to popular suggestions that he had struggled with early speech difficulties, the Albert Einstein Archives indicate he excelled at the first school that he attended. He was right-handed; there appears to be no evidence for the widespread popular belief that he was left-handed.

His father once showed him a pocket compass; Einstein realized that there must be something causing the needle to move, despite the apparent "empty space". As he grew, Einstein built models and mechanical devices for fun and began to show a talent for mathematics.[10] When Einstein was ten years old, Max Talmud (later changed to Max Talmey), a poor Jewish medical student from Poland, was introduced to the Einstein family by his brother. During weekly visits over the next five years, he gave the boy popular books on science, mathematical texts and philosophical writings. These included Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, and Euclid's Elements (which Einstein called the "holy little geometry book").


Albert Einstein in 1893 (age 14)

In 1894, his father's company failed: direct current (DC) lost the War of Currents to alternating current (AC). In search of business, the Einstein family moved to Italy, first to Milan and then, a few months later, to Pavia. When the family moved to Pavia, Einstein stayed in Munich to finish his studies at the Luitpold Gymnasium. His father intended for him to pursue electrical engineering, but Einstein clashed with authorities and resented the school's regimen and teaching method. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning. At the end of December 1894, he travelled to Italy to join his family in Pavia, convincing the school to let him go by using a doctor's note. It was during his time in Italy that he wrote a short essay with the title "On the Investigation of the State of the Ether in a Magnetic Field."

In 1895, at the age of sixteen, Einstein sat the entrance examinations for the Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zurich (later the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule ETH). He failed to reach the required standard in the general part of the examination, but obtained exceptional grades in physics and mathematics. On the advice of the Principal of the Polytechnic, he attended the Aargau Cantonal School in Aarau, Switzerland, in 1895–96 to complete his secondary schooling. While lodging with the family of Professor Jost Winteler, he fell in love with Winteler's daughter, Marie. (Albert's sister Maja later married Wintelers' son Paul.) In January 1896, with his father's approval, he renounced his citizenship in the German Kingdom of Württemberg to avoid military service. In September 1896, he passed the Swiss Matura with mostly good grades, including a top grade of 6 in physics and mathematical subjects, on a scale of 1-6, and, though only seventeen, enrolled in the four-year mathematics and physics teaching diploma program at the Zurich Polytechnic. Marie Winteler moved to Olsberg, Switzerland for a teaching post.


Einstein's matriculation certificate at the age of 17,
showing his final grades from the Aargau Kantonsschule
(on a scale of 1-6, with 6 being the best mark).

Einstein's future wife, Mileva Maric', also enrolled at the Polytechnic that same year, the only woman among the six students in the mathematics and physics section of the teaching diploma course. Over the next few years, Einstein and Maric''s friendship developed into romance, and they read books together on extra-curricular physics in which Einstein was taking an increasing interest. In 1900, Einstein was awarded the Zurich Polytechnic teaching diploma, but Maric' failed the examination with a poor grade in the mathematics component, theory of functions. There have been claims that Maric' collaborated with Einstein on his celebrated 1905 papers, but historians of physics who have studied the issue find no evidence that she made any substantive contributions.

Marriages and children

With the discovery and publication in 1987 of an early correspondence between Einstein and Maric' it became known that they had a daughter they called "Lieserl" in their letters, born in early 1902 in Novi Sad where Maric' was staying with her parents. Maric' returned to Switzerland without the child, whose real name and fate are unknown. Einstein probably never saw his daughter, and the contents of a letter he wrote to Maric' in September 1903 suggest that she was either adopted or died of scarlet fever in infancy.

Einstein and Maric' married in January 1903. In May 1904, the couple's first son, Hans Albert Einstein, was born in Bern, Switzerland. Their second son, Eduard, was born in Zurich in July 1910. In 1914, Einstein moved to Berlin, while his wife remained in Zurich with their sons. They divorced on 14 February 1919, having lived apart for five years.

Einstein married Elsa Löwenthal on 2 June 1919, after having had a relationship with her since 1912. She was his first cousin maternally and his second cousin paternally. In 1933, they emigrated to the United States. In 1935, Elsa Einstein was diagnosed with heart and kidney problems and died in December 1936.

Patent office

After graduating, Einstein spent almost two frustrating years searching for a teaching post. He acquired Swiss citizenship in February 1901, but was not conscripted for medical reasons. With the help of Marcel Grossmann's father Einstein secured a job in Bern at the Federal Office for Intellectual Property, the patent office, as an assistant examiner. He evaluated patent applications for electromagnetic devices. In 1903, Einstein's position at the Swiss Patent Office became permanent, although he was passed over for promotion until he "fully mastered machine technology".

