Considered as 20th Century’s most influential physicist, Albert Einstein is one of the most popular scientists of modern science.
Though most of us today know him for this Theory of Relativity, he actually did not win the Noble Prize for that theory. That is one of the many interesting facts about this great scientist.
Let us today learn 45 interesting Albert Einstein facts and find out more about the personal and professional life of this one of the greatest man to have ever lived on Earth.
Interesting Albert Einstein Facts: Birth and Life: 1-5
1. Einstein was born in Germany on March 14, 1879. The place of birth was Ulm, Württemberg. He died on April 18, 1955 at the age of 76 in Princeton, New Jersey, United States.
2. At birth his head had a weird shape. It is being said that the back of his head was very large but within the first few weeks, the shape gradually changed to normal.
3. He was born in a middle-class Jew family and had a sister named Maja who was two years younger to him.
4. Einstein did not only love to play violin but was also a great fan of classical music.
5. Sources say that Einstein was plagued by speech difficulty and could not speak until he turned 4 years old.
Interesting Albert Einstein Facts: Birth and Life: 6-10
6. Albert Einstein completed his elementary education from Munich’s Luitpold Gymnasium
7. The first scientific paper he wrote was at the age of 16. The paper was titled “The Investigation of the State of Aether in Magnetic Fields.”
8. In 1894, his father’s electrical company failed to get an important contract and the family was forced to move to Italy’s Milan. Einstein was however, left at Munich’s boarding house to complete his studies. Einstein was very unhappy about the idea of joining compulsory military duty when he reached the appropriate age and hence, he decided to join his parents in Milan. He left school without notice by using a doctor’s note and went to Italy.
9. Einstein then joined Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule (Swiss Federal Polytechnic School) based in Zürich, Switzerland. His exceptional talent in mathematics and physics grabbed attention but he actually failed in other subjects of the entrance exam. School authorities decided to accept him provided he completed his formal schooling. So, he joined Jost Winteler’s special high school and graduated at the age of 17.
10. At the age of 17 Einstein also renounced his German citizenship to avoid military service. During his schooling with Jost Winteler, he became very close to the family and fell in love with Marie – Winteler’s daughter. He also enrolled in Zürich’s school after renouncing his German citizenship.
Interesting Albert Einstein Facts: Birth and Life: 11-15
11. At Zürich Einstein met some of his lifelong loyal friends. He also met Mileva Maric, a Serbian woman and his fellow student. Maric later became Einstein’s wife but their relationship was not really accepted by Einstein’s family because of the religious differences.
12. Einstein and Maric had a daughter named Lieserl. Nothing is known about their daughter. Some say that the kid died of sickness while others say that the couple gave her up for adoption. Lieserl was born in 1902. When Lieserl was born, Einstein and Maric were not married.
13. In 1902, Einstein’s financial conditions were awful. He did not have a job and his father’s company went bankrupt. That is when Einstein started tutoring children.
14. Einstein eventually grabbed a Swiss clerical job after a recommendation from Marcel Grossman’s father. Marcel Grossman was Einstein’s lifelong friend.
15. Einstein’s father died shortly after that because of illness but before death, approved of Einstein’s and Maric’s wedding. The couple got married in 1903. The next year they had a son named Hans Albert and in 1910 they had a second son named Eduard.
Interesting Albert Einstein Facts: Birth and Life: 16-20
16. The clerical job that Einstein actually took was in a Swiss patent office. His job was to evaluate patent applications for various electromagnetic devices. Einstein quickly mastered the job and had enough time to think about electrical-mechanical synchronization and electrical signal transmissions.
17. During his study at the polytechnic school, Einstein went through the electromagnetic theories that were developed by James Maxwell – a Scottish Physicist.
18. Einstein, through the studies of those theories, had found out that speed of light was constant and this fact was not known to Maxwell. Einstein’s discovery was a direct violation of Newton’s laws of motion. This led Einstein to develop the relativity principle.
19. The year 1905 is known as the ‘Miracle Year’ of Einstein. That year he submitted his doctorate paper and 4 of his papers were published in one of the best know physic journals – the Annalen der Physik. The 4 papers that were published were Equivalence of Matter and Energy, Special Relativity, Brownian Motion and Photoelectric Effect. These papers eventually altered the very fabric of modern physics.
