Albert Einstein Biography: Success Story of Physicist and Scientist

Albert Einstein Biography

Albert Einstein

In this success story, we will share Albert Einstein’s biography, a German-born scientist, the inventor of the theory of relativity, whose name has become synonymous with the word “genius” and whose E=mc2 equation is studied by millions of students every year. Not only was he recognized as a prominent physicist and the winner of the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics, but also as a philosopher, theologian, lifelong pacifist, and amateur musician. Yet you are sure to learn many more unexpected sides to his persona throughout the story we will share with you.

Albert Einstein was known to have an eccentric and frivolous nature during his lifetime. His mixture of opposite personality traits served him the reputation of an absent-minded professor and a mad scientist combined. But is this reflection really what he was about, or will we discover quite the opposite in this extraordinary man? Join Astrum People in exploring his unusual life story and find out what you have never been taught in science classes at school.

Early Life

Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in Ulm, in the Kingdom of Württemberg in the German Empire. His father, Hermann Einstein (August 30, 1847 – October 10, 1902), was a salesman and engineer, and his mother, Pauline Einstein (née Koch) (February 08, 1858 – February 20, 1920) was a caring and quiet woman. His parents lived in a very different world from what it is now: there was no electric light, and the houses were lighted with gas and oil lamps, heated by coal, and horses were the most common method of transportation. However, the technology was steadily improving. The year Albert was born was the same. Thomas Edison invented the electric bulb. The modern appliances helped Albert’s family to earn their living. In 1879, one year after Albert was born, the family moved from Ulm to Munich, where Hermann, together with Albert’s uncle, Jakob Einstein, founded Elektrotechnische Fabrik J. Einstein & Cie, a company specializing in manufacturing electrical equipment based on the direct current (DC). The venture was quite successful; by 1885, the Einsteins did very well financially.

In Munich, the Einstein family grew with one more member, as on November 18, 1881, when Albert was 2.5 years old, Albert’s younger sister, Maria “Maja” Einstein, was born. Over the years, they had good relationships and were good friends.

Though now the name Einstein is often used as a synonym for “genius,” Albert was not a childhood prodigy. He started speaking relatively late, when he was three years old. His parents made him see a doctor, worrying Albert had developmental issues. The scientist later commented that at that time, he often formed complete sentences in his thoughts but did not utter them.

School Years

Although the family was Ashkenazi Jews, when Albert was 5, he went to Petersschule, a Catholic elementary school. The school’s high educational standards were detrimental to such a decision. This is where the next three years of Albert’s life unfolded. As a student, young Einstein did not show remarkable results. Most of his grades were passing, and he was near the top of his class, mainly because of math and science. His learning success depended primarily on his interest in the subject. It was also at this time that he developed a religious background. Later, after studying sciences, he started questioning religion and eventually diverted from Judaism.

Somewhat later, after he began school, Pauline Koch enrolled her children in music lessons, during which Albert studied how to play the violin, and Marie took piano lessons. Albert did not enjoy playing the violin at first, but once he discovered the music of Mozart and Beethoven, he taught himself how to play the piano and even claimed that he thought in music. Later, at 17, when Albert Einstein performed Beethoven’s violin sonatas to the examiner, he was noted to have a special meaning in music.

His education continued in the autumn of 1888 when he enrolled in Luitpold Gymnasium, an equivalent of the current high school (now called Albert Einstein Gymnasium). The educational institution strictly endorsed high standards for its students, requiring them, for example, to study the Greek and Latin languages. Albert did well in Latin but could not stand Greek because he could not find the common language with his teacher. Einstein loved doing things his own way rather than following the teachers’ guidelines. Such a compulsive nature and attitude were typical for young Albert Einstein, which complicated his relationships at school. When Einstein was ten years old, he started educating himself under the guidance of his uncle, Jakob Einstein, who bought the boy books for the upcoming study years. This way, Albert managed to read them before the classes started and get good grades without active participation in classroom sessions. For instance, he taught himself Euclidean geometry by age 12 and differential and integral calculus by age 15. This left him some free time for model construction and long walks in the woods, which he started to like at that age.