Much of his work at the patent office related to questions about transmission of electric signals and electrical-mechanical synchronization of time, two technical problems that show up conspicuously in the thought experiments that eventually led Einstein to his radical conclusions about the nature of light and the fundamental connection between space and time.

With a few friends he met in Bern, Einstein started a small discussion group, self-mockingly named "The Olympia Academy", which met regularly to discuss science and philosophy. Their readings included the works of Henri Poincaré, Ernst Mach, and David Hume, which influenced his scientific and philosophical outlook.


Left to right: Conrad Habicht, Maurice Solovine and
Einstein, who founded the Olympia Academy

Academic career

In 1901, his paper "Folgerungen aus den Capillaritätserscheinungen" ("Conclusions from the Capillarity Phenomena") was published in the prestigious Annalen der Physik. On 30 April 1905, Einstein completed his thesis, with Alfred Kleiner, Professor of Experimental Physics, serving as pro-forma advisor. Einstein was awarded a PhD by the University of Zurich. His dissertation was entitled "A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions." This paper included Einstein's initial estimates of Avagadro constant as 2.2×1023 based on diffusion coefficients and viscosities of sugar solutions in water. That same year, which has been called Einstein's annus mirabilis (miracle year), he published four groundbreaking papers, on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special relativity, and the equivalence of mass and energy, which were to bring him to the notice of the academic world.

By 1908, he was recognized as a leading scientist, and he was appointed lecturer at the University of Bern. The following year, he quit the patent office and the lectureship to take the position of physics docent at the University of Zurich. He became a full professor at Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague in 1911. Also in 1911, corrections of algebraic errors in his thesis brought Einstein's Avogadro constant estimate to 6.6×1023. In 1914, he returned to Germany after being appointed director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics (1914–1932) and a professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin, with a special clause in his contract that freed him from most teaching obligations. He became a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. In 1916, Einstein was appointed president of the German Physical Society (1916–1918).

During 1911, he had calculated that, based on his new theory of general relativity, light from another star would be bent by the Sun's gravity. That prediction was claimed confirmed by observations made by a British expedition led by Sir Arthur Eddington during the solar eclipse of 29 May 1919. International media reports of this made Einstein world famous. On 7 November 1919, the leading British newspaper The Times printed a banner headline that read: "Revolution in Science – New Theory of the Universe – Newtonian Ideas Overthrown". Much later, questions were raised whether the measurements had been accurate enough to support Einstein's theory. In 1980 historians John Earman and Clark Glymour published an analysis suggesting that Eddington had suppressed unfavorable results. The two reviewers found possible flaws in Eddington's selection of data, but their doubts, although widely quoted and, indeed, now with a "mythical" status almost equivalent to the status of the original observations, have not been confirmed. Eddington's selection from the data seems valid and his team indeed made astronomical measurements verifying the theory.

In 1921, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect, as relativity was considered still somewhat controversial. He also received the Copley Medal from the Royal Society in 1925.


Einstein's official 1921 portrait after
receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Travels abroad

Einstein visited New York City for the first time on 2 April 1921, where he received an official welcome by Mayor John Francis Hylan, followed by three weeks of lectures and receptions. He went on to deliver several lectures at Columbia University and Princeton University, and in Washington he accompanied representatives of the National Academy of Science on a visit to the White House. On his return to Europe he was the guest of the British statesman and philosopher Viscount Haldane in London, where he met several renowned scientific, intellectual and political figures, and delivered a lecture at King's College.


Einstein in New York, 1921, his first visit to the United States

In 1922, he traveled throughout Asia and later to Palestine, as part of a six-month excursion and speaking tour. His travels included Singapore, Ceylon, and Japan, where he gave a series of lectures to thousands of Japanese. His first lecture in Tokyo lasted four hours, after which he met the emperor and empress at the Imperial Palace where thousands came to watch. Einstein later gave his impressions of the Japanese in a letter to his sons: "Of all the people I have met, I like the Japanese most, as they are modest, intelligent, considerate, and have a feel for art."

