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15 Fascinating Facts About Albert Einstein

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1. Albert Einstein couldn’t get his love life straight

Although few could compare with his outstanding scientific genius, Albert Einstein just wasn’t cut out for the homely life. His first wife was Mileva Marić, the only woman lucky enough to enroll for the mathematics and physics teaching diploma course at the Zurich Polytechnic. They soon became best college buddies and fell in love. The couple tied the knot in January 1903 and even had two sons, Hans Albert and Eduard. But Einstein decided that he’d rather spent his time with his cousin Elsa Löwenthal. He married her on 2 June 1919. Nevertheless, he wasn’t entirely sure if this was the right choice, because he also loved Marie Winteler, the daughter of one of his professors. Tough choice.

2. He didn’t win a Nobel Price in Physics for his theory of relativity

It is a widely spread misinformation, that still persists even among the pretty intelligent ones among us. Truth be told, Albert Einstein was researching the photoelectric effect at about the same time, and this was the achievement which caught the eye of the Nobel Prize committee. Apart from that, he also managed to delve into a great deal of other mysteries of the universe, such as the quantum physics theory or cosmology, and his discoveries still prove to be milestones, paving the way for modern science.

3. Albert Einstein actually started cosmology

In 1917 Albert Einstein applied the general theory of relativity to the structure of the universe as a whole for the first time, and he really made a statement with that. Einstein first put forward the hypothesis of a static space, as he lacked tangible evidence of any dynamics. Later, though, he replaced this theory with two dynamic models of the cosmos, the Friedman-Einstein model of 1931 and the Einstein-deSitter model of 1932. By this time, Einstein’s heart was set on a dynamic model of space and he even said that the static one was “in any case theoretically unsatisfactory”. And the research carried out from that point onwards proves he was right.

4. He loved classical music and had a flair for it, too

Apparently, Albert Einstein started playing when he was just 5 years old, but he was still too young to appreciate it at the time. Later on, however, at the age of 13, he became totally keen on Mozart, and started practicing a lot, to hone his skills. He also started to fancy playing the violin and had a soft spot for Beethoven’s sonatas. This fascination with chamber music and polyphony had remained with him throughout his whole life. He performed regularly both in front of public audiences, and friends. In Bern, for example, he played alongside Max Planck’s family.

5. Albert Einstein was somewhat the inventor of the Manhattan project

When Adolf Hitler first got his 15 minutes of fame, Einstein was abroad visiting the United States. Despite the geographical distance he was well aware that the Nazi rule was going to be a bummer for everyone. So, Einstein decided to become an American citizen, and not to go back. But he did care about the fortunes of the people staying in Germany and on the day preceding World War II, he wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, explaining that “extremely powerful bombs of a new type” were bound to be in Germany’s inventory and he alerted the US to begin research on a similar type of weapon. Thus, project Manhattan was born.

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6. He really despised wearing socks

Lots of us have our personal weird qualities, which make us human, and Albert Einstein was no different. One of his lifelong vices was not wearing socks. He probably started avoiding them still in his school years, and later on found the habit so comfy, that he would even brag about it in his letters to friends and family. In one letter to his wife, Elsa, he boasted: “Even on the most solemn occasions I got away without wearing socks and hid that lack of civilization in high boots.” And there might be something to it, as scientists studying human working habits, tend to notice the fact that taking your shoes off in the office sometimes helps boost creativity. We are not so sure about the sock part, though.

7. Albert Einstein’s pathologist stole his brain and kept it hidden for 20 years

Albert Einstein died on April 18, 1955 of a burst aortic aneurysm. Dr. Thomas Harvey, the pathologist called forth to the case, had no authorization to conduct an autopsy. But that did not stop him from doing one and, subsequently, stealing Einsteins brain for himself. He later explained his behavior on national television in the year 1996: “Knowing that his brain was of interest to most everybody, I saved it and carefully preserved it,”, but it’s hard to fathom if he really was telling the truth, or whether it was just a publicity stunt. What’s more the mad scientist (Harvey, that is) scooped out Einstein’s eyeballs and gave them to Einstein’s ophthalmologist, Henry Adams. To this day they are stored in a deposit box in New York City.