Life in Italy and Switzerland

In 1894, Elektrotechnische Fabrik J. Einstein & Cie weakened its position in the market because it failed to adapt to changing market-oriented alternating current (AC) standards rather than the direct current (DC) standard they had been focused on. Hermann was forced to close the business and move to Milan, Italy, and later Pavia, which offered better market prospects. Albert stayed in Germany to complete three more years of his gymnasium, but only three months later, in December 1894, he dropped out of school. Having obtained letters of recommendation from his math teacher, Albert joined his family in Italy. Over the next ten months, he took to hiking in the Alps, the first time he showed love to any physical activity.

In 1895, at the age of 16, Albert Einstein was determined to study electrical engineering in Zürich at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic Institute, Switzerland (German: Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich or ETH Zurich), since it did not require completed secondary school education just an entrance exam. He failed the entrance exams but demonstrated exceptional results in mathematics and physics. To complete his secondary education and enrich his knowledge, the principal of the Swiss Federal Polytechnic advised Einstein to enter the Argovian Cantonal School in Aarau, Switzerland, headed by Jost Winteler. During his studies at Aargau Cantonal School from 1895 to 1896, Einstein was hosted by Jost Winteler and his wife, Pauline. Jost and Pauline had a daughter, Marie Winteler, who was 10 years older than Albert Einstein. Marie and Albert liked each other, and the Wintelers did not mind this affection.

You can't blame gravity for falling in love. – Albert Einstein Click To Tweet

In 1896, with his father’s approval, Albert Einstein renounced his German citizenship to avoid military service in the German Kingdom of Württemberg. He remained stateless until 1901. Only in 1901 did Einstein obtain Swiss citizenship.

In September 1896, Albert passed the exit exams from Aargau Cantonal School with good grades, earning the top 6 in physics and mathematics (on a 1 – 6 scale). In 1896, at 17, he entered the Zürich Polytechnic (ETH Zurich) at the four-year mathematics and physics teaching diploma program. His girlfriend, Marie Winteler, relocated to Olsberg, Switzerland, for a teaching job.

Einstein enrolled in the Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zürich in 1896 to study mathematics and physics.

Student Years

The Swiss Federal Polytechnic Institute class was relatively small at the time and consisted of only five students. There was only one female student in the group, Mileva Marić, who later became involved with Albert Einstein romantically and married him on January 06, 1903. Then it became known that they had a daughter named “Lieserl” born in 1902 in Novi Sad, whose fate is still unknown. According to the correspondence between Einstein and Marić, their daughter was either adopted or died of scarlet fever in infancy.

Albert Einstein and Mileva Einstein-Marić got married on January 06, 1903.

According to Einstein, the core value of college education was the art of learning how to learn. Still, he remained pretty rebellious. He skipped classes that he did not like and was a frequent guest at coffee houses and beer halls. To pass his exams, Albert copied class notes from Marcel Grossmann, which got him the highest grades in the group, surpassing Grossmann himself. Einstein got some of his first ideas when still in college. The year before graduating from college, Einstein wrote that he thought current theories regarding the electrodynamics of moving bodies were different from reality.

Albert Einstein passed the exit exams well and obtained a degree and a teaching diploma in mathematics and physics. He wanted to continue his life story as a professor’s assistant, but none of the professors would accept him for his rebellious character.

Early Career

After graduating in 1900, Albert Einstein’s teaching diploma was useless when finding a teaching position. He continued the job search for two years until the father of his university classmate, Marcel Grossmann, helped him get employed as an assistant examiner at the Federal Office for Intellectual Property in Bern, Switzerland. At the patent office, Einstein evaluated patent submissions for various inventions.

In 1902, with new friends Conrad Habicht and Maurice Solovine, Einstein met in Bern; he organized a small discussion group, “The Olympia Academy,” which regularly gathered in Einstein’s apartment to discuss physics and philosophy. The discussion group played a significant role in Einstein’s intellectual development.

On May 14, 1904, Mileva Einstein-Marić gave birth to Albert’s first son, Hans Albert Einstein (May 14, 1904 – July 26, 1973). The son’s birth did not distract Albert Einstein from his scientific career. It was quite the opposite, and in the year 1905, Einstein’s biographers called it the “miracle year.”

