Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist, best known for his theory of relativity and his famous mass-energy equivalence formula: E = mc2. He also made important contributions to the development of quantum mechanics. Einstein's research on the structure of matter, space, and time as well as on the nature of gravitation significantly changed the previously valid Newtonian world view: Relativity and quantum mechanics form the basis of modern physics. Einstein also contributed to philosophy of science. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics 1921 "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the Law of the Photoelectric Effect."
His family later moved to Italy, and Albert continued his education at the Old Cantonal School Aarau, Switzerland, and gave up his Württemberg and thus also his German citizenship. In 1896, he entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic Institute in Zurich and trained to be a teacher in math and physics. In 1900, he graduated from the Polytechnic Insitute and in 1901 was granted Swiss citizenship.
Since Albert wasn't immediately able to find a permanent teaching position, he took employment as a Swiss patent examiner/technical assistant in Bern in 1902.
He submitted his doctoral dissertation in 1905 and received his Ph.D. from Zurich University in 1906. In Zurich, he received his first academic appointment in 1909, as professor extraordinarius, in 1911 he became a professor of theoretical physics at Prague and returned to Zurich in 1912 to fill a similar position.
In 1914, Einstein moved to Berlin, where he joined the Prussian Academy of Sciences and held a research professorship without teaching obligations at the university. He became a German citizen again, this time Prussian. In 1917, he was appointed director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin, a position he held until 1933.
In 1915, he published his general theory of relativity. The confirmation by Eddington in 1919 brought Einstein fame and international recognition, which he used as a platform for social concerns. In 1921 he made his first trip to the United States along with Chaim Weizmann to raise funds for the creation of the Hebrew University in Palatine. Albert and his wife, Elsa, traveled aboard the Rotterdam, naming his "brother" R. Einstein as a contact in New York. (Albert didn't have a brother, so "R." was probably a cousin.)
In 1922, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for 1921. The delay was due to a conclusion made by the Nobel Committee for Physics that the 1921 candidates had not "met the criteria outlined in the will of Alfred Nobel". The committee argued over the merits of awarding the prize for the very complex and misunderstood Theory of Relativity, which they had trouble proving. They reached a compromise and awarded the prize for Albert's explanation of the photoelectric effect (a phenomenon in which electrons are emitted from a metal sheet only under certain illuminations), which he had published in 1905. The committee wrote to Einstein on 10 November 1922: "...the Royal Academy of Sciences has decided to award you last year's Nobel Prize for physics, in consideration of your work in theoretical physics and in particular your discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect, but without taking into account the value which will be accorded your relativity and gravitation theories after these are confirmed in the future."
Life in America
In 1933, when Hitler gained power and the situation of Jewish citizens in Germany deteriorated rapidly, Einstein renounced his German citizenship for political reasons, and decided to emigrate to America and accept an offer for a position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Albert and his second wife, Elsa, sailed from Hamilton, Bermuda to New York, New York, on 3 June 1935 aboard the Queen of Bermuda. At some point between 1935 and 1944, Albert's German nationality was annulled by the Nazi regime. Albert and Elsa resided in Princeton, Mercer County, New Jersey, when Albert made his declaration to apply for US citizenship in 1936.
In August 1939, Einstein wrote a letter to US President Franklin Roosevelt, which "eventually led to the establishment of the Manhattan Project and the US development of the atomic bomb".
On 1 October 1940, Albert took the Oath of Allegiance, becoming a naturalized United States citizen, while retaining his Swiss citizenship. He was widower and resided in Princeton that year with his (step-)daughter Margot, age 40, his sister Maja Winteler, age 58, and Helen Dukas, (Albert's secretary and housekeeper).
In America, Einstein was committed to the process of establishing and maintaining a homeland for Jews, emphasizing the need for equality of rights between Jews and Arabs. After World War II, he was offered the Presidency of the State of Israel, which he declined, although he continued his collaboration with Dr. Chaim Weizmann in establishing the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Einstein also advocated for nuclear disarmament, world peace, and civil rights for all. He was once asked what weapons he thought would be used in World War III and he replied: "Well I don't know, but I can tell you what weapons will be used in World War IV: Stones."
Marriages and Children
Albert married first to Mileva Marić on 6 January 1903 in Bern, Switzerland. She was the daughter of Marija Ruzić and Miloš Marić of Titel in Serbia. Albert and Mileva had a daughter and two sons together:
Lieserl, born out of wedlock in 1902 and perhaps died young or was given up for adoption
Eduard, born 28 June 1910 in Zurich, Switzerland
Albert had started an affair with his cousin Elsa (Einstein) Löwenthal in 1912. As a result, Albert and Mileva divorced in February 1919, and he married Elsa on 2 June 1919 in Berlin. Elsa was born in January 1876 in Hechingen, Prussia, the daughter of Rudolf Einstein and Fanny Koch. She was Albert's first cousin through their mothers and second cousin through their fathers. She died in 1936.
