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Albert Einstein: The Life of a Brilliant Physicist

Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was one of the one of the most brilliant minds the world has ever seen.
(Image: © NASA)

Albert Einstein was a German-American physicist and probably the most well-known scientist of the 20th century. His theory of relativity, which describes the dynamics of light and extremely massive entities, is one of the pillars of modern physics, alongside his work in quantum mechanics, which focuses on the subatomic realm. 

Einstein's upbringing and education

Einstein was born in Ulm, in the German state of Württemberg, on March 14, 1879, according to a biography from the Nobel Prize organization. His family moved to Munich six weeks later, and in 1885, when he was 6 years old, he began attending Petersschule, a Catholic elementary school.

Contrary to popular belief, Einstein was a good student. "Yesterday Albert received his grades, he was again number one, and his report card was brilliant," his mother once wrote to her sister, according to a German website dedicated to Einstein's legacy. But when he later switched to the Luitpold grammar school, young Einstein was not able to cope with the school's authoritarian attitude, and his teacher once said of him, "never will he get anywhere."

In 1896, at age 17, Einstein entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich to be trained as a teacher in physics and mathematics. A few years later, he gained his diploma and acquired Swiss citizenship but was unable to find a teaching post. So he accepted a position as a technical assistant in the Swiss patent office. 

Einstein married Mileva Maric, his longtime love and former student, in 1903. A year prior, they had a child out of wedlock, who was discovered by scholars only in the 1980s, when private letters revealed her existence. The daughter, called Lieserl in the letters, may have been mentally challenged and either died young or was adopted when she was a year old. Einstein had two other children with Maric, Hans Albert and Eduard, born in 1904 and 1910, respectively.

How Einstein changed physics

Einstein obtained his Ph.D. in physics in 1905 — a year that's often known as his annus mirabilis ("year of miracles" in Latin), according to the Library of Congress. That year, he published four groundbreaking papers of significant importance in physics.

The first incorporated the newly conceived idea that light could come in discrete particles called photons. This theory describes the photoelectric effect, the concept that underpins modern solar power. The second explained Brownian motion — in which a small bit of dust is seen to move randomly on the surface of water — by pointing out that water is made up of tiny, vibrating molecules that kick the dust back and forth. 

The final two outlined his theory of special relativity, which showed how observers moving at different speeds would disagree about many measurements, but would agree about the speed of light, which was a constant. These papers also introduced the equation E = mc^2, showing the equivalence between mass and energy. That finding is perhaps the most widely known aspect of Einstein's work. 

In 1915, Einstein published four papers outlining his theory of general relativity, which updated Isaac Newton's laws of gravity by explaining that the force of gravity arose from warps in the fabric of space-time caused by massive objects. The theory was given a major validating boost in 1919, when British astronomer Arthur Eddington observed stars at the edge of the sun during a solar eclipse and was able to show that their light was bent by the sun's gravitational well, causing shifts in their perceived positions.

Einstein divorced Maric in 1919 and soon married his cousin Elsa Löwenthal, with whom he had been in a relationship since 1912. In 1921, he won the Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the photoelectric effect, though the committee members also mentioned his "services to Theoretical Physics" when presenting their award. The decision to give Einstein the award was controversial because the brilliant physicist was a Jew and a pacifist. Anti-Semitism was on the rise and relativity was not yet seen as a proven theory, according to an article from The Guardian.

Einstein was a professor at the University of Berlin for a time but fled Germany with Löwenthal in 1933, during the rise of Adolf Hitler. He renounced his German citizenship and moved to the United States to become a professor of theoretical physics at Princeton, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1940.

During this era, other researchers were creating a revolution by reformulating the rules of the smallest known entities in existence. The laws of quantum mechanics had been worked out by a group led by the Danish physicist Niels Bohr, and Einstein was intimately involved with their efforts.

Bohr and Einstein famously clashed over the latter's qualms regarding quantum mechanics. Bohr and his cohorts proposed that quantum particles behaved according to probabilistic laws, which Einstein found unacceptable, quipping that "God does not play dice with the universe." Bohr's views eventually came to dominate much of contemporary thinking about quantum mechanics.