Annus Mirabilis Papers and the Miracle Year

In the 1900s, physics was divided into two branches. The first one was focused on electromagnetism, represented by James Clark Maxwell, and mechanics, represented by Isaac Newton.

The year 1905 is called the “miracle year” of Albert Einstein. Sometimes, it is called the “annus mirabilis,” which in Latin means the “miracle year.”  This was because he wrote four papers in a scientific journal, Annalen der Physik, that contributed significantly to the groundwork of modern physics and completely changed the view on space, time, mass, and energy. Those papers were on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special theory of relativity, and mass-energy equivalence.

The Photoelectric Effect

On March 17, 1905, Einstein wrote his first paper, Concerning an Heuristic Point of View Toward the Emission and Transformation of Light, explaining the photoelectric effect. It was published in Annalen der Physik journal the same year on June 09. This work introduced photons and laid the foundation for quantum theory, which would help him win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.

On April 30, 1905, Einstein and his doctoral advisor Alfred Kleiner (April 24, 1849 – July 03, 1916) completed his Ph.D. thesis, titled A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions, which helped establish the existence of molecules. As a result, Einstein obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Zürich in 1905.

Brownian Motion

On May 11, 1905, Albert Einstein completed his second work titled On the Movement of Small Particles Suspended in a Stationary Liquids by the Molecular-Kinetic Theory of Heat, delineating a stochastic Brownian motion model. Annalen der Physik was published on July 18, 1905.

Special Theory of Relativity

The third paper, On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, was received on June 30, 1905, and released on September 26, 1905. It combined Maxwell’s equations for electricity and magnetism with the laws of mechanics by introducing fundamental changes to mechanics close to the speed of light. Later, it would become the background of Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Mass-Energy Equivalence

On September 27, 1905, Einstein submitted his fourth paper to the journal. On November 21, 1905, his fourth paper titled Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content? was published in Annalen der Physik. The paper contained an argument for arguably the most famous equation, E=mc2, in physics. It was later proven by the development of an atomic bomb and helped to understand how the Sun generates energy.

Despite being called the “miracle year,” 1905 did not bring a 26-year-old Einstein fame. Einstein was a visionary who thought ahead of time, and most achievements in this period became widely appreciated only 15 years later.

In 1907, it occurred to him that the definition of gravity was to be changed, and he suggested that gravity was equivalent to accelerated motion. His image as a scientist improved then, and he was invited to lecture at the University of Bern.

University Career

The year after, he resigned from his position at the patent office and was appointed the associate professor at the University of Zürich. By this time, Mileva and Albert had problems with their marriage, and relocating to Zürich in October 1909 helped improve the situation. Mileva got pregnant with the second child; the family life settled down, and the second son, Eduard (Tete) Einstein, was born on July 28, 1910. Having given a lecture on electrodynamics and the relativity principle at the University of Zurich in February 1909, Alfred Kleiner recommended Einstein to the faculty for a recently created professorship in theoretical physics. Therefore, Einstein became an associate professor in 1909.

The new title altered Einstein´s image completely. He changed his neat patent office appearance for baggy short trousers and indifferent hairstyle. His lectures bore quite a similar style. They were informal: students could interrupt the professor anytime, often spent time together at different cafes, and even joined him at home.

In April 1911, notwithstanding the students’ protests and the promotion provided by the University, Albert Einstein moved to Prague to work as a full professor at German Charles-Ferdinand University. He obtained Austrian citizenship to work in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

It is interesting to know that, at first, his application for the position was not approved by the Ministry of Education in Vienna and Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary. The job was given to Gustav Jaumann (1863–1924), who turned down the offer when he found that Albert Einstein was the first choice. The position allowed Einstein to travel a lot through Europe. Also, while working at German Charles-Ferdinand University, Albert Einstein wrote 11 scientific papers, 5 of which were on the quantum theory of solids and radiation mathematics.

In the spring of 1912, he visited Berlin, where he met with his cousin Elsa Löwenthal (January 18, 1876 – December 20, 1936). Their relationship continued through letters after Einstein’s return.

