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Albert Einstein

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Essay title: Albert Einstein

Of all the scientists to emerge from the nineteenth and twentieth

centuries there is one whose name is known by almost all living people.

While most of these do not understand this man's work, everyone knows that

its impact on the world of science is astonishing. Yes,many have heard of

Albert Einstein's General Theory of relativity, but few know about the

intriguing life that led this scientist to discover what some have called,

"The greatest single achievement of human thought."

Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany on March 14, 1874. Before his first

birthday, his family had moved to Munich where young Albert's father,

Hermann Einstein, and uncle set up a small electro-chemical business. He

was fortunate to have an excellent family with which he held a strong

relationship. Albert's mother, Pauline Einstein, had an intense passion for

music and literature, and it was she that first introduced her son to the

violin in which he found much joy and relaxation. Also, he was very close

with his younger sister, Maja, and they could often be found in the lakes

that were scattered about the countryside near Munich.

As a child, Einstein's sense of curiosity had already begun to stir. A

favorite toy of his was his father's compass, and he often marveled at his

uncle's explanations of algebra. Although young Albert was intrigued by

certain mysteries of science, he was considered a slow learner. His failure

to become fluent in German until the age of nine even led some teachers to

believe he was disabled.

Einstein's post-basic education began at the Luitpold Gymnasium when

he was ten. It was here that he first encountered the German spirit through

the school's strict disciplinary policy. His disapproval of this method of

teaching led to his reputation as a rebel. It was probably these

differences that caused Einstein to search for knowledge at home. He began

not with science, but with religion. He avidly studied the Bible seeking

truth, but this religious fervor soon died down when he discovered the

intrigue of science and math. To him, these seemed much more realistic than

ancient stories. With this new knowledge he disliked class even more, and

was eventually expelled from Luitpold Gymnasium being considered a

disruptive influence.

Feeling that he could no longer deal with the German mentality,

Einstein moved to Switzerland where he continued his education. At sixteen

he attempted to enroll at the Federal Institute of Technology but failed

the entrance exam. This forced him to study locally for one year until he

finally passed the school's evaluation. The Institute allowed Einstein to

meet many other students that shared his curiosity, and It was here that

his studies turned mainly to Physics. He quickly learned that while

physicists had generally agreed on major principals in the past, there were

modern scientists who were attempting to disprove outdated theories. Since

most of Einstein's teachers ignored these new ideas, he was again forced to

explore on his own. In 1900 he graduated from the Institute and then

achieved citizenship to Switzerland.

Einstein became a clerk at the Swiss Patent Office in 1902. This job

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