Julianna Cativo

Introduction


​ From the days of the Romans and Greeks to the nineteenth century, many ideas about the universe were taken of face value, until a man with crazed white hair published a few papers on relativity that completely overturned everything we thought we knew. He verified these ideas to be true by supporting them with evidence. He organized various equations and formulas that helped to clarify important misconceptions in science. At first, it was difficult to get people's attention but when he finally did, he changed many views. From the end of the nineteenth century to the mid twentieth century, Albert Einstein changed the ideas of what science use to be.

Personal Background


einstein youthk.jpgOn March 14, 1879, in the small town of Ulm, Germany, Pauline Einstein gave birth to a son named, Albert Einstein. He was born into a Jewish family who were open about their faith (Bloxham). Albert Einstein’s father, Hermann Einstein, was an electrical engineer who introduced Albert to science. However, the spark that ignited Einstein’s desire to question and discover was when was given a compass by his father. He was intrigued by the way the compass worked and wanted to learn more about the science behind it (Heater). He was constantly studying and by the time he reached high school, he knew majority of the lessons that were being taught. Since his teachers were unable to teach him anything new, he became lazy and refused to pay attention in class. Attending school was pointless. He decided to drop out and move to Switzerland (Bloxham).
In 1896 he moved to Switzerland, where his motivation was ignited. He began to study at the University of Zurich to become a physics and math teacher (Bloxham). Einstein tried to start his profession as a teacher, but failed in obtaining a job (Vujoric). In 1901, he had to settle as an assistant in a patent office (Bloxham). At the university, he met Mileva Maric, a fellow physics student and his future wife (Heater). Mileva and Einstein exchanged vows in 1902 (Vujoric). Three years later, Einstein received his doctorate from Zurich and published his first papers on capillary forces later on that year (Bloxham). After graduating, Einstein continued to work at the patent office until 1909 (Vujoric). In 1911 he moved back to his homeland and finally obtain a teaching position at Charles-Ferdinand University of Prague. In 1916 he was chosen to be the president of the German Physical Society, which he gladly accepted. All his hard work and dedication was acknowledged when he won the noble piece prize for his groundbreaking theories in 1921 (Bloxham). Einstein was unable to settle in Germany due to the rise of Hitler and had to move was more (Vujoric).
In 1931 Einstein moved to the United States. Einstein was invited to join the Institution of Advance Study in Princeton, New Jersey (Vujoric). Being Jewish, he knew he had to stay in America because of the rise of Hitler, so he decided to get his US citizenship. In 1940 he received his US citizenship (Bloxham). He devoted his entire life to research and study. On April 17, 1955, doctors told Einstein he had internal bleeding due to a burst of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Einstein refused surgery and died in the Princeton hospital at age 76 (Heater). Einstein’s death was worldwide news due to the massive impact he had in the science industry (Bloxham).

Personality Trait


​ Albert Einstein was a late bloomer. He did not begin to speak until he was two and a half (Hayden). This minor set back made his ability to lean more difficult. His inability to learn as fast as other kids, made him shortAlbert-Einstein-genius.jpgtempered and stubborn (Bloxham). When Einstein did not understand a lesson he would get upset and refuse to pay attention to his instructor (Krull). He eventually learned to retain some of the material by repeating himself (Krull). He was constantly repeating things to himself. Children saw this strange behavior and avoided him. He became anti-social and soon learned to be by himself (Krull).
​ As he grew older, he began to discover himself. He realized that he preferred to learn about math and science through pictures (Krull). However, pictures only help him learn about topics that interested him. When it came to topics that were not interesting to him, he would not retain the information even if it were taught through pictures (Heater). This did not run well with his teachers. In the classroom with his fellow peers, he was respectful to everyone (Hayden). He was able to interact with them more and lost some of his awkwardness. He also developed a great sense of humor because of his witty remarks and charm (Hayden).

einstein-thumb.jpgObstacles


Albert Einstein had to face many obstacles throughout his life. Being a high school dropout, Einstein had a difficult time finding a job (Heater). He eventually settled as an assistant in a Swiss Patent Office where he was passed over for promotions because they believed he did not understand the machinery well enough (Bloxham). At the same time, Einstein’s papers were ignored in the science community. This happened because in that moment in history, scientists were interested in other topics rather than relativity (Kaku). His career as a scientist was put on hold for a while.
​After returning home to Germany, he found that a new form of government had surfaced. The rise of Nazism, lead by Adolf Hitler, proved to be a huge problem to Einstein’s livelihood and his career (Kaku). Einstein was born Jewish and continued this practice his entire life. He was soon put on the Nazi assassination list and fled from Germany (Bloxham). In December of 1932 he arrived in America, safe and free from the Nazi’s (Kaku). He fled so quickly that he did not have time to pack any of his papers on relativity and were later destroyed by the Nazi’s (Vujoric). In America, he had to rewrite all his papers, which took him a while to rewrite.

Historical Significance


With the creation of all his theories, Albert Einstein changed and developed new ideas in science. When Einstein published his first papers in 1905, it was difficult for people to accept his theory because they were raised to believe Newtonian Mechanics and Einstein's theories were outrageous (Bloxham). Einstein’s theory contradicted Newtonian Mechanics and people could not decide if they should accept Einstein’s theory or stick to the old one (Hayden). By publishing these papers, Einstein gave people the ability to decided what they believed was right (Kaku). This event also set the foundation for people to accept concepts that they did not understand but could possibly be true (Kaku). The ability to have different belief albert einstein em.jpgthan your society was not practiced at this time. People were taught at a young age that certain concepts worked because of a specific reason and no one questioned it. Also, Einstein's theories were so crazy that people overlooked the possibility that the theory may be true. Einstein challenged this custom and provided evidence that his theories were true in the papers that he wrote (Vujoric). He enabled people to understand the complexity of our universe.
All of Einstein’s theories played a crucial role in understanding the universe (Bloxham). However, his theories on matter and energy, photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, and special relativity, changed our perspective of the universe (Bloxham). These theories explained that “small particles of matter contain an abundant amount of energy, electrons can be turned into a solid after being struck by light, the existence of atoms and molecules, and that time and motion are relative to an observer as long as the speed of light is constant” (Krull). Einstein was also known for his famous equation, e=mc^2 (Krull). His theories help future scientist with complicated tasks. In the late twentieth century, his theories were used to explore space, advance in the control of atomic energy, and the application of light (Krull). Without Einstein’s theories, we would have never been able to create the television or send satellites out into space to orbit Earth (Hayden). We would not have been able to obtain all the information we know about space without Einstein’s theories. In the long run, Einstein’s theories were the foundation for many great discoveries and inventions. Without Albert Einstein, our world would not be as advanced as it is today. Albert Einstein’s contribution to the world of science clarified various misconceptions and a helped create new technology that benefited the human race.

References

Bloxham, Andy. "Albert Einstein: A Short Biography." Telegraph. 22 September 2011. Web. 11 December 2014.

Hayden, Thomas. "The Inner Einstein." US News & World Reports. 09 December 2002. Web. 28 September 2014

Heater, Brian. "Albert Einstein: Seven Things You Didn't Know." PCmag. 04 March 2011. Web. 16 November 2014.

Kaku, Michio. "Albert Einstein." Encyclopaedia Britannica. 19 September 2014. Web. 14 October 2014.

Krull, Kathleen. Albert Einstein. New York: Penguin Group, 2009.

Vujovic, Ljubo. "Albert Einstein (1879-1955)." Tesla Memorial Society Of New York. Web. 16 September 2014.