Albert Einstein


Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany on March 14, 1874. Before his first birthday,
his family had moved to Munich where young Albert\'s father, Hermann Einstein,
and uncle set up a small electro-chemical business. He was fortunate to have an
excellent family with which he held a strong relationship. Albert\'s mother,
Pauline Einstein, had an intense passion for music and literature, and it was
she that first introduced her son to the violin in which he found much joy and
relaxation. Also, he was very close with his younger sister, Maja, and they
could often be found in the lakes that were scattered about the countryside near
Munich.

As a child, Einstein\'s sense of curiosity had already begun to stir. A favorite
toy of his was his father\'s compass, and he often marvelled at his uncle\'s
explanations of algebra. Although young Albert was intrigued by certain
mysteries of science, he was considered a slow learner. His failure to become
fluent in German until the age of nine even led some teachers to believe he was
disabled.

Einstein\'s post-basic education began at the Luitpold Gymnasium when he was ten.
It was here that he first encountered the German spirit through the school\'s
strict disciplinary policy. His disapproval of this method of teaching led to
his reputation as a rebel. It was probably these differences that caused
Einstein to search for knowledge at home. He began not with science, but with
religion. He avidly studied the Bible seeking truth, but this religious fervor
soon died down when he discovered the intrigue of science and math. To him,
these seemed much more realistic than ancient stories. With this new knowledge
he disliked class even more, and was eventually expelled from Luitpold Gymnasium
being considered a disruptive influence.

Feeling that he could no longer deal with the German mentality, Einstein moved
to Switzerland where he continued his education. At sixteen he attempted to
enroll at the Federal Institute of Technology but failed the entrance exam. This
forced him to study locally for one year until he finally passed the school\'s
evaluation. The Institute allowed Einstein to meet many other students that
shared his curiosity, and It was here that his studies turned mainly to Physics.
He quickly learned that while physicists had generally agreed on major
principals in the past, there were modern scientists who were attempting to
disprove outdated theories. Since most of Einstein\'s teachers ignored these new
ideas, he was again forced to explore on his own. In 1900 he graduated from the
Institute and then achieved citizenship to Switzerland.

Einstein became a clerk at the Swiss Patent Office in 1902. This job had little
to do with physics, but he was able to satiate his curiosity by figuring out how
new inventions worked. The most important part of Einstein\'s occupation was that
it allowed him enough time to pursue his own line of research. As his ideas
began to develop, he published them in specialist journals. Though he was still
unknown to the scientific world, he began to attract a large circle of friends
and admirers. A group of students that he tutored quickly transformed into a
social club that shared a love of nature, music, and of course, science. In 1903
he married Mileva Meric, a mathematician friend.

In 1905, Einstein published five separate papers in a journal, the Annals of
Physics. The first was immediately acknowledged, and the University of Zurich
awarded Einstein an additional degree. The other papers helped to develop modern
physics and earned him the reputation of an artist. Many scientists have said
that Einstein\'s work contained an imaginative spirit that was seen in most
poetry. His work at this time dealt with molecules, and how their motion
affected temperature, but he is most well known for his Special Theory of
Relativity which tackled motion and the speed of light. Perhaps the most
important part of his discoveries was the equation: E= mc2.

After publishing these theories Einstein was promoted at his office. He remained
at the Patents Office for another two years, but his name was becoming too big
among the scientific community. In 1908, Einstein began teaching party time at
the University of Berne, and the following year, at the age of thirty, he became
employed full time by Zurich University. Einstein was now able to move to Prague
with his wife and two sons, Hans Albert and Eduard. Finally, after being
promoted to a professor, Einstein and his family were able to enjoy a good
standard of living, but the job\'s main advantage was that it allowed Einstein to
access