In July 1912, the Einsteins moved back to Zürich and became a professor at his alma mater, ETH Zurich. There, Albert Einstein taught analytical mechanics and thermodynamics and studied the molecular theory of heat, continuum mechanics, and the problem of gravitation together with his old friend Marcel Grossmann from 1912 until 1914. He then returned to Berlin, where he held the position of a professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin and the head of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics (1914–1932). He also became a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, and in 1916 Einstein was assigned as president of the German Physical Society (1916–1918).

In Alexander Kennedy’s book Albert Einstein: A Life of Genius, the author speculates that Einstein accepted the offer mainly because of his love affair with Elsa Löwenthal. At this time, Mileva started suffering from severe depression. In July 1914, she took her two sons and left home. Their marriage ended badly. Albert Einstein and Mileva Einstein-Marić got divorced on February 14, 1919. Fierce arguments about money and children accompanied their separation. Albert Einstein was restricted from getting married for the next two years, but he married Elsa Löwenthal just three and a half months later, on June 02, 1919. By this time, Albert had earned the reputation of an eccentric non-traditional educator, and his teaching career started to decline.

General Theory of Relativity

The teaching career may seem to decay at this point in Albert Einstein’s biography. Still, his scientific one was bound to face worldwide recognition following his research on the theory of relativity. Einstein spent 1911 – 1913 working on the general theory of relativity, which calculated that the Sun’s gravity bends light from another star (now known as Gravitational lens effect). In August 1914, during the eclipse, there was a chance to prove this theory. An astronomer, Erwin Finlay-Freundlich, set up an expedition to the Crimea to test Einstein’s calculations. Still, three weeks before the trip, the war between Germany and Russia had burst out, and the whole team was arrested before they could reach their destination. By November 1915, Einstein had finalized his general theory of relativity. In the spring of 1919, an English astronomer, physicist, and mathematician, Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, went to Africa to prove the theory during the solar eclipse of May 29, 1919. In November 1919, when he received the proofs, Einstein became an overnight success. On November 07, 1919, The Times newspaper headline read Revolution in Science – New Theory of the Universe – Newtonian Ideas Overthrown. Recognition brought personality changes with it. He became less stubborn and more confident. The love for attention made him behave more charming.

Travels Abroad

In 1920, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences approved Albert Einstein as its Foreign Member.

On April 02, 1921, Albert Einstein traveled to the United States for the first time. Upon his arrival in New York City, Mayor John Francis Hylan sent him an official welcome note and three weeks of lectures. Einstein gave lectures at Columbia University and Princeton University and met with the 29th US President, Warren G. Harding, while delegating National Academy of Science representatives for an appointment at the White House.

Upon his return to Europe, 1st Viscount Haldane, Richard Haldane (July 30, 1856 – August 19, 1928), invited Einstein to be his guest in London. Albert Einstein lectured at King’s College London and got acquainted with several scientific and political personalities.

In July 1921, Albert Einstein wrote an essay titled My First Impression of the U.S.A. He characterized America as a friendly, cheerful, optimistic, and unenvy nation.

In 1922, Einstein went on voyages to Asia and later to Palestine. Also, he visited Singapore, Ceylon, and Japan, where he delivered a series of lectures to Japanese people and met with the 123rd Emperor of Japan, Emperor Taishō (August 31, 1879 – December 25, 1926 ) and Empress Teimei (June 25, 1884 – May 17, 1951) at the Imperial Palace. In a letter to his sons, Einstein portrayed the Japanese nation as intelligent, considerate, modest, and with an authentic taste for art.

The Nobel Prize in Physics

When anti-Semitism rose in Germany in the 1920s, Einstein started embracing his Zionist background. At this time, he was actively raising funding for Jews in Palestine. During that time, the Nobel Prize-Awarding Institution, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, decided that none of the year’s nominations met the criteria to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. Therefore, they reserved it until the following year. One year later, the Nobel Prize was announced on November 09, 1922, and Albert Einstein was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.”

However, Einstein’s frequent travels prevented him from receiving the Nobel Prize personally during the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony held in Stockholm on December 10, 1922.

