Albert Einstein, was a German-born American physicist and Nobel prize winner,
best known as the creator of the special and general theories of relativity. He is perhaps the
most well-known scientist of the 20th century. Einstein was born in Ulm on March 14,
1879, and spent his youth in Munich, where his family owned a small shop that
manufactured electric machinery. He did not talk until the age of three, but even as a youth
he showed about nature and an ability to understand difficult mathematical concepts.
Einstein hated the dull and unimaginative spirit of school in Munich. When repeated
business failure led the family to leave Germany for Milan, Italy, Einstein, who was then
15 years old, used the opportunity to withdraw from the school. He spent a year with his
parents in Milan, and when it became clear that he would have to make his own way in the
world, he finished secondary school in Arrau, Switzerland, and entered the Swiss National
Polytechnic in Zürich.
Einstein did not enjoy the methods of instruction there. He often cut
classes and used the time to study physics on his own or to play his violin. He passed his
examinations and graduated in 1900 by studying the notes of a classmate. His professors
did not think highly of him and would not recommend him for a university position.
For two years Einstein worked as a tutor and substitute teacher. In 1902 he secured a
position as an examiner in the Swiss patent office in Bern. In 1903 he married Mileva
Mariç, who had been his classmate at the polytechnic. They had two sons but eventually
divorced. Einstein later remarried.
The theory of relativity was developed in the early 20th century,
which originally attempted to account for certain differences in the...