Einstein's Life

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was born in 1879 in southern Germany. His mother was a talented piano player and she had Einstein start violin lessons when he was very young. Einstein continued playing the violin throughout his life and became very good (Violins).

When he was five years old, Einstein’s father showed him a compass. Einstein saw the needle move and wanted to figure out why (Compass). That was the start of his interest in physics. Curiosity was one of Einstein’s greatest qualities. “The important thing is not to stop questioning,” he said once (Puzzle Pieces).

Einstein was a 26-year-old clerk in the Patent Office in Bern, Switzerland in 1905 when he did his great work on the special theory of relativity, matter, and quantum theory. He was married to Mileva Maric, a Serbian physicist, with whom he had three children. He later held professorships in the European cities of Zurich, Prague and Berlin. It was in Berlin in late 1915 that he finished his general theory of relativity, which explained the relation between gravity and the structure of space and time.

Einstein came to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey in 1933 after the Nazi’s came to power in Germany. He spent the rest of his life in Princeton, trying to find out how all of physics fits together (Hand and Atom). In addition to studying physics and playing the violin, Einstein worked for peace and human rights (Peace Symbol). He was Jewish and supported the formation of the state of Israel (Star of David). Einstein was even asked to be the second president of Israel, but he turned down the job.

Einstein was much more than a scientist with crazy white hair (Einstein Bust). He was a curious and hard-working man whose ideas changed the world in many different ways (Brain). 

Learn more at PhysicsMatters.org