20. It was in his paper on ‘Equivalence of Matter and Energy’ where Einstein gave his famous formula E=mc2.
Interesting Albert Einstein Facts: Fame and Divorce: 21-25
21. Einstein’s papers immediately stirred up the entire academic world but the physic community started ignoring him until Max Planck – founder of quantum theory – eventually complimented Einstein’s work and conducted experiments confirming Einstein’s work. Planck being the most influential physicist of his time actually helped Einstein to raise to prominence.
22. Einstein eventually became director of Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics and served from 1913 to 1933.
23. After gaining popularity, Einstein had to frequently travel and this started causing troubles in his family because of poor finances.
24. Eventually, Einstein concluded that the marriage was over and got into a relation with his cousin named Elsa Löwenthal and later married her.
25. Mileva Maric and Albert Einstein eventually divorced in 1919 on an agreement that if ever Einstein wins a noble prize, Maric will receive the entire money that he wins.
Interesting Albert Einstein Facts: Fame and Divorce: 25-30
26. The work on General Theory of Relativity was eventually completed by Einstein in 1915.
27. In 1921 Einstein received Noble Prize for Physics but he did not win for his Theory of Relativity as it was not completely understood by many. He was actually awarded the prize for his extraordinary explanation of the photoelectric effect.
28. In 1920s Einstein eventually started the new science of cosmology and predicted that the universe was expanding and that it was not static. This was eventually confirmed in 1929 by celebrated astronomer named Edward Hubble.
29. Einstein’s prediction of the expansion of universe was actually in line with his General Theory of Relativity.
30. “The Greatest Blunder” – In 1930 Einstein met with Edward Hubble and declared his cosmological constant – the original theory on shape and static size of universe (that he came up with in 1917) – as his ‘greatest blunder’ and rejected it. Little did Einstein know at that time that what he termed as ‘greatest blunder’ will actually become a corner stone for the study of dark energy in universe!
Interesting Albert Einstein Facts: 31-35
31. Dr. Thomas Sowell came up with the term ‘Einstein Syndrome’ which he used to describe delayed speech in exceptionally brilliant people. He coined the term because Einstein himself could not speak until he reached the age of 4.
32. Rumors have been spread that Einstein actually failed in mathematics. This is absolutely incorrect. Einstein was brilliant in mathematics and by the age of 15 he actually mastered calculus.
33. Einstein had actually set some weird rules for his first wife Maric. The rules included – ‘she had to stop talking when Einstein asked her to’, ‘she had to serve him three meals a day’ and ‘she could not expect any physical intimacy from him’.
34. Elsa Löwenthal (Einstein’s cousin) actually had the last name as Einstein. Her actual name was Elsa Einstein. She married Max Löwenthal in 1919 and her name changed to Elsa Löwenthal. Later in 1919 when she married Albert Einstein, her name again became Elsa Einstein.
35. In many letters that Einstein wrote to Elsa, he actually acknowledged the fact that he was involved in several extramarital affairs.
Interesting Albert Einstein Facts: 36-40
36. Einstein really hated wearing socks. In a letter he wrote to Elsa, he actually wrote that “Even on the most solemn occasions I got away without wearing socks and hid that lack of civilisation in high boots.”
37. Einstein was asked to become the President of Zionist Israel in 1952 but he declined the offer.
38. Einstein invented a refrigerator that used alcohol gas for operating. In 1926 the refrigerator was patented but never went into production because new technologies came up.
39. Einstein was very much obsessed with smoking. He actually went on saying “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs”. He was never found turning down a cigar or a cigarette offer but was fonder of pipes.
40. Einstein loved sailing and violin. He was so much in love with his violin that he named it as ‘Lina’.
Interesting Albert Einstein Facts: 41-45
41. Einstein’s success mostly came from visual experiments he used to conduct in his mind. He rarely went to lab to test his theories.
42. After Einstein’s death, the pathologist who was in charge of the autopsy of Einstein’s body actually stole Einstein’s brain and kept in a jar. He denied to return the brain and was eventually fired from his job. He still did not give up the jar but finally returned the brain after 20 years of possession.
43. His first wife Maric actually received the money he won as a part of Noble Prize.
44. Despite the fact that the credit for creating the formula E=mc2 goes to Einstein, it was actually first used by Friedrich Hasenöhrl. This led to a big controversy but eventually, Einstein’s work on relativity and the deep implications allowed the academic world to give the credit to Einstein.
45. Einstein’s eyeballs are preserved in a safe box in New York City.