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Life of Albert Einstein - Timeline

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The majority of the info below comes directly from The Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem website. Supplemental information such as awards he received, his published works, etc. are also included and are sourced appropriately.

The Early Years

  • 1879: Albert was born March 14 at 11:30 a.m. in Ulm, Württemburg.[1]
  • 1880: Einstein family moves to Munich.[1] Receives PhD from Zurich University.[1]
  • 1906: Promoted to technical expert second class at the Swiss Patent Office.[1]
  • 1907: Discovers the principle of equivalence.[1]
  • 1908: Appointed lecturer at Bern University.[1]
  • 1909: Resigns from Patent Office. Appointed Associate Professor of theoretical physics at Zurich University.[1] Honorary doctorate, University of Geneva[2]
  • 1910: Second son, Eduard, born in Bern.[1]
  • 1911-1912: Predicts bending of light. Professor of theoretical physics at German University of Prague.[1] Obtains Austrian citizenship which chair of theoretical physics at the German University of Prague.[2]
  • 1912-1914: Professor of theoretical physics at the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich.[1] Appointed director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin, Germany in 1913.[citation needed]

The Berlin Years

  • 1914: Appointed Professor at University of Berlin (without teaching obligations) and Member of Prussian Academy of Sciences. Separates from his wife, Mileva Maric - she returns to Zurich with the two sons. Signs anti-war "Manifesto to Europeans" and joins "New Fatherland League".[1] Regained German citizenship in April when he entered German civil service in his roles as professor.[2]
  • 1915: Completes logical structure of the General Theory of Relativity.[1]
  • 1916: Publication of the "General Theory of Relativity".[1][3]
  • 1917: Writes first paper on cosmology. Appointed Director of Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin.[1]
  • 1917-1920: Suffers from a liver ailment, a stomach ulcer, jaundice and general weakness - his cousin Elsa Einstein Loewenthal takes care of him.[1]
  • 1918: Supports the new Weimar Republic in Germany.[1]
  • 1919: Divorces his first wife, Mileva Maric. Bending of light observed during solar eclipse in West Africa and Brazil. First discussions on Zionism with Kurt Blumenfeld. Marries his cousin Elsa. Announcement at joint meeting of Royal Society and Royal Astronomical Society that Einstein's theories have been confirmed by eclipse observations. Sensational headlines in The Times and The New York Times. Einstein becomes a world figure.[1] Honorary doctorate, University of Rostock[2]
  • 1920: Mass meeting against the general theory of relativity in Berlin. Appointed special visiting professor at Leiden University.[1]
  • 1921: Honorary doctorates, Princeton University and University of Manchester[2] First visit to the U.S. with Chaim Weizmann: fund-raising tour for The Hebrew University. Lectures at Princeton University on theory of relativity.[1]
  • 1922: Completes first paper on unified field theory. Visit to Paris contributes to normalization of French-German relations. Joins Committee on Intellectual Cooperation of the League of Nations. Lecture tours in Japan and China.[1] Awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for 2021.[1][3]
  • 1923: Visit to Palestine: holds inaugural scientific lecture at future site of The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, named first honorary citizen of Tel Aviv. Visit to Spain. Edits first collection of scientific papers of The Hebrew University. Lecture in acknowledgment of Nobel Prize in Göteborg, Sweden,[1] delivered to the Nordic Assembly of Naturalists 11 July 1923.[4] Honorary doctorate, University of Madrid, admission to Order "Pour le mérite", and received Genootschaps Medal.[2]
  • 1924: The "Einstein-Institute" in Potsdam, Germany, housed in the "Einstein-Tower" starts its activities.[1]
  • 1925: Awarded the Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London.[3] Trip to South America: Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. Signs manifesto against obligatory military service. Joins Board of Governors and Academic Council of The Hebrew University.[1]
  • 1926: Published "Investigations on the Theory of Brownian Movement".[3] Gold Medal, Royal Astronomical Society.[2]
  • 1927: Begins intense debate with Niels Bohr on the foundations of quantum mechanics.[1]
  • 1928: Suffers temporary physical collapse - enlargement of the heart is diagnosed.[1]
  • 1929: Receives Max Planck Medal, German Physical Society and Honorary doctorate, University of Paris.[2]
  • 1930: Intensive activity on behalf of pacifism.[1] Published "About Zionism".[3]
  • 1930-1932: Three trips to US: stays mainly at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, during winter semesters.[1] Honorary doctorate, ETH, Zurich[2]
  • 1931: Honorary doctorate, Oxford University[2]
  • 1932: Supports conservation of the Weimar Republic Public. Correspondence with Sigmund Freud on the nature of war. Appointed Professor at The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University. Plans to divide his time between Berlin and Princeton. Leaves Germany for the last time.[1]

The Princeton Years

  • 1933: "Why War?" published. Leaves Germany and renounces his citizenship.[3] Resigns from Prussian Academy of Sciences and loses his German citizenship.[2] Spends spring and summer in Belgium and Oxford.[1] Accepts a position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.[citation needed]
  • 1934: "My Philosophy" is published.[3] Honorary doctorate, Yeshiva College, New York[2]
  • 1935: "The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Paradox" is published.[1] Awarded the Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute.[3] and Honorary doctorate, Harvard University[2]
  • 1936: Elsa Einstein dies.[1][3]
  • 1938: Publication of "The Evolution of Physics".[1][3]
  • 1939: Signs famous letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt recommending U.S. research on nuclear weapons.[1]
  • 1940: Acquires U.S. Citizenship.[1][5]
  • 1943: Works as consultant with the Research and Development Division of the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance, section Ammunition and Explosives.[1]
  • 1944: Handwritten copy of his 1905 paper on special relativity auctioned for six million dollars in Kansas City, as a contribution to the American war effort.[1]
  • 1945: Shattered by the extent of the Holocaust of European Jewry. Shocked by the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.[1]
  • 1946: Becomes chairman of the Emergency Committee for Atomic Scientists. Expresses public support for the formation of a world government.[1]
  • 1947: Intense activity on behalf of disarmament and world government.[1]
  • 1948: Supports creation of the State of Israel. First wife, Mileva Maric, dies in Zurich. Intact aneurysm of the abdominal aorta disclosed.[1]
  • 1949: Publication of "Out of My Later Years" (autobiographical notes).[3]
  • 1950: Signs Last Will and Testament: Otto Nathan and Helen Dukas named co-trustees. The Hebrew University named as the ultimate repository of his personal papers.[1]
  • 1952: Offered presidency of the State of Israel.[1]
  • 1953: Public support for individuals under investigation by the House Un-American Activities Committee.[1]
  • 1955: Co-signs the "Russell-Einstein Manifesto" warning of the nuclear threat. Rupture of the aortic aneurysm leads to his death.[1]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 Timeline: The Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Honours, Prizes and Awards: Einstein-website.de.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 "Albert Einstein, Biographical" taken from Nobel Lectures, Physics 1901-1921, (Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing Co., 1967). Online at NobelPrize.org, accessed 4 Jan 2021.
  4. Einstein, Albert. "Fundamental Ideas and Problems of the Theory of Relativity". Online at NobelPrize.org
  5. "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.

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