Death and Legacy
Albert Einstein died 18 April 1955 at Princeton, New Jersey. "He had left behind specific instructions regarding his remains: cremate them, and scatter the ashes secretly in order to discourage idolaters." Against his and his family's wishes, the pathologist on call at Princeton Hospital removed Einstein's brain, later receiving his son's approval for the brain to be studied for scientific purposes only.
Albert left a will dated 18 March 1950, leaving his written legacy to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which is now showcased in the Albert Einstein Archives there.
↑ Geburtenregister Ulm 1808-1888, Germany, Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg, Personenstandsregister jüdischer Gemeinden in Württemberg, Baden und Hohenzollern, J 386 Bü 596, Geburten 1808-1888, entry 7
↑ Familienbuch Ulm 1800-1926, Personenstandsregister jüdischer Gemeinden in Württemberg, Baden und Hohenzollern (18. - 20. Jahrhundert), p.203. [translated: Family book Ulm 1800-1926, civil status registers of Jewish communities in Württemberg, Baden and Hohenzollern (18th - 20th centuries)]
↑ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924", database with images, (FamilySearch: 18 December 2020), Albert Einstein, 1921.
↑ Okun, Lev. "The Concept of Mass" in Physics Today, published June 1989, p. 35. Online at Google Books, p. 15.
↑ 15.015.1 "New Jersey Naturalization Records, 1796-1991," database, (FamilySearch: 15 December 2020), Albert Einstein, 1935; citing Naturalization, NARA various NAID. Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685 - 2009, RG 21: includes image of his petition for naturalization, signed by Einstein.
↑ "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957," database with images, (FamilySearch: 11 December 2020), Prof Elbert Einstein, 1935; citing Immigration, NY, NY, US, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
↑ Ancestry.com. "Germany, Index of Jews Whose German Nationality was Annulled by Nazi Regime, 1935-1944". [database/image on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Ancestry image.
↑ "United States, New Jersey, Naturalization records from various counties, 1905-1944", database, (FamilySearch: 29 July 2020), Albert Einstein, 1936.
↑ "United States Census, 1940," database with images, (FamilySearch: 7 May 2017), Albert Einstein, Princeton Borough, Mercer, NJ, USA; citing ED 11-64, sheet 10B, line 66, family 267, 16th Census of the US, 1940, NARA digital pub. T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790-2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: NARA, 2012, roll 2357.
↑ Transcription of the marriage record: Martin J. Klein, A. J. Kox, and Robert Schulmann (editors). The collected papers of Albert Einstein. Volume 5: The Swiss Years: Correspondence, 1902-1914. Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 1993. p. 9
↑ Smith, Shawn. Albert Einstein, Mileva Maric: The Love Letters. Edited by Jürgen Renn and Robert Schulmann, (Princeton University Press, 1992). Online with subscription at JSTOR. Accessed 5 Jan 2021.
↑ Transcription of the divorce record: Diana Kormos Buchwald, Robert Schulmann, József Illy, Daniel J. Kennefick, & Tilman Sauer (editors). The collected papers of Albert Einstein. Volume 9: The Berlin Years: Correspondence January 1919-April 1920. Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 2004. pp. 8-11
Landesarchiv, Berlin, Deutschland. Heiratsregister der Berliner Standesämter 1874 - 1936. Digital Images. Berlin, Deutschland, Heiratsregister, 1874-1936, Wilmersdorf, 1919 (zum Erstregister erklärtes Zweitregister). Marriage Record of Albert Einstein and Elsa Löwenthal, Ancestry Sharing Link, Ancestry Sharing Link, Ancestry.de, Ancestry.com
↑ Transcription of the marriage record: Diana Kormos Buchwald, Robert Schulmann, József Illy, Daniel J. Kennefick, & Tilman Sauer (editors). The collected papers of Albert Einstein. Volume 9: The Berlin Years: Correspondence January 1919-April 1920. Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 2004. pp. 83-84
↑ Find A Grave, database and images (accessed 23 September 2018), memorial page for Albert Einstein (14 Mar 1879–18 Apr 1955), Find A Grave: Memorial #314; Maintained by Find A Grave: Cremated, Ashes scattered around the grounds of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.
