Profile of Albert Einstein
During his lifetime, Einstein was an innovator of
Hello, I'm Michael Sanchez for About.com. Today we'll be learning about German physicist Albert Einstein.Albert Einstein was born in Germany in 1879 and at a young age displayed a talent for mathematics. Between the ages of 10 and 15, Einstein was introduced to books like Euclid's Elements and Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. In 1896, Einstein, still only 17, enrolled in the four year mathematics and physics program at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zurich where he was awarded a teaching diploma in 1900. In 1901, Einstein published his paper "Conclusions from the Capillarity Phenomena" in the Annalen der Physik, a prestigious physics journal. By 1905, he completed his thesis "A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions" which earned him a PhD by the University of Zurich. That same year he also published four other papers on the photoelectric effect, special relativity, Brownian motion and the equivalence of matter and energy. These publications pushed Albert Einstein into the spotlight of the academic world.1908 saw Einstein appointed lecturer at the University of Bern but he gave up the position the following year in favor of becoming physics docent at the University of Zurich. In 1911 he became a full professor at the Karl-Ferdinand University in Prague and in 1914 became a professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin and in 1916 was appointed president of the German Physical Society. In 1921, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect and spent the next couple years lecturing in New York City, Princeton, Washington, London, Singapore, Ceylon, Japan and Palestine.In 1933, Einstein immigrated to the United States and settled in Princeton, New Jersey, where he took a position at the Institute for Advanced Study. In 1939, when a group of Hungarian scientist attempted to alert Washington of the Nazis atomic bomb research they went unheard. It was Einstein who finally wrote a letter to President Roosevelt warning him of the possibility and recommending the United States begin their own uranium and associated chain reaction research. Einstein's letter led the United States into the arms race, becoming the only country to build an atomic bomb during WWII.Albert Einstein became an American citizen in 1940 and embraced the creative encouragement he felt democracy granted him. He so valued his freedom and liberty that he became a member of the NAACP in hopes to help enlighten and educate future generations. In 1955, at the age of 76, Albert Einstein died of complications following an aneurysm in Princeton Hospital. During his lifetime, Einstein was an innovator of quantum mechanics and relativity. His work contributed substantially to the foundation of modern physics and forever changed our perception of space, time and matter.Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at About.com.