This autographed photo of Albert Einstein with his tongue out was sold at auction for $125,000. (Image credit: Arthur Sasse/Nate D. Sanders Auctions)

Einstein's later years and legacy

After he retired in 1945, Einstein spent most of his later years working on a method to unify gravity with electromagnetism in what's known as a unified field theory. The effort stumped the physicist, who died of a burst blood vessel near his heart on April 18, 1955.

Einstein's body was cremated and his ashes were spread in an undisclosed location, according to the American Museum of Natural History. But a doctor performed an unauthorized craniotomy before this and removed and saved Einstein's brain. 

The brain has been the subject of many tests over the decades, which suggested that it had extra folding in the gray matter, the site of conscious thinking. In particular, there were more folds in the frontal lobes, which have been tied to abstract thought and planning. However, drawing any conclusions about intelligence based on a single specimen is problematic, according to Eric H. Chudler, a neuroscientist at the University of Washington. 

In addition to his incredible legacy regarding relativity and quantum mechanics, Einstein conducted lesser-known research into a refrigeration method that required no motors, moving parts or coolant. He was also a tireless anti-war advocate, helping found the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, an organization dedicated to warning the public about the dangers of nuclear weapons. 

Einstein's theories concerning relativity have so far held up spectacularly as a predictive models. Astronomers have found that, as the legendary physicist anticipated, the light of distant objects is lensed by massive, closer entities, a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing, which has helped our understanding of the universe's evolution. In 2016, the Advanced LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) also announced the first-ever direct detection of gravitational waves, created when massive neutron stars and black holes merge and generate ripples in the fabric of space-time.

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  • Problematic Thinker
    His brain was eclpsed by other body parts concerning women. His wife worked to support him through school, forfeiting her own education until later, then he repaid her by having an affair with his much younger cousin and divorcing the wife. Quite an honorable little guy.
    Reply
  • Pifou
    Problematic Thinker said:
    His brain was eclpsed by other body parts concerning women. His wife worked to support him through school, forfeiting her own education until later, then he repaid her by having an affair with his much younger cousin and divorcing the wife. Quite an honorable little guy.
    Feminist zealots in despair fellows. They think that there is always someone smarter that is being exploited while the other one steals all the glory. Do not worry about them here they are just dumb as bricks. They have been trying to push this story about Einstein for the last 40 years while themselves cant even make a good sandwich
    Reply
  • Mario Sanchez
    admin said:
    So much more than funny hair.

    Albert Einstein: The Life of a Brilliant Physicist : Read more

    I ask for a license to supplement the proposed article with some excerpts from my book "Einstein, the Unified Field and the Free Energy" PUBLISHED IN ENGLISH AND PORTUGUESE:
    EXCERTS OF MY BOOK PUBLISHED ABOUT EINSTEIN THEORY
    Fourth edition Revised, enlarged and containing an official announcement about the free energy and the declaratory document on the machine that extracts the force of gravity.

    FOREWORDS (Page 4) …and we also continued lamenting that the successors have focused their studies on “philosophies” trying “to overcome” Einstein, when it is more decent to take advantage of that inheritance... to continue the search with the physical tools of experience, his last words on the subject in the article of April 1950 were:
    “As for my last theoretical works, I don’t feel comfortable to publish them, because that should be made after the theories have been confirmed by experience, because only experience can evaluate what is true”. Albert Einstein.

    ENERGETIC SPACE (page 11) Einstein always said that “the vacuum does not exist in the Universe”, and that “the whole space is filled with a dark energy”, as we shall subsequently see. We make a transposition of equations starting from the concept that time is “zero” for physics. The result is that, joining Planck’s equations (quanta) with Einstein’s one (gravitation) we obtained the formula of wavelength for particles and that same formula already existed, created by De Broglie and proven in 1927 in laboratories, for the electron. Therefore, that is unquestionable evidence that there is an invisible energy or “dark matter” inside everything, very subtle and not affected by visible matter, however, as a “fluidic ocean”, our “energetic space” (space filled with energy) where the quanta move. This “sea”, we affirm, is the true reality. All that we see are “vortexes” inside that “sea” (stars, particles, universes... do not exist!). This way, Einstein pulled the rug under our feet and showed that there is no ground!