So why did Einstein never receive a Nobel prize for relativity? This is because anti-Semitism was on the rise in Germany in the 1920s. Jews were being blamed for the nation’s downfall in the war. As Einstein was both a pacifist and a Jew, he was a perfect target to defeat. Einstein’s scientific opponents, such as Philipp Eduard Anton von Lenard and Ernst J. L. Gehrcke, called into question his theory of relativity. The Nobel Prize Committee was then doubtful about whether to give the prize for relativity. After debates and arguing, they decided it would be better to reserve the Nobel Prize for the next year than give it to the theory of relativity. Therefore, when in 1921, the situation reached a critical point, Carl Wilhelm Oseen, the director of the Nobel Institute for Theoretical Physics in Stockholm, suggested a compromise that Albert Einstein would receive the deferred 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics, but not for relativity but for his work on the photoelectric effect.

The Second Trip to the United States

In December 1930, Albert visited the United States one more time. He planned to stay there for two months as a research fellow at the California Institute of Technology. During Einstein’s second visit to the US, NYC Mayor James J. Walker (June 19, 1881 – November 18, 1946) gave him the keys to the city. The attention to his persona remained persistent, but Einstein refused to receive awards and speak publicly during this trip. Einstein visited various types of events during his stay in New York City: he had lunch with the editors of the New York Times, visited Manhattan’s Chinatown, the Carmen performance at the Metropolitan Opera, and joined a crowd of 15,000 people at Madison Square Garden during a celebration of a Jewish holiday, Hanukkah. Albert Einstein continued his trip across the United States. He headed to California, where he delivered a speech to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) students, often indicating that sometimes science was inclined to cause more damage than good. There, he got acquainted with the president of Caltech and Nobel laureate Robert A. Millikan (March 22, 1868 – December 19, 1953). Their friendship could not be called deep since Robert A. Millikan supported patriotic militarism, and Albert Einstein supported pacifism.

Another remarkable event at this stage was a meeting with Charlie Chaplin (April 16, 1889 – December 25, 1977). In January 1931, Albert and his wife Elsa were invited to visit the premiere of Chaplin’s film City Lights in Hollywood. The married couple arrived at the premiere, and the crowd exploded with ovation once they entered the theater.

Soon, Einstein invited Chaplin to visit his home in Berlin. In his biography book, Chaplin recalled Einstein’s apartment as modest and presumed that Nazis most probably used his piano as a kindling wood.

Once Elsa told Chaplin the story of how Einstein came to the idea of the theory of relativity: one morning, while having breakfast, Einstein seemed mused on fall to thinking, ignoring his mealtime. Elsa asked if something bothered him, but he didn’t respond. Instead of this, Einstein walked to his piano and started playing it by writing notes for half an hour. After this, he went upstairs to his study room for two weeks. Of course, Elsa brought him some food to eat and took care of her husband. Two weeks later, Albert finished working on his theory of relativity and went downstairs with two sheets of paper that would revolutionize physics.

Emigration to the United States

In February 1933, Germany underwent the rise of Nazis with Germany’s new chancellor Adolf Hitler. Einstein knew he could not go back to Germany at this point. In March 1933, with his wife Elsa, they returned to Belgium by ship to discover that the Nazis had invaded their house, and their personal belongings were confiscated, including his private sailboat. On March 28, 1933, he immediately went to the German consulate in Antwerp to formally renounce his citizenship and turn in his passport.

In April 1933, Nazis banned Jews from being officially employed, including university teaching. Thousands of Jewish scientists were expelled from universities and schools. The German Student Union initiated book burnings a month later, including Einstein’s books. Albert Einstein was even on the list of enemies of the new German government, which offered a $5,000 bounty for Albert Einstein’s head.

Because he lost his home in Germany, he stayed at a rented house in De Haan in Belgium. In July 1933, he moved to England at the personal invitation from Commander Oliver Stillingfleet Locker-Lampson, who gave shelter to him in his cottage outside London by setting two guards to protect and take care of him.

Einstein lobbied to bring Jewish scientists out of Germany during his stay in England. Sir Winston Churchill (November 30, 1874 – January 24, 1965) listened to this urge and sent a physicist, Frederick Lindemann, to seek out Jewish scientists and invite them to work in British universities. Later, Einstein turned for help to Turkey’s Prime Minister, İsmet İnönü, and asked him to provide shelter for unemployed German-Jewish scientists in Turkey. As a result, over 1,000 German-Jewish scientists were deported from Germany.