8. He did not like being called an atheist

Einstein did not believe in God, nor was he a pursuer of Judaism. He wrote: “I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but expressed it clearly”. He was, however, partial to the concept of the “pantheistic” God, as presented in the philosophical works of Baruch Spinoza, who in short stated that God is present in all of reality, and is not a person, or being, like other religions believe. Some scholars claim that pantheism stands in direct opposition to atheism, and that’s why Einstein would probably be offended if you called him an atheist.

9. He inspired Schrodinger to invent his cat

Although Einstein was dissatisfied with his quantum mechanics hypotheses, others thought they were pretty sound. In fact, Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg created the so called Copenhagen interpretation of the theory. This in turn, inspired Erwin Schrödinger to illustrate the notion using a cat. The concept of Schrodinger’s cat is a thought paradox, which states that when a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box, we cannot be sure if the cat is dead or alive before we open the box. This reflects the Copenhagen interpretation’s idea, that an environment has no defined properties before we measure them.

10. Albert Einstein got New Yorkers fooled

At some point after publishing his theory of relativity, Albert Einstein became so famous that while he was living in NYC, random people would come up to him and ask him to explain the principles of his theory. But Einstein did not want to waste his time making popular-scientific small talk over and over again, so instead he chose to pretend he was his own doppelganger. If someone was very persistent on hearing about “that” theory, Einstein would reply them with: “Pardon me, sorry! Always I am mistaken for Professor Einstein.”

Albert-Einstein board

11. 1905 was a Miracle Year for Albert Einstein

1905 was when things seriously started looking up in terms of Einstein’s career. First of all, he received his PhD degree at the University of Zürich. His dissertation was entitled “A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions.” What’s more, he also managed to get four of his scholarly papers published. These were: the Quantum theory paper, Brownian motion (existence of atoms) paper, Electrodynamics of moving bodies paper and also ‘Equivalence of Matter and Energy’, the one introducing the world famous E=MC2 equation. All these breakthroughs happened when Einstein was just 26 and working at a patent office.

12. He was the second scientist to mention gravity after Sir Isaac Newton

At the beginning there was a tree. And on that tree was an apple. Having reportedly fell onto Sir Isaac Newton’s head, the apple gave him the idea for his theory of gravity, which assumes that all things gravitate, or are drawn towards, each other. Sir Isaac Newton called gravity a force, one naturally occurring in the world. But thanks to Albert Einstein we now know that it is more of a consequence of the bent and curved shape of spacetime. Now, in basic Physics calculations we use Newton’s findings, but scientists working on more complicated theories have to be familiar with Einstein’s theory.

13. There is an illness called ‘Einstein Syndrome’

The term was coined by Dr Thomas Sowell, who is a contemporary scholar in humanities and publishes on a variety of subjects, like economics, history, social policy, ethnicity, and the history of ideas. Dr Sowell noticed a peculiar property common among some of the extra-ordinarily talented people, which was the inability to talk at a young age. In the cases, which Dr Thomas Sowell investigated, the brilliant minds often didn’t speak a word during their infancy and acquired the ability of speech only later in their development. Albert Einstein started speaking when he was four.

14. Albert Einstein proved that light always travels with the same speed

Strange enough as it may sound, the light has one uncanny property: it always travels at the exact speed of 300 million meters per second in a vacuum. A human may change the speed with which they travel, and this leads to a curious result. In Einstein’s new and improved reality with stable light speed, time tends to pass more slowly for people traveling at high speeds and more quickly for those traveling at lower speeds. This also explains the International Date Line, a phenomena well known to all travelers.

15. His brain was a bit different

We do not know who made this particular discovery, but, upon detailed autopsy, Albert Einstein’s brain turned out to be a medical surprise. It was revealed that the parietal lobe of Einstein’s brain was 15% larger than that of an average human. The parietal lobe is one of the four major lobes in our brains and is responsible for integrating sensory information, spatial sense and navigation. This might explain why Einstein rarely carried out practical experiments, but rather visualized them in his mind. And he was usually right about the results.

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