    (page 19) The apparent solidity of the building of Relativity makes another theory giant, Max Planck, as he analyzed such difficulties, state that there are no more than ten physicists and mathematician who can truly deeply comprehend the demonstrations and implications of Einstein’s thesis and for that reason he asks us to keep those thesis for one thousand years, for it will be the necessary time for those ideas to be fully understood. There are also less favorable critics, who say that the Relativity is a hollow building, without any real structure, based on a void to which a vacuity has been welded. We are not as enthusiastic as Planck was; for us the Theory of Relativity appertains to the “here and now”. Nor are we as pessimistic to advocate its abolition: We only need to understand this theory in order to complete it and to bring it to use.

    (page 21) In his book “Scientific, Moral and Social Conceptions” Einstein presents what we consider as being the “The minimum conditions for the Unified Field Theory”. Let us see some excerpts in Einstein’s own words: “The objective of Science is, on the one hand, to achieve the most complete comprehension possible of the relation between the sensitive experiences in their totality and, on the other hand, the enunciation of these understanding, using the greatest possible number of primary concepts and the least possible number of relations, searching, as much as possible, for the logical unity of the image of the world, that is, a small number of logical elements”.

    We, therefore, come to a primary system of Concepts. With new generalizations we can come to a secondary system, to a tertiary one, and so on, and... “In this way, history continues, until we come to a system of the biggest conceivable unity and of the greatest poverty of concepts of logical fundamentals that are still in agreement with the observation made by the senses. We do not know if such an ambition shall lead us to any definitive system; if I were asked about it, I would tend to reply in the negative! Nevertheless, struggling with difficulties, we shall never forsake the hope that this objective, the greatest one there is, can be effectively reached with very good approximation”.

    (page 81) By using gravitational machines extracting as much force as we want, initially with the use of terrestrial gravity and reaching the pure support in the imponderability of space with spaceships in orbit, we will have put an end to this discussion. Theories can change and we will have to reformulate them in face of the FACTS because facts cannot be revoked.

    (page 85) In September/2004 the magazine Scientific American Brazil interviewed Lawrence M. Krauss on that theme. The initial question is on “the three main questions that torment physicists today” and Lawrence Krauss, the main student of the String Theory, answers: “what is the nature of the dark energy; how to reconcile the black hole evaporation with quantum mechanics; and if other dimensions exist”. He says: “But, somebody will need to have a completely new and fantastic idea.”

    (page 85/86) The new and fantastic idea that Krauss asks for is something that can be submitted to laboratory proof, or that can be explained by measurable observation of facts that are already known, and that, in the end, can take us to the machines that can put that invisible energy to use. In “colonized” countries like Brazil, in addition to the natural obscurantism of the local foremen at the service of the colonizers, the absurd “logic” that our specialists would be inferior to those from rich countries is present. This way, if in rich countries that are conscientious about their science there are economical blackmails made by the adepts of creationism against experimental science, hindering research, here, the massacre of the researchers arrives on hallucination and public suicide in science, prohibiting research.
    And, in spite of that, we can inform: “the really new and fantastic idea” is here, without any flavor of revenge.

    NAME - EINSTEIN - SANCHEZ INVISIBLE ENERGY MACHINE WE PROVED WITH IT THAT EINSTEIN WAS RIGHT ONE MORE TIME!

    THIS DISCOVERY ONLY HAPPENS ONCE IN HUMAN HISTORY!

    AS I WILL GIVE TO EVERY AMERICAN COMPANIES THE RIGHTS TO DEVELOP THE MECHANISM THAT BRINGS THE FORCE OF THE INVISIBLE FIELD, WITH ALL APPLICABLE PATENTS, BY COMMITMENT TO TRANSFER THE ADVANTAGES TO CONSUMERS, OF WHICH THEY WILL COLLECT ONCE A MODEST CONTRIBUTION TO MY ACCOUNT.

    CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MACHINE TESTED:
    A. It produces kinetic energy that comes from the zero point moving a shaft; B ) This driving force does not come from the quantum field - neither does it work with magnetism, fuel, photons, waterfalls or electric sparks; The Zero Point receives an impact from the engine and it returns the force multiplied by the capacity of our machine to collect the answer;
    C ) It has no limits to produce energy and for the small machines, there are parts that can be added that further multiplies the force;
    D ) It feeds itself back, by simply installing an alternator to charge the battery that will be used to start it, like the ones in cars;
    E) It does not pollute our world and it does not consume or drain the invisible field;
    F) It can be applied to move electrical generators or make shafts rotate in vehicles, ships, conveyor belts, automated mechanics, drills and machines in general.

    (page 99/100) IN OUR OPINION THIS DISCOVERY WILL BENEFIT EVERYBODY, BEYOND SOLVING THE CLEAN ENERGY ISSUE AND THE FEAR OF HEATING OR FREEZING WITHOUT ENERGY FOR OUR DEFENSE:
    A) PETROLEUM, B) HYDROELECTRIC POWER PLANTS, C) BANKS...
    2. Transportation with current automotive vehicles, in land, water and air,...
    9. SPACE CONQUEST,

    (page 101) 1. ALBERT EINSTEIN PROPOSED: "Someone will have to convert this invisible force from a linear motion to an angular motion and then we will have as much energy as we want, because this field is unlimited."

    (page 103) AN ADDITIONAL OBSERVATION: And on the side of the quantum world, we have the perception that each quantum is a hole in the emptiness that keeps spinning under the pressure of inertia-gravitation because it is asymmetrical.
    The Earth is the visible model of this phenomenon of the pressure of this transparent SUPER-SOLID mass that pushes everything into the quantum, and imposes an indefinite rotation on it because the quantum (Earth) has asymmetrical protrusions.
    The certainty that the quantum and its material clusters are collections of "nothing" leads us to an idea that the material world is a sort of poly dimensional projection of forms without any content that keep a movement of transformation that result from an invisible force that imposes through rotation this temporal succession called “existence." Defining the nature of the invisible mass as being a SUPERSOLID opened the door to make an experiment as we explained above.

    (page 121) And it is also true what George Musser affirms (reporter and editor) in the October issue of Scientific American magazine in 2004: “quantum mechanics without gravity explains electromagnetism and nuclear forces as well as the structure of matter with extraordinary precision. The gravitational force is the most difficult piece to fit in the unified theory puzzle. As Einstein himself at the end of his life, gravity remains isolated.”

    (page 115) This discovery is the most important of all time.
    AND WE NO LONGER NEED ANY INVESTMENTS IN THEORETICAL PHYSICS. WE ONLY NEED TO INVEST IN THE FINAL RESEARCH ON MACHINERY DEVELOPMENT.
    Reply
  • William Madden
    Albert Einstein was never, ever a "professor of physics" at Princeton University. At the time, Princeton, like most Ivy League universities, was highly anti-Semitic and either forbad the hiring of Jewish faculty or enforced a quota on their number. Einstein accepted a position at the newly established Institute For Advanced Study, headquartered in the the town of Princeton but legally and operationally distinct from the university.

    At the time, this was not known to be a particularly elite appointment, the Institute having no track record whatsoever. Its ability to attract many of the finest minds in their fields quickly changed that perception. (Nevertheless, Richard Feynman, years later, was highly critical of its cloistered atmosphere and, in science at least, its disconnection with the experimental side of the constituent disciplines. )

    The Institute is a purely postdoctoral entity, granting no degrees and offering no classes (apart from ad hoc seminars). In the ensuing years, some faculty at the Institute have established collaborative relationships with faculty and postdoctoral fellows at Princeton University, including Einstein with Nathan Rosen (who later moved from the university to the Institute). However, the Institute remains to this day entirely independent of Princeton University.
    Reply
  • Mario Sanchez
    William Madden said:
    Albert Einstein was never, ever a "professor of physics" at Princeton University. At the time, Princeton, like most Ivy League universities, was highly anti-Semitic and either forbad the hiring of Jewish faculty or enforced a quota on their number. Einstein accepted a position at the newly established Institute For Advanced Study, headquartered in the the town of Princeton but legally and operationally distinct from the university.

