Born in Ulm, Germany to Hermann Einstein and Pauline Koch. As a child, Einstein revealed an extraordinary curiosity for understanding the mysteries of science which started only at age 10/11. As a child, Einstein took music lessons, playing both the violin and piano — a passion that followed him into adulthood.
Einstein attended elementary school at the Luitpold Gymnasium in Munich. However, he felt alienated and struggled with the rigid Prussian education he received there. He also experienced a speech difficulty, a slow cadence in his speaking where he’d pause to consider what to say next. In later years, Einstein would write about two events that had a marked effect on his childhood. One was an encounter with a compass at age five, where he marveled at the invisible forces that turned the needle. The other was at age 12, when he discovered a book of geometry which he read over and over. In 1896 he entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich to be trained as a teacher in physics and mathematics.
Writes First Scientific Paper
In 1889, the Einstein family invited a poor Polish medical student, Max Talmud, to come for meals. Talmud became an informal tutor to Einstein, introducing him to higher mathematics and philosophy. One of the books Talmud shared with him was a children’s science book in which the author imagined riding alongside electricity that was traveling inside a telegraph wire. At 16, he wrote his first scientific paper, “The Investigation of the State of Aether in Magnetic Fields.”
While working as a patent clerk in Bern, Switzerland, Einstein had what came to be known as his “Annus Mirabilis” — or “miracle year.” It was during this time that the young physicist obtained his doctorate degree from Zurich University and published four of his most influential research papers, including the Special Theory of Relativity. In that, the now world famous equation “e = mc2” unlocked mysteries of the universe previously unknown.
Completes General Theory of Relativity
Royal Society and Royal Astronomical Society confirms Einstein’s theories by eclipse observations and becomes world famous. This year, Einstein also has first Zionist discussions with Kurt Blumenfeld.
First U.S. Visit
Visits U.S. with Chaim Weizmann for a fundraising tour for The Hebrew University. Lectures at Princeton University on theory of relativity. Albert Einstein was one of the founders of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He delivered the university’s inaugural scientific lecture and edited its first collection of scientific papers. His unique relationship to HU found a lasting expression in the bequest of his literary estate and personal papers to HU in his Last Will and Testament.
Receives The Nobel Prize
Awarded Nobel Prize for Physics for 1921. Because relativity was still considered controversial, Einstein received the award for his explanation of the photoelectric effect.
Visits Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
Visits and holds inaugural scientific lecture at future site of Hebrew University. Edits first collection of scientific papers of HU.
Joins Board of Governors & Academic Council of HU
Appointed Professor at Princeton
Einstein emigrated to the United States in the autumn of 1933 and took up residence in Princeton, New Jersey and a professorship at the prestigious Institute for Advanced Study.
Publishes Evolution of Physics
Publication of The Evolution of Physics. Signs letter to President Franklin Roosevelt recommending U.S. research on nuclear weapons.
Supports Creation of Israel
Names HU as Ultimate Repository for Personal Papers
Offered Presidency of State of Israel
After the death of Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion asked Albert Einstein to become Israel’s second president, which Einstein turned down.
Einstein passed away in 1955. Today, the practical applications of Einstein’s theories include the development of the television, remote control devices, automatic door openers, lasers and DVD-players. Recognized as TIME magazine’s “Person of the Century” in 1999. Einstein’s intellect, coupled his strong passion for social justice and dedication to pacifism, left the world with infinite knowledge and pioneering moral leadership.