EINSTEIN: THE LIFE OF A GENIUS 5
Einstein:The Life of a Genius
Thebook, Einstein:The Life of a Genius,has been written by Walter Isaacson. This book reveals the life ofAlbert Einstein, from his early years, his experiments, hismarriages, and his role in the development of atomic bomb as well ashis work for Civil Rights groups. Therefore, this book providesinformation concerning the life, work and contributions of AlbertEinstein. According to the book, “no one has contributed as much toscience during the century” (Isaacson, 2014) this is a depictionof Einstein’s contributions.
Accordingto the book, Albert Einstein was born in Germany in 1879. Einsteindisplayed an early desire in science, but was unhappy with tenets ofobedience and conformity that used to govern the Catholic elementaryschool that he was in. He started attending the Luitpold Gymnasium atthe age of ten, though most of his education comprised of studyingand reading. Max Talmud used to recommend popular philosophy andscience books to Einstein, which put a sudden end to Einstein’sreligious zeal. The book records that, “once settled in Princeton,Albert was again consumed by his study of physics” (Isaacson,2014). When his parents migrated to Italy in 1893, Einstein renouncedhis German citizenship as well as his Jewish faith and dropped out ofschool. In order to drop out of school, Einstein persuaded aphysician to write him an official letter diagnosing him with“neurasthenic exhaustion” (Isaacson, 2014). This offered him anopportunity of leaving school and move to Italy. Einstein applied foran admission at Zurich Polytechnic, but failed the entranceexaminations which made him not accepted at the polytechnic untilafter spending one year of preparation at a Swiss secondary school.At the Zurich Polytechnic, he participated in teachers’ trainingprogram. This is where he met his wife. After completing the teachingprogram, he worked as a tutor in Germany and Switzerland. Einsteinfinally settled in Switzerland in 1902 after receiving a job as atechnical expert.
Forthe better part of his life Walter points out that “Einsteinworked as a university professor” (Isaacson, 2014). He started atthe University of Bern and later taught at Zurich and Prague beforesettling at the university of Berlin and Prussian Academy of Sciencesin 1915. Although he lived with his wife and children in Berlin,Einstein obtained an official divorce in 1919 and married his cousinthey lived together with his cousin till she died in 1936. Between1920 and 1930, Einstein was actively involved in politics and globalaffairs. He became a tough supporter of Zionism (MacLeod &Spurll, 2003). His Zionism was chiefly cultural rather thannationalistic. This is because the book points out that “he wantedto preserve the values of social justice and intellectual aspirationthat he associated with the Jewish people” (Isaacson, 2014). Apartfrom his Zionism, he was also a militant pacifist during the WorldWar I. During the 20s, Einstein participated in different peacecampaigns and also wrote different articles concerning internationalpeace as well as disarmament. When the Nazis started targeting himafter Hitler came to power, Einstein resigned from the PrussianAcademy of Sciences and took a full-time position at the Institutefor advanced Study.
In1906, Einstein received a doctoral degree after publishing three ofhis most vital papers. His papers dealt with quantum theory, specialrelativity, and Brownian motion. In subsequent years, Einsteinexpanded his theory of special relativity so as to account foraccelerating frames. This was the basis for theorizing the laws ofphysics. The general relativity theory, as it came to be referred,was fully formulated by Einstein by 1915 (Neffe, 2013). Scientistsverified the general relativity theory in 1919 through measurementsthat were taken during a solar eclipse. Although relativity theorywon Einstein popularity, it was his contributions to the quantumtheory which won him a Nobel Prize in 1922.
Einstein’ssignificant contributions to physics entailed his synthesis ofelectrodynamics and mechanics through the relativity theory that heformulated and his quantum theory that challenged Newtonian physics(Ohanian, 2009). Nevertheless, the ideas of Einstein did not onlyimpact science alone, but also impacted other areas such as art,philosophy, and literature among others. Einstein’s work on thegeneral relativity theory only dealt with systems or unacceleratedmotion. Among other things, the theory of relativity depicted thattwo observers that are moving at a vast speed with respect to eachother are likely to disagree on measures of time and length made ineach other’s systems (Forman, 2009). Besides, it indicated that thespeed of light can be perceived as the limiting speed of all bodiesthat have mass. In 1911, Einstein asserted the equivalence of inertiaand gravitation, while in 1916 he finalized his mathematicalformulation of the general theory of relativity, which includedgravitation as a component of a curvature of a space-time continuum(Berne & Radunsky, 2013). On the other hand, Einstein postulatedlight quanta it was through the quantum theory that he gave anexplanation to the photoelectric effect. As a person that waspassionate in his confidence and outspoken in his politics, AlbertEinstein transformed the view of scientists during the 20thCentury. It was due to this fact that the TIME Magazine brought outEinstein as “the person of the Century” (Isaacson, 2014). Thisindicated 20thCentury.
Berne,J., & Radunsky, V. (2013). Ona beam of light: A story of Albert Einstein.San Francisco: Chronicle Books.
Forman,L. E. (2009). AlbertEinstein: Physicist & genius.Edina, Minn: ABDO Pub.
Isaacson,W. (2014). Einstein:The life of a genius.London: Andre Deutsch.
MacLeod,E., & Spurll, B. (2003). AlbertEinstein: A life of genius.Toronto: Kids Can Press.
Neffe,J. (2013). Einstein:A biography.New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Ohanian,H. C. (2009). Einstein`smistakes: The human failings of genius.New York: W.W. Norton & Co Inc.