    At the time, this was not known to be a particularly elite appointment, the Institute having no track record whatsoever. Its ability to attract many of the finest minds in their fields quickly changed that perception. (Nevertheless, Richard Feynman, years later, was highly critical of its cloistered atmosphere and, in science at least, its disconnection with the experimental side of the constituent disciplines. )

    The Institute is a purely postdoctoral entity, granting no degrees and offering no classes (apart from ad hoc seminars). In the ensuing years, some faculty at the Institute have established collaborative relationships with faculty and postdoctoral fellows at Princeton University, including Einstein with Nathan Rosen (who later moved from the university to the Institute). However, the Institute remains to this day entirely independent of Princeton University.
    Thanks, for these irrelevant informations that are nothing important to understand the matter.
    Reply
  • James DeMeo
    Einstein's theory of relativity was negated by the positive ether-drift experiments that both preceded and followed his earliest works. Michelson-Morely got a 5 to 7.5 kps ether-drift, Dayton Miller got 11.2 kps, and in more recent years Munera got an 18 kps ether wind detection. Each progressively higher value was at higher altitudes, indicating an altitude-velocity dependency, which affirmed a material, entrainable and dynamic ether. Einstein knew these experimental detections would destroy both his general and special relativity theories, and wrote in June 1921, to Robert Millikan:

    "I believe that I have really found the relationship between gravitation and electricity, assuming that the Miller experiments are based on a fundamental error. Otherwise, the whole relativity theory collapses like a house of cards"

    In July 1925, Einstein wrote to Edwin Slosson:

    "My opinion about Miller's experiments is the following ... Should the positive result be confirmed, then the special theory of relativity and with it the general theory of relativity, in its current form, would be invalid. Experimentum summus judex."

    Miller's ether-drift work was carried out over many years, using a far more sensitive apparatus than M-M, including high atop Mount Wilson. The Mt.Wilson experiments ran over four seasonal epochs, detecting variations in net ether-wind velocity, and overall proving that space is not empty, and light-speed is variable according to direction, and in accordance with the velocity of the emitter and receiver.

    Experimentum summus judex?

    In spite of a slap-jack amateurish effort to "prove" Miller's work was due to thermal artifacts -- an unethical effort supported by Einstein in the year before he died -- Miller's findings, and those of other ether-drift experimenters (there are many) who got positive results stand unchallenged. By ignoring such empirical results, the discipline of astrophysics has run itself into a metaphysical cul-de-sac, and today uses brute force firings of professors, dismissals of students and censorship to maintain its assertions of an increasingly complicated and bizarre universe.

    A prime example is how Halton Arp's findings challenging redshifts as distance indicators was systematically ignored, censored, and he then being forbidden additional telescope time. He was forced to move to Germany to sustain an academic post. There are other examples, many, who didn't have Arp's good reputation prior to making his heresy, and who suffered far worse. Einstein's "space time gravity warps", the "big bang", "black holes", and other bizarre metaphysical fantasies of modern astrophysics will eventually go the way of the Ptolemaic astrologer's epicycles.

    A good introduction to these facts of science history is found in the book "The Dynamic Ether of Cosmic Space: Correcting a Major Error in Modern Science".
    https://www.amazon.com/Dynamic-Ether-Cosmic-Space-Correcting/dp/0997405716
    Reply
  • Mario Sanchez
    James DeMeo said:
    Einstein's theory of relativity was negated by the positive ether-drift experiments that both preceded and followed his earliest works. Michelson-Morely got a 5 to 7.5 kps ether-drift, Dayton Miller got 11.2 kps, and in more recent years Munera got an 18 kps ether wind detection. Each progressively higher value was at higher altitudes, indicating an altitude-velocity dependency, which affirmed a material, entrainable and dynamic ether. Einstein knew these experimental detections would destroy both his general and special relativity theories, and wrote in June 1921, to Robert Millikan:

    "I believe that I have really found the relationship between gravitation and electricity, assuming that the Miller experiments are based on a fundamental error. Otherwise, the whole relativity theory collapses like a house of cards"

    In July 1925, Einstein wrote to Edwin Slosson:

    "My opinion about Miller's experiments is the following ... Should the positive result be confirmed, then the special theory of relativity and with it the general theory of relativity, in its current form, would be invalid. Experimentum summus judex."