On his return voyage, he also visited Palestine for 12 days in what would become his only visit to that region. "He was greeted with great British pomp, as if he were a head of state rather than a theoretical physicist", writes Isaacson. This included a cannon salute upon his arrival at the residence of the British high commissioner, Sir Herbert Samuel. During one reception given to him, the building was "stormed by throngs who wanted to hear him". In Einstein's talk to the audience, he expressed his happiness over the event:

"I consider this the greatest day of my life. Before, I have always found something to regret in the Jewish soul, and that is the forgetfulness of its own people. Today, I have been made happy by the sight of the Jewish people learning to recognize themselves and to make themselves recognized as a force in the world."

Emigration to U.S. in 1933

In February 1933 while on a visit to the United States, Einstein decided not to return to Germany due to the rise to power of the Nazis under Germany's new chancellor, Adolf Hitler. He visited American universities in early 1933 where he undertook his third two-month visiting professorship at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He and his wife Elsa returned by ship to Belgium at the end of March. During the voyage they were informed that their cottage was raided by the Nazis and his personal sailboat had been confiscated. Upon landing in Antwerp on 28 March, he immediately went to the German consulate where he turned in his passport and formally renounced his German citizenship. A few years later, the Nazis sold his boat and turned his cottage into an Aryan youth camp.


Cartoon of Einstein, who has shed his "Pacifism" wings, standing
next to a pillar labeled "World Peace." He is rolling up his sleeves
and holding a sword labeled "Preparedness" (circa 1933).

In early April 1933, he learned that the new German government had passed laws barring Jews from holding any official positions, including teaching at universities. A month later, Einstein's works were among those targeted by Nazi book burnings, and Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels proclaimed, "Jewish intellectualism is dead." Einstein also learned that his name was on a list of assassination targets, with a "$5,000 bounty on his head." One German magazine included him in a list of enemies of the German regime with the phrase, "not yet hanged".

He resided in Belgium for some months, before temporarily living in England. In a letter to his friend, physicist Max Born, who also emigrated from Germany and lived in England, Einstein wrote, "... I must confess that the degree of their brutality and cowardice came as something of a surprise."

In October 1933 he returned to the U.S. and took up a position at the Institute for Advanced Study (in Princeton, New Jersey), that required his presence for six months each year.[64][65] He was still undecided on his future (he had offers from European universities, including Oxford), but in 1935 he arrived at the decision to remain permanently in the United States and apply for citizenship.


Portrait taken in 1935 in Princeton

His affiliation with the Institute for Advanced Study would last until his death in 1955. He was one of the four first selected (two of the others being John von Neumann and Kurt Gödel) at the new Institute, where he soon developed a close friendship with Gödel. The two would take long walks together discussing their work. His last assistant was Bruria Kaufman, who later became a physicist. During this period, Einstein tried to develop a unified field theory and to refute the accepted interpretation of quantum physics, both unsuccessfully.

Other scientists also fled to America. Among them were Nobel laureates and professors of theoretical physics. With so many other Jewish scientists now forced by circumstances to live in America, often working side by side, Einstein wrote to a friend, "For me the most beautiful thing is to be in contact with a few fine Jews—a few millennia of a civilized past do mean something after all." In another letter he writes, "In my whole life, I have never felt so Jewish as now."

World War II and the Manhattan Project

In 1939, a group of Hungarian scientists that included emigre physicist Leó Szilárd attempted to alert Washington of ongoing Nazi atomic bomb research. The group's warnings were discounted. Einstein and Szilárd, along with other refugees such as Edward Teller and Eugene Wigner, "regarded it as their responsibility to alert Americans to the possibility that German scientists might win the race to build an atomic bomb, and to warn that Hitler would be more than willing to resort to such a weapon." In the summer of 1939, a few months before the beginning of World War II in Europe, Einstein was persuaded to lend his prestige by writing a letter with Szilárd to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to alert him of the possibility. The letter also recommended that the U.S. government pay attention to and become directly involved in uranium research and associated chain reaction research.

The letter is believed to be "arguably the key stimulus for the U.S. adoption of serious investigations into nuclear weapons on the eve of the U.S. entry into World War II". President Roosevelt could not take the risk of allowing Hitler to possess atomic bombs first. As a result of Einstein's letter and his meetings with Roosevelt, the U.S. entered the "race" to develop the bomb, drawing on its "immense material, financial, and scientific resources" to initiate the Manhattan Project. It became the only country to successfully develop an atomic bomb during World War II.

