Born: 14 March 1879
Died: 18 April 1955 (heart failure)
Birthplace: Ulm, Germany
Best known as: Creator of the theory of relativity
Thanks to his theory of relativity, Albert Einstein became the most famous scientist of the 20th century. In 1905, while working in a Swiss patent office, Einstein published a paper proposing a "special theory of relativity," a groundbreaking notion which laid the foundation for much of modern physics theory. (The theory included his famous equation e=mc².) Einstein's work had a profound impact on everything from quantum theory to nuclear power and the atom bomb. He continued to develop and refine his early ideas, and in 1915 published what is known as his general theory of relativity. By 1920 Einstein was internationally renowned; he won the Nobel Prize in 1921, not for relativity but for his 1905 work on the photoelectric effect. In 1933 Einstein moved to Princeton, New Jersey, where he worked at the Institute for Advanced Studies until the end of his life. Einstein's genius is often compared with that of Sir Isaac Newton; in 2000 Time magazine named him the leading figure of the 20th century.
Extra credit: Einstein was famously rumpled and frizzy-haired, and over time his image has become synonymous with absent-minded genius... He sent a famous letter to Franklin Roosevelt in 1939, warning that Germany was developing an atomic bomb and urging Allied research toward the same goal... Einstein married Mileva Maric in 1903. They had two sons: Hans Albert (b. 1904) and Eduard (b. 1910). They also had a daughter born before their marriage, Leiserl (b. 1902). She apparently was given for adoption or died in infancy. Mileva and Albert were divorced in 1914... He married his cousin Elsa Löwenthal in 1919, and they remained married until her death in 1936... The Institute for Advanced Studies has no formal link to Princeton University; however, according the IAS website, the two institutions "have many historic ties and ongoing relationships"... The Albert Einstein College of Medicine opened in New York City in 1955. It is part of Yeshiva University. Einstein did not create the school, but gave his permission to have his name used.
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