Albert Einstein was a physicist who developed the general theory of relativity. A native of Germany he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. Einstein is generally regarded as the most influential physicist of the 20th century. When asked to explain the theory of relativity he is reported to have said: ‘When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity’.
Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany on March 14th 1879. His family moved to Munich when he was just six weeks old. Einstein grew and went to school there until he was 16 years of age. He qualified as a teacher of mathematics and physics from Zurich Polytechnic, Switzerland in 1900. Following qualification Einstein failed to find work as a teacher. He was eventually employed by the patent office in Bern, Switzerland.
In 1905 Einstein was awarded a PhD by the University of Zürich. In that same year he deduced the equation E=mc2, the origins of the development of nuclear power, in his paper on matter and energy. He became well known as a physicist and went on to work first at the University of Zurich in 1908, University of Bern 1909, and Prague in 1911. In 1914 he was appointed professor at the University of Berlin where he remained until 1933. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.
In 1933 Albert Einstein renounced his German citizenship and moved to the United States to avoid persecution by the Nazis. He was appointed to a position at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey and became a United States citizen. In 1939 he signed a letter to the President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt alerting him to the possibility that the Nazis could be developing a nuclear bomb. It is thought that this letter led the American Government to establish a secret military project to produce the first US nuclear weapon. The project which was established in 1942 was known as the Manhattan Project. Einstein remained at Princeton until he retired in 1945. He died in Princeton New Jersey at the age of 76.
Albert Einstein, physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, died in Princeton New jersey in the year 1955 On This Day.