For Einstein, "war was a disease ... [and] he called for resistance to war." By signing the letter to Roosevelt, he went against his pacifist principles. In 1954, a year before his death, Einstein said to his old friend, Linus Pauling, "I made one great mistake in my life — when I signed the letter to President Roosevelt recommending that atom bombs be made; but there was some justification — the danger that the Germans would make them ..."

US citizenship


Einstein accepting U.S. citizenship certificate from judge Phillip Forman

Einstein became an American citizen in 1940. Not long after settling into his career at the Institute for Advanced Study (in Princeton, New Jersey), he expressed his appreciation of the "meritocracy" in American culture when compared to Europe. According to Isaacson, he recognized the "right of individuals to say and think what they pleased", without social barriers, and as result, the individual was "encouraged" to be more creative, a trait he valued from his own early education. Einstein writes:

"What makes the new arrival devoted to this country is the democratic trait among the people. No one humbles himself before another person or class ... American youth has the good fortune not to have its outlook troubled by outworn traditions."

As a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Princeton who campaigned for the civil rights of African Americans, Einstein corresponded with civil rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois, and in 1946 Einstein called racism America's "worst disease". He later stated, "Race prejudice has unfortunately become an American tradition which is uncritically handed down from one generation to the next. The only remedies are enlightenment and education".


Einstein in 1947

During the final stage of his life, Einstein transitioned to a vegetarian lifestyle, arguing that "the vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind".

After the death of Israel's first president, Chaim Weizmann, in November 1952, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion offered Einstein the position of President of Israel, a mostly ceremonial post. The offer was presented by Israel's ambassador in Washington, Abba Eban, who explained that the offer "embodies the deepest respect which the Jewish people can repose in any of its sons". However, Einstein declined, and wrote in his response that he was "deeply moved", and "at once saddened and ashamed" that he could not accept it:

"All my life I have dealt with objective matters, hence I lack both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to exercise official function. I am the more distressed over these circumstances because my relationship with the Jewish people became my strongest human tie once I achieved complete clarity about our precarious position among the nations of the world."

Death

On 17 April 1955, Albert Einstein experienced internal bleeding caused by the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which had previously been reinforced surgically by Dr. Rudolph Nissen in 1948. He took the draft of a speech he was preparing for a television appearance commemorating the State of Israel's seventh anniversary with him to the hospital, but he did not live long enough to complete it.

Einstein refused surgery, saying: "I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly." He died in Princeton Hospital early the next morning at the age of 76, having continued to work until near the end.

During the autopsy, the pathologist of Princeton Hospital, Thomas Stoltz Harvey, removed Einstein's brain for preservation without the permission of his family, in the hope that the neuroscience of the future would be able to discover what made Einstein so intelligent. Einstein's remains were cremated and his ashes were scattered at an undisclosed location.

In his lecture at Einstein's memorial, nuclear physicist Robert Oppenheimer summarized his impression of him as a person: "He was almost wholly without sophistication and wholly without worldliness ... There was always with him a wonderful purity at once childlike and profoundly stubborn."

Albert Einstein and Fying Saucers

Only once is it known for certain that Albert Einstein spoke directly about UFOs. In the St. Louis Post Dispatch, AP Item, 7/30/52, it is reported that Einstein wrote evangelist Louis Gardner (in reply to Gardner’s query about UFOs).

"These people have seen something - What it is I do not know and am not curious to know".

- Albert Einstein, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey (reply letter to Californian Minister, July 23rd, 1952)

Einstein-Oppenheimer Draft

This six-page document titled, "Relationships With Inhabitants of Celestial Bodies", is the first document to use the phrase Extraterrestrial Biological Entities, or EBEs. It says the presence of unidentified spacecraft is accepted as de facto by the military - and this is dated June 1947.

It deals with the subjects that you would expect competent scientists to deal with - i.e., where do they come from, what does the law say about it, what should we do in the event of colonization and/or integration of peoples, and why are they here?

The document suggests that in the event that EBE's desire to settle here on earth there will be "profound change in traditional concepts" of law and the possible need for a new "Law Among Planetary Peoples."

There is also propositions concerning the necessary creation of a "Cosmic International law" that would protect the rights of all celestial states to lay claim on otherwise unclaimed solar territories.

Finally, the document addresses the presence of celestial astroplanes in our atmosphere as a result of actions of military experiments with fission and fusion devices of warfare.

The authors of this document encourage consideration of our potential future situation and safety due to our present and past actions in space.

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein
http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread922593/pg1
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/esp_sociopol_mj12_3p.htm
 
 
No infringement intended. For educational purposes only.