    Miller's ether-drift work was carried out over many years, using a far more sensitive apparatus than M-M, including high atop Mount Wilson. The Mt.Wilson experiments ran over four seasonal epochs, detecting variations in net ether-wind velocity, and overall proving that space is not empty, and light-speed is variable according to direction, and in accordance with the velocity of the emitter and receiver.

    Experimentum summus judex?

    In spite of a slap-jack amateurish effort to "prove" Miller's work was due to thermal artifacts -- an unethical effort supported by Einstein in the year before he died -- Miller's findings, and those of other ether-drift experimenters (there are many) who got positive results stand unchallenged. By ignoring such empirical results, the discipline of astrophysics has run itself into a metaphysical cul-de-sac, and today uses brute force firings of professors, dismissals of students and censorship to maintain its assertions of an increasingly complicated and bizarre universe.

    A prime example is how Halton Arp's findings challenging redshifts as distance indicators was systematically ignored, censored, and he then being forbidden additional telescope time. He was forced to move to Germany to sustain an academic post. There are other examples, many, who didn't have Arp's good reputation prior to making his heresy, and who suffered far worse. Einstein's "space time gravity warps", the "big bang", "black holes", and other bizarre metaphysical fantasies of modern astrophysics will eventually go the way of the Ptolemaic astrologer's epicycles.

    A good introduction to these facts of science history is found in the book "The Dynamic Ether of Cosmic Space: Correcting a Major Error in Modern Science".
    https://www.amazon.com/Dynamic-Ether-Cosmic-Space-Correcting/dp/0997405716
    For all in this forum:
    One more discussion without content. Please refer to these conclusions which I had already published in 1978 concerning the reversal of reasoning about the speed of light. I proceeded to work out the formulas that continue this understanding. I did not have to contradict Newton's three laws or contest Einstein. So I drafted the thesis that had to be proved to confirm Einstein. His prediction was that by defining the nature of this mass of continuous space / time, the ultimate experiment would be to obtain limitless energy drawn from the G force into the quantum field. I made the machine that brings this Energy to our use. And I published my communication to the world, offering the mechanism under the title "Einstein, the Unified Field and the Free Energy." See some excerpts in this forum. And understand that you are very late in this study.
    Reply
  • William Madden
    Mario Sanchez said:
    Thanks, for these irrelevant informations that are nothing important to understand the matter.
    Yes. As scientists (or even journalists), we certainly would not want to waste time getting our facts straight. That's for the Fake News crowd. Nor would we want to acknowledge that Einstein, fleeing from Hitler's pogroms, did not exactly come into a Jewish Nirvana. The United States (and the UK) can be proud about welcoming Jewish scientific refugees...and not-so-proud about what they sometimes faced once here. Einstein could certainly have found a professorship at a major American or British university (if not an Ivy, then Cal Tech, where he had previous held a visiting faculty position).
    Reply
  • Schwinger_Feynman
    Pifou said:
    Feminist zealots in despair fellows. They think that there is always someone smarter that is being exploited while the other one steals all the glory. Do not worry about them here they are just dumb as bricks. They have been trying to push this story about Einstein for the last 40 years while themselves cant even make a good sandwich

    Yepp, They've been pushing this idea for years despite ZERO evidence. Literally zero. Mileva Maric did not contribute one iota to any of Einstein's ideas, all she did was proof read some of the math for the special relativity paper (which she missed because the published version still had a few minor technical errors that a good proof reading should have caught).

    Einstein is the greatest scientist of all time. The feminists will try to rewrite history to no avail.
    Reply
  • Mario Sanchez
    Who is really this participant adopting these names? (Shwinger_Feinmann)
    Reply