↑ Hughes, Virginia. "The Tragic Story of How Einstein’s Brain Was Stolen and Wasn’t Even Special" published online at NationalGeographic.com, 21 April 2014, citing: Brian Burrell. Postcards from the Brain Museum. (New York, NY: Broadway Books: 2005) [not available online]
The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein at Princeton.edu:
Volume 1: The Early Years, 1879-1902, John Stachel, David C. Cassidy, and Robert Schulmann, eds., DEU; translated by Anna Beck ENG: p. 20, release from Wurttemberg citizenship; p. 239, Swiss citizenship; p. 241, Residency and good conduct for citizenship in Switzerland; pp. 269-270, Questionairre for Swiss citizenship; 332-333, footnote on 333, Mileva gave birth to a girl January 1902; pp. 370-377, March 1879-June 1902 timeline; p. 381, lists marriage date and place 6 Jan 1903 in Bern, Jan 1902 birth of daughter Lieserl.
Volume 2: The Swiss Years: Writings, 1900-1909, John Stachel, David C. Cassidy, Jürgen Renn, and Robert Schulmann, eds., DEU; translated by Anna Beck ENG: his writings.
Volume 3: The Swiss Years: Writings 1909-1911, Martin J. Klein, A. J. Kox, Jürgen Renn, and Robert Schulman, eds., DEU; translated by Anna Beck ENG: his writings.
Volume 4: The Swiss Years: Writings 1912-1914, Martin J. Klein, A. J. Kox, Jürgen Renn, and Robert Schulman, eds., DEU; translated by Anna Beck ENG: his writings.
Volume 5: The Swiss Years: Correspondence, 1902-1914, Martin J. Klein, A. J. Kox, and Robert Schulmann, eds., DEU; translated by Anna Beck ENG.
Volume 6: The Berlin Years: Writings, 1914-1917, Martin J. Klein, A. J. Kox, and Robert Schulman, eds., DEU; translated by Alfred Engel ENG.
Volume 7: The Berlin Years: Writings, 1918-1921, Michael Janssen, Robert Schulmann, József Illy, Christoph Lehner, and Diana Kormos Buchwald eds., DEU; translated by Alfred Engel ENG.
Volume 8, Part A: The Berlin Years: Correspondence 1914-1917, Robert Schulmann, A. J. Kox, Michel Janssen, and József Illy, eds., DEU; translated by Ann M. Hentschel ENG (1 vol.).
Volume 8, Part B: The Berlin Years: Correspondence 1918, Robert Schulmann, A. J. Kox, Michel Janssen, and József Illy, eds., DEU; translated by Ann M. Hentschel ENG (1 vol.): p. 5/713, deposition in divorce case.
Volume 9: The Berlin Years: Correspondence January 1919-April 1920, Diana Kormos Buchwald, Robert Schulmann, József Illy, Daniel J. Kennefick, & Tilman Sauer, eds., DEU; translated by Ann Hentschel ENG.
Volume 10: The Berlin Years: Correspondence May-December 1920 / Supplementary Correspondence 1909-1920, Diana Kormos Buchwald, Tilman Sauer, Ze'ev Rosenkranz, József Illy, and Virgina Iris Holmes, eds., DEU; translated by Ann Hentschel ENG.
Volume 11: Cumulative Index, Bibliography, List of Correspondence, Chronology, and Errata to Volumes 1-10, A. J. Kox, Tilman Sauer, Diana Kormos Buchwald, Rudy Hirschmann, Osik Moses, Benjamin Aronin, and Jennifer Stolper, comp. vol. 11.
Volume 12: The Berlin Years: Correspondence January-December 1921, Diana Kormos Buchwald, Ze'ev Rosenkranz, Tilman Sauer, József Illy, & Virginia Iris Holmes, eds., DEU; translated by Ann M. Hentschel ENG.
Volume 13: The Berlin Years: Writings & Correspondence January 1922-March 1923, Diana Kormos Buchwald, József Illy, Ze'ev Rosenkranz, & Tilman Sauer, eds., DEU; translated by Ann M. Hentschel & Osik Moses ENG.
Volume 14: The Berlin Years: Writings & Correspondence, April 1923-May 1925, Diana Kormos Buchwald, József Illy, Ze’ev Rosenkranz, Tilman Sauer & Osik Moses, eds., DEU; ENG.
Volume 15: The Berlin Years: Writings & Correspondence, June 1925-May 1927, Diana Kormos Buchwald, József Illy, A. J. Kox, Dennis Lehmkuhl, Ze'ev Rosenkranz & Jennifer Nollar James, eds., DEU; ENG.
Einstein, Albert. Mein Weltbild [The World As I See It], 25th ed. (Frankfurt: Ullestein Verlag, 1993; orig. published 1932), translation by Eckhart Tolle. Preview online at GoogleBooks.
Smith, Dinitia. “Dark Side of Einstein Emerges in His Letters.” In: The New York Times, published 6 November 1996. Online at The New York Times.
"United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942," database with images, (FamilySearch: 7 April 2016), Albert Einstein, 1942; citing NARA microfilm pub#M1936, M1937, M1939, M1951, M1962, M1964, M1986, M2090, &M2097 (Washington D.C.: NARA, n.d.): source for DOB.