Albert Einstein, one of the most famous names in science, was born in Germany and moved throughout Europe during his young life and then later moved to America as a result of Hitler’s rise to power.
He was a prodigy in the subjects of math and physics. At the age of twelve, he taught himself algebra, came up with his own proof for the Pythagorean Theorem, and began to teach himself calculus, which he mastered only a couple years later. At this age he also decided that he should be able to find an understanding of nature through a „mathematical structure“.
Despite his extreme natural intelligence, Einstein did not enjoy the discipline and teaching style of the teachers at his school in Munich.
He dropped out when he was 15 years old, but ended up enrolling in the math and physics teaching program at the Zurich Polytechnic school when he was 17. In 1900, he was awarded the Federal Polytechnics teaching diploma and began searching for work in the field.
Einstein spent two years trying to find a teaching job, but remained unsuccessful.
He was finally able to find work at a patent office with the help of a friend’s father. His work at this job helped him shape some of his theories, and he began writing scientific papers during this time. After publishing many of these papers, he became known as a leading figure in the world of science. This led to his first teaching position at the University of Bern, and he lectured at many schools all over the world after that, all while publishing papers and developing theories that would forever change the field of science.
Einstein’s most famous finding is the equation E=mc², which he derived from his special relativity equations.
The energy of an object (E) can be calculated by multiplying the mass of that object (m) by the speed of light (c) squared. But what does this mean? Basically, Einstein was illustrating the relationship between mass and energy. This equation proposed the notion that one cannot be without the other. Where there is mass there must be energy and vice versa.
Because of the relationship shown by this equation, Einstein was also proving that objects at rest have quite a bit of energy. If an object has mass, even at rest, then it must contain energy to make the equation true. This also goes the other way around. Where there is energy, no matter how much or little, mass must be present. This is a commonly known and accepted concept today, but during Einstein’s time this was ground-breaking. Einstein made great strides in the field of physics. Physics as we know it would be far less advanced without his theories of relativity and contributions in quantum theory and mechanics. He was honored for his service in the field of physics with the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics.
At the age of 76, Einstein died of an aneurysm. During the autopsy, the pathologist took out Einstein’s brain to preserve it, hoping that the scientists of future generations could find a way to discover what exactly it was that made Einstein such an Einstein. Even without the preservation of his brain, Einstein will be remembered for the rest of time.