Albert Einstein, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1921

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Albert Einstein, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1921

Also Known As: "אלברט אברהם איינשטיין", "Albert Abraham Einstein", "Abraham Einstein"
Birthplace: Ulm, Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Death: April 18, 1955 (76)
Princeton, Mercer County, New Jersey, United States (Abdominal Aneurysm - Anévrisme Abdominal)
Place of Burial: Cremated on April 18. 1955. Ashes scattered ca 2 weeks later.
Immediate Family:

Son of Hermann Einstein and Pauline Einstein (Koch)
Husband of Elsa Einstein-Löwenthal
Ex-husband of Mileva Einstein
Father of Lieserl Einstein; Hans Albert Einstein and Eduard Einstein
Brother of Maria "Maja" Winteler (Einstein)

Occupation: Theoretical physicist, Physiker, Hochschullehrer
Managed by: Yigal Burstein
Last Updated:

About Albert Einstein, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1921

Albert Abraham Einstein (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955; Hebrew: אלברט אברהם איינשטיין) the first child of the Jewish couple Hermann and Pauline Einstein, nee Koch was born in Ulm, Württemberg Germany and is often regarded as the father of modern physics. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics.

His great intelligence and originality has made the word "Einstein" synonymous with genius.

He never did well with rote learning as a student.  He daydreamed about what it would be like to ride alongside a light beam. Success came from imagination and creativity.    He once declared, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." He questioned conventional wisdom, challenged authority, and marveled at mysteