Albert Einstein was born in Germany on March 14, 1879.As a kid he hadtrouble learning to speak. His parents thought that he might be mentallyretarded. He was not smart in school. He suffered under the learning methodsthat they used in the schools of Germany at that time so he was never able tofinish his studies. In 1894 his father’s business had failed and the familymoved to Milan, Italy. Einstein who had grown interested in science, went toZurich, Switzerland, to enter a famous technical school. There his ability inmathematics and physics began to show.
When Einstein was graduated in 1900 he was unable to get a teachingappointment at a university. Instead he got a clerical job in the patent officeat Bern, Switzerland. It was not what he wanted but it would give him leisurefor studying and thinking. While over there he wrote scientific papers.
Einstein submitted one of his scientific papers to the University of Zurich toobtain a Ph.D. degree in 1905. In 1908 he sent a second paper to the Universityof Bern and became lecturer there. The next year Einstein received a regularappointment as associate professor of physics at the University of Zurich. By1909, Einstein was recognized throughout Europe as a leading scientific thinker. In 1909 the fame that resulted from his theories got Einstein a job at theUniversity of Prague, and in 1913 he was appointed director of a new researchinstitution opened in Berlin, the Kaiser Wilhelm Physics Institute.
In 1915, during World War 1, Einstein published a paper that extendedhis theories. He put forth new views on the nature of gravitation. Newton’stheories he said were not accurate enough. Einstein’s theories seemed toexplain the slow rotation of the entire orbit of the planet Mercury, whichNewton’s theories did not explain. Einstein’s theories also predicted that lightrays passing near the sun would be bent out of a straight line. When this wasverified at the eclipse of 1919, Einstein was instantly accepted as the greatscientific thinker since Newton. By now Germany had fallen in the hands of Adolf Hitler and his Nazis.
Albert Einstein was Jewish. In 1933 when the Nazis came to power, Einsteinhappened to be in California. He did not return to Germany. He went to Belgiuminstead. The Nazis confiscated his possessions, publicly burned his writings,and expelled him from all German scientific societies. Einstein came back tothe United States and became a citizen.
The atomic bomb is an explosive device that depends upon the release ofenergy in a nuclear reaction known as FISSION, which is the splitting of atomicnuclei. Einstein sent a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, pointingout that atomic bombs are possible and that enemy nations must be allowed tomake them first. Roosevelt agreed with Einstein and funded the Manhattan Project.
On April 18, 1955, Albert Einstein died. To his dying day, he urged theworld to come to some agreement that would make nuclear wars forever impossible.