Einstein could have received British citizenship, but the bill granting it never became law, and he moved to the United States to accept the offer of working as a resident scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

In October 1933, Einstein entered the office of Princeton Institute but was still unsure about his future career.  He had offers from other educational institutions, including Oxford and Christ Church. Still, two years later, he decided to stay in the United States for good and apply for US citizenship. During his working years at the Institute for Advanced Study, he worked on creating a unified field theory and debunking the accepted interpretation of quantum physics. Both of these endeavors remained fruitless.

In 1935, doctors diagnosed Elsa Einstein with kidney and heart problems. She died on December 20, 1936, at 60, in Princeton, New Jersey, US.

Manhattan Project

In 1939, the world was on the brink of World War II, and a group of Hungarian scientists with Leó Szilárd found that Nazis were researching building an atomic bomb. They tried to warn the American government but failed. Later, Leó visited Einstein and convinced him to write a letter to President Roosevelt about the importance of conducting nuclear weapons research. It is believed that this letter was one of the reasons for President Roosevelt to establish the Manhattan Project, which led the United States to be the first and the only country to invent an atomic bomb during World War II. Also, it was the first nation to drop them on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 06 and 09, 1945, conflicting with Japan. A known pacifist, Einstein, later admitted to regretting the letter as a mistake that caused the bombs to be made but justified his decision by the danger from Germans.

When the Italian Benito Mussolini enforced anti-Semitic laws in Italy, where Albert´s sister Maria lived with her husband, the scientist invited her to stay with him in the United States, where she remained until her last days.

Personal Life and Community Activities

In 1940, Einstein became an official citizen of the USA. He was inspired by America´s power of individuals in government and the respect for the freedom of speech. This encouraged creativity, a trait he has always treasured.

Civil Rights Follower

Liberty and equality were essential values for Einstein. He was a big supporter of socialism and a global democratic government. He was also recognized as an African American civil rights movement advocate. He was even a supporter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Princeton. In 1946, during his visit to Lincoln University, the first university in the United States to give college degrees to African Americans, he delivered a speech on racism and received an honorary degree.

Einstein retired from his position at Princeton University in 1945. After dropping the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Albert Einstein joined the effort to warn society of the dangers associated with the development of nuclear weapons and, together with Leó Szilárd, founded the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists (ECAS) in 1946. ECAS was founded in the wake of the “Szilárd petition” that Leó Szilárd sent to the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman, in July 1945. The petition was signed by 70 scientists who had worked on the Manhattan Project, as most were unaware they were creating a nuclear weapon.

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. – Albert Einstein Click To Tweet

In 1946, Lincoln University in Pennsylvania awarded Albert Einstein an honorary degree. It was the first university in the United States to grant college degrees to African-American students. While visiting Lincoln University, Albert Einstein made a speech on racism in the US before its students, saying, “I do not intend to be quiet about it.” Einstein once even paid the college tuition for an African-American student. Albert Einstein was one of the founders and Board of Governors of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, established on July 24, 1918.

Love of Music

Albert Einstein had a profound interest in music from his childhood. His mother played piano and wanted her son to play the violin. At 13, he started to play more willingly when he discovered Mozart’s violin sonatas for himself. Once, a school examiner in Aarau heard Einstein playing Beethoven’s violin sonatas, recalling that Einstein’s performance was “remarkable and revealing of great insight.” Though Einstein never had the idea of becoming a professional musician, the role of music in his social life was remarkable. While living in Bern, Zürich, and Berlin, Einstein played chamber music with Max Planck and his son for small audiences and friends.

In 1931, while being a research fellow at the California Institute of Technology, he even played some Mozart and Beethoven’s masterpieces with members of the Zoellner Quartet in Los Angeles, California.


During his last years, Einstein’s health was worsening. He still worked on theories, but he mostly kept to himself.

In 1948, Albert Einstein had surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurysm performed by Rudolph Nissen. On April 17, 1955, Albert Einstein had a rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), which caused internal bleeding and his death. He was planning to prepare a speech in the hospital dedicated to the State of Israel’s anniversary but did not survive to finish it. Einstein could undergo the surgery but refused it because he wanted to die with dignity. Albert Einstein died the following day at 76 in Princeton Hospital.

Thomas Stoltz Harvey, a doctor at the Princeton Hospital, performed the autopsy and preserved Einstein’s brain without the permission of his family for the neuroscience of the future to discover the reason for his intelligence.

Scientific Heritage

On December 05, 2014, the Digital Einstein Papers, hosted by Princeton University Press, made The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein freely available to the public. Albert Einstein left behind hundreds of scientific and non-scientific works; the archive comprised more than 30,000 unique documents. The most prominent articles were published during his annus mirabilis, the miracle year.

Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them. – Albert Einstein Click To Tweet

In 1909, Einstein wrote a paper on the photon concept, which inspired the wave-particle duality notion in quantum mechanics. The papers completed from 1911 to 1913 contain him reformulating 1900 quantum theory and introducing the zero-point energy idea.

Between 1907 and 1915, Albert Einstein was working on the theory of general relativity. This theory of gravitation has now received extensive usage in astrophysics and explains the essence of black holes, the parts of space with such a strong gravity attraction that even light cannot escape them.

Gravitational Waves

In 1916, Einstein made the discovery that has been proven by science 100 years later. He predicted gravitational waves that transfer energy in the form of gravitational radiation. In September 2015, different gravitational-wave detectors started observing sources of gravitational waves, such as white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. On September 14, 2015, at 5:51 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time (09:51 UTC), both of the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors observed gravitational waves from the merging black holes. On February 11, 2016, LIGO confirmed the discovery of gravitational waves.


Many know Einstein for his accomplishments, yet his abandoned ideas are much less known. Einstein applied his theory of relativity to form the universe’s structure as a whole. In his attempts, the scientist added a new term, the cosmological constant, to the field equations to enable the theory to forecast the future. Later, Albert Einstein stepped away from this concept. In 2013, a group of scientists, headed by the Irish physicist Cormac O’Raifeartaighs, were learning Hubble’s observations of the recession of the nebulae found proof that the cosmological model of the universe.

Therefore, Albert Einstein predicted a Steady State model (an alternate theory to the Big Bang model) of the expanding universe many years before Hoyle, Bondi, and Gold. However, Einstein’s Steady State model contained a fundamental flaw, so he rejected this idea.

Energy Quanta and Photons

Alongside developing the theory of general relativity, Einstein concluded that light consists of localized particles he called quanta in his 1905 paper. This idea was first abandoned by all physicists, Niels Bohr and Max Plank. However, in 1919, Robert Millikan ran several experiments to investigate the photoelectric effect, and the idea became generally accepted. Einstein stated that each wave of frequency f has a collection of hf energy photons, where h equals Planck’s constant.

A Theory of Everything

It is obvious that throughout his life, Einstein was trying to sort out different scientific discoveries to form an explicit theory of how things function in the world around us, what scientists now call A theory of everything (ToE). In April 1950, Scientific American published Einstein’s work On the Generalized Theory of Gravitation, where he discussed his “unified field theory.”

Other Scientific Contributions

One can think that one person can’t make so many impactful discoveries. Yet, you will be even more surprised to discover that there are many more scientific areas in which Albert Einstein conducted his research. Einstein also collaborated with other scientists to contribute to their investigations. For example, he worked on the essence of magnetization with de Haas, helped Erwin Schrödinger with his gas model, and co-invented a refrigerator, the patent for which was bought by Electrolux company.

Being one of the most prominent scientists of all times and ages, no wonder he also left his mark on pop culture. Not only is his figure an inspiration for many films, books, plays, and pieces of music, but he is also the ideal prototype for the character of an absent-minded mad professor.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. – Albert Einstein Click To Tweet

Albert Einstein’s life story is a vivid example of how one man’s biography can change the course of history. Not often can you find a person so compelling to have predicted many scientific discoveries years before they were proven.

That is a story of a rebellious teenager who turned himself into a World Citizen, a Jewish physicist surviving Nazi Germany, a fighter for world peace. He was the underestimated professor, the Nobel Prize Winner, a “mad” scientist, and the man whose input can be traced all the way to current high-tech explorations. We hope you have enjoyed exploring Albert Einstein’s biography, which inspired you to make discoveries.

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