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A Genius Beyond Time and Space: Einstein
by GP Verma

Albert Einstein was born on Friday March 14,1879 in Ulum of Germany.

His mother was concerned about the unusual shape of his head and even feared that he might be mentally handicapped  because he was slow at learning to talk. Albert’s father was an Engineer. His mother was bright, lively, energetic and a gifted pianist. He was a sick and timid child and even the sight of a military parade would frighten him.

Right from childhood Albert badgered his father and uncle with questions like “How does darkness happen?’’,  “What are the sun’s rays made of?”, “What would it be like to travel down a beam of light?”

Albert did not like school, and did not mix happily with other boys. However he had one passion and that was mathematics. He was number one in mathematics and by the age of ten Albert began to study mathematics on his own.

For a while, Albert became deeply absorbed in religion – he even composed songs to sing to God but at the age of twelve he developed faith in the awe-inspiring majesty of nature. At the age of fifteen, Albert irritated teacher because of his obvious intelligence and confidence in himself. To avoid compulsory army duty in Germany he moved to Italy in 1895.

He failed in entrance examination of the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich because he had no teacher to guide him. However, he scored high marks in Science and mathematics. Albert followed a four year course that would qualify him as a specialist teacher of mathematics and physics at secondary school level. He worked very hard but did not always get the approval of professors. Einstein felt their style to be routine, boring and old fashioned. Einstein studied only what he found interesting and not what his professor’s felt he ought to learn. However he got some help from his friends like Grossman and graduated with excellent grade in August 1900.

Because of his quarrel with his professors he was out of job for one year and then got a temporary post as a school teacher  While teaching he began to write papers for Scientific journals, describing his new and original ideas. He was deeply disappointed when University of Zurich refused to award him PhD. He felt that the society of scientists had gone against him.

With the help of Grossman he got a job in the patent office as Technical Expert in 1902. He could afford to get married in 1903 with Mileva Maric. She was highly educated in mathematics and physics. She contributed a lot towards Albert’s research. They had two sons.

1905 is sometimes called Einstein’s “miraculous year”. He completed PhD thesis, published two scientific papers of astonishing originality (outlining his theory of special relativity) and wrote two other papers which were also well received. 200 years after Newton the genius of Einstein suggested a whole new system of laws describing how time and space are measured.

Einstein’s other conclusion was that energy is equivalent to the mass multiplied by the square of the velocity of light.

In 1907, Einstein published one of the first papers on what is considered today the major twentieth century discovery in physics: The Quantum Theory.

Einstein became lecturer in 1908 and professor of physics in 1909. He was given many honorary degrees, made head of research institute. In 1913 he was invited to join the elite Prussian Academy of Science. In 1915 he published the theory of general relativity. Einstein received the Nobel prize in 1921. During 1920 and 1930 his ideas were very popular.

He was lover of music and enjoyed playing the Violin. He was even a greater lover of peace. During the First World War he campaigned vigorously for peace and in 1925 he supported Mahatma Gandhi’s call for non-violence and brotherhood.

In 1917 he fell ill and remained in fragile health for several years. He also suffered with serious heart trouble in 1928. For the rest of his life he was concerned with two major questions in physics, Unified field theory and Quantum mechanics.

In 1930 he worked for International disarmament for peace and for the Jewish cause. On October 17, 1933 he and his family sailed for United States. He never set foot in Europe again.  In 1936 he became American citizen.

In 1939 he wrote a letter to president Roosevelt that resulted in the atom bomb. Einstein was horrified and repented at this outcome throughout his life. He wanted a new international order to ensure lasting peace.

In 1948 he fell ill with a potentially fatal diagnosis. In 1952 he was offered the post of the President of Israel but in vain. In April 18, 1955 he passed away.

Even today he is an inspiration to millions of people throughout the world. Clearly his genius transcends the boundaries of time and space.  

Read Also: Albert Einstein : The Genius of All Times by Sunitichandra Mishra
9-Mar-2008
 
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