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10 facts about Albert Einstein



Mar 14, father of the special theory of relativity turned 140 years. The works of the outstanding physicist shook the world, turning Einstein into one of the most famous scientists. He was friends with Chaplin, loved the pipe, didn't like socks, and once almost became the head of Israel. In honor of the birthday of the genius remember interesting moments from his biography.

Albert Einstein

Nuclear bomb

Convinced pacifist Einstein, though indirectly, is connected with the incidents in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. No, he didn't design the bombs, and he wasn't part of the Manhattan Project. The physicist's contribution was in another - in a letter to Franklin Roosevelt. However, Einstein did not even write it himself.

Imagine - 1939. The Germans split the uranium atom. Scientist Leo Szilard believes that this is all for a reason and can lead to a nuclear disaster. He wants to warn Roosevelt of the impending threat. But he understands - it is unlikely that the 32nd President of the United States will listen to an ordinary emigrant physicist from Hungary.

The world's first nuclear test

The world's first nuclear test. The explosion of the plutonium "Stuff" (gadgets) on July 16, 1945

Then Szilard attracted to the case of a more well-known figure. Einstein dictates the Hungarian text, which convinces the American leader to start nuclear tests. Signs the letter, sends it to the White House. Six years later, US pilots drop bombs on two Japanese cities. Although there is no direct fault of Einstein, later the physicist regretted his involvement in the ill-fated message.

Truant from Patent Office

The Trinity is sometimes justified by the fact that Einstein himself studied very badly. In fact, this story is a myth, although "with legs". The study was given to the young man without problems: to 15 years he independently mastered mathematical analysis. At The Swiss Polytechnic College, young Albert was preparing to become a teacher of mathematics and physics.

One bad luck - the guy often skipped lectures to sit longer in the laboratory. Teachers could not forgive such familiarity: as a result, the genius could not even get a job as a laboratory assistant.

Albert Einstein

There was nothing to do, and in 1902 Einstein went to work in the Swiss patent office. But even this position he received not himself, and thanks to connections: the truant was attached by the father of one of the friends. From that moment until 1909, Albert worked six days a week, making time for science.

Good year

In 1905, Einstein wrote four scientific papers. And each has changed the view of the world. In March, he suggested that light is composed of quanta. In scientific circles, the hypothesis of a 26-year-old physics laughed, and 16 years later for the explanation of the photoelectric effect was given the Nobel prize. In May, he proved to skeptics that atoms still exist, and by June formulated a special theory of relativity. In September, there was a Supplement to the summer work with the most famous formula in history - E=mc2.

Despite the feats, Einstein became a rock star from physics only in 1919, when the scientific community confirmed the General theory of relativity. In total, the researcher wrote more than 300 scientific works on physics, under 150 books and articles in the field of history and philosophy, science and journalism. But even if, after 1905, he had not composed a line and drove off in a convertible into the sunset, the name of the genius would still be firmly in history.

Soviet spy and almost President

The news of the emigration of German physicists to the States infuriated "Women's Patriotic Corporation." In 1932 the angry ladies scribbled 16 pages at the State Department with the requirement to keep the physics on the threshold. Why? They just decided that Einstein sympathizes with the Communists - and this in the United States 30s is not forgiven.

Visa genius still issued, but from the moment of entry and until his death, he was followed by the FBI. The Bureau intercepted mail, put an ear to the phone, and rummaged through the trash. In general, did everything to find a thread connecting with the USSR. The private affair of the scientist was swollen more than 1,800 pages, but to confirm the fact of "merit" failed.

Albert Einstein

Einstein received the certificate of American citizenship. 1940

At the same time, the FBI almost missed the threat from the other side. Few people know, but the failed Soviet spy could well become the President of Israel. This proposal came in 1952 after the death of Chaim Weizmann. But prestigious jobs physicist politely declined, saying that lacks experience.

Hunt for genius

The physicist wasn't just attacked by the ladies of the Patriotic Corporation. Einstein, a Jew by birth, was often subjected to aggression because of the growing wave of anti-Semitism. In addition, history is known for at least one case where the person who instigated the murder of a genius was convicted. And once the head researcher did and offered 50 thousand German marks — about 29 thousand dollars at the rate of the 30s.

At the same time, the Nobel laureate adhered to an extremely non-violent ideology. He promoted the ideas of humanism, actively advocated respect for human rights and mutual understanding between peoples. In 1946, he attended Lincoln University, the first University in the United States to give degrees to African Americans. Within the walls of this institution, Einstein made a speech about racism.

Refrigerator for Electrolux

In 1926, Einstein read in a newspaper about a refrigerator that killed an entire family in Berlin. Due to defective seals compressor, a mechanical couple is poisoned by sulfur dioxide. The story has made the physics so impressed that he began to develop a completely secure unit. Assistants hired Leo Szilard — the same one that knocked out comrade on the letter to Roosevelt. Together, by 1930, they produced the first sample without moving elements and on alcohol fuel — so it was possible to minimize the risk of breakdowns and deadly leaks.

Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard

Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard

In 1930, the model was successfully patented - there is a very useful experience in the patent office. Rights to the new product almost immediately bought Electrolux, paying $750 - something about $10 thousand by today's standards. However, the people did not go to the refrigerator: against more practical models on the compressor and freon, he simply did not have a chance. The idea was revived after 78 years: on the basis of Einstein's invention in Oxford, several devices were developed for areas where everything is bad with electrification.

The "Nobel prize" for the divorce

More than 60 Einstein nominations are mentioned in the archives of the Nobel Committee. For the award with his 1910 put forward almost every year, but on the merits, he received in 1922. And not for relativity, that he was expected and for the theory of the photoelectric effect. Awarded incredible at that time money — 32 thousand dollars. However, Einstein did not spend a cent of this amount on himself. He gave all the money to his first wife. It was a divorce fee - otherwise, Mileva Marić refused to dissolve the marriage.

Elsa Einstein with her husband

Elsa Einstein with her husband

Einstein wanted to get away from Mileva to find happiness again, Elsa Lowenthal is a cousin through the maternal line. By the way, for a long time historians have put forward the theory that Marić helped in the development of the theory of relativity or was its true author. However, documentary evidence of this was not found.

The brain was stolen

Thomas Harvey, a pathologist at Princeton hospital, was convinced of the exclusivity of the Nobel laureate. So much so that on April 18, 1955, he stole his brain as soon as Einstein's corpse hit his Desk. Although the physicist was against manipulating his body after death, Harvey had safely forgotten about it. He extracted the brain, took a picture of it, cut it into 240 pieces and put it in jars. Permission to study he begged relatives after the fact.

Dr. Thomas Harvey is holding a piece of Einstein.

Dr. Thomas Harvey is holding a piece of Einstein.

Harvey kept "trophies" in the basement, but soon lost his job, divorced his wife, and was forced to leave for Wichita. The newcomer kept pieces of Einstein's brain in a box of cider under the beer fridge for a long time. He began to study the contents of cans only in 1985. It was found that the brain weighed 1,230 g, with an average of 1,400 g, and the ratio of the number of neuroglial cells to neurons was higher than usual. In 2007, Thomas Harvey died, and three years later, his family donated the remains of Einstein's brain to the National Museum of Health and Medicine. In September 2012, the genius' brain was transferred to the iPad app.

Letter about God for $3 million

Last year at Christie's auction in New York put up an unusual lot - a letter written on January 3, 1954. A letter to the philosopher Eric Gutkind, author — Albert Einstein. The physicist sent him in response to Gutkind's book "Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt." On two pages genius shared that for him there is God, religion and the Bible. The initial cost of the lot- $1-1.5 million, but in the end for the letter earned $2892500.

Albert Einstein

It wasn't the only correspondence collectors were after. In March 2018 at the auction Winner's put the message of mathematics Herman Munoz. Note on the theory of relativity sold for $103 thousand. And at the auction in Israel for $6 thousand took a letter in 1921. It was intended for student Elizabeth Pikkin-the girl refused the Nobel laureate in a date, and Einstein wrote her farewell lines.

It wasn't the only correspondence collectors were after. In March 2018 at the auction Winner's put the message of mathematics Herman Munoz. Note on the theory of relativity sold for $103 thousand. And at the auction in Israel for $6 thousand took a letter in 1921. It was intended for student Elizabeth - the girl refused the Nobel laureate in a date, and Einstein wrote her farewell lines.

With Tongue

The man of the century according to TIME has had a tremendous impact on science — around the works of Einstein is still boiling hot debate. The outstanding physicist also influenced pop culture: the image of a slightly scattered and unkempt genius is constantly exploited in painting, music, cinema, literature, and games.

Albert Einstein

The famous photo with the tongue made photographer Arthur Sass in the 72nd birthday of Einstein. Arthur asked the birthday boy to smile at the camera. He was sitting in the back seat of the car in the company of friends and was ready to leave, but the request was fulfilled. As best I could. The scientist liked the picture of Sass so much that he made several copies and sent them to his friends as greeting cards. In 2017, one of the original frames of 1951 was sold at auction for $125 thousand.


To this day, the scientist of the century — one of the most mysterious persons. Its discovery created a sensation, turning the Einstein into a celebrity of the caliber of Hollywood stars. The celebrant was great during his lifetime and remains so after death.


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