It would be difficult to overestimate the intelligence of Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 — April 18, 1955); indeed, his very name has become virtually synonymous with “genius.” It would be equally difficult to overstate the impact his prodigious mind has had on our world.
Among Einstein’s many scientific accomplishments, he developed the famous mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc2. Even physicists who understand the formula are at a loss to explain how he came up with it.
His Theory of General Relativity gave us a better understanding of the way the universe functions, as did his work on particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also scrutinized the thermal properties of light, and predicted the existence of gravitational waves.
In 1921, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Luckily, the German-born, Jewish theoretical physicist happened to be in the United States when Hitler rose to power in 1933; he wound up settling in America and became a U.S. citizen in 1940. For much of the rest of his life until he died at age 76, Einstein was a resident scholar at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study.
Although he initially advocated the development of nuclear weapons to defeat the Axis powers — especially in light of Nazi efforts to build an atomic bomb —- he warned of the dangers of using such weapons after World War II.
In the U.S., Einstein decried racism and worked for African American civil rights. (In line with his beliefs, he joined the NAACP.) He was also a strong supporter of Zionist causes and a proponent of the establishment of Israel.
Albert Einstein died in April 1955 from a ruptured aortic aneurysm.
Quotes by Albert Einstein
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
”Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”
“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
Learn more about Albert Einstein on Wikipedia. >>
Watch “How Einstein’s Theory of Relativity Changed the World” on PBS NewsHour [7:17]. >>
Listen to an interview with Albert Einstein from 1940, right after he took the test to become a U.S. citizen [14:56]. >>
Watch the documentary “The Extraordinary Genius of Albert Einstein” [1:29:53]. >>