March 14, 1879
April 18, 1955
Place of Birth:
Ulm, Württemberg, Germany
Albert Einstein was a major scientist who predicted the danger of atomic weapons.
The Einsteins were non-practising Jews and Albert was sent to a Catholic school.
Einstein, however, was given lessons in Judaism at home by his parents.
In 1881, the family moved to Munich, where he received his early education.
In school, Albert Einstein was thought to be a slow learner.
Starting at age six, Einstein began seven years of taking violin lessons.
He marveled at a compass given to him by his father in that an outside force made the needle move.
At age 12, he started to learn mathematics and two uncles encouraged him to read books on science and mathematics.
His parents moved to Italy in 1894 but Einstein was sent to school in Aarau, Switzerland.
Albert Einstein renounced his German citizenship in 1896.
Einstein failed an exam required by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology to enter their electrical engineer program.
He was accepted into the school later and trained to be a physics and mathematics teacher.
In 1901, a year after he graduated with his teaching diploma, Einstein became a Swiss citizen.
He could not get a teaching position so he began working as a technical expert in a Bern Patent Office.
It was in this position that Einstein produced several theoretical papers suggesting his genius.
In 1905, the University of Zurich awarded Einstein a doctorate degree.
Over the next ten years, Albert Einstein worked at a number of prominent academic positions and perfected an idea he called the Theory of Relativity.
As experiments confirmed his ideas, he grew famous the world over by the breadth of his work.
In 1921, Einstein was awarded a Nobel Prize for his 1905 photoelectric effect paper.
Over the next several years, he traveled to many places around the world advancing his scientific ideas.
He decided to remain in the United States accepting permanent residency in 1933 after Hitler seized power in Germany.
In 1940 Albert Einstein applied for US citizenship and became a dual US-Swiss citizen.
He spent much of his time in the United States working to further the understanding of quantum mechanics.
After his death in 1955, his brain was secretly removed prior to cremation and, after being examined for 40 years, was found to be very unique in some respects.
Albert Einstein offered significant theories that opened the universe to the world.
For detailed research and more information, check out the following:
Einstein for Kids
University of St. Andrews
Image and Impact
On This Day
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Last Updated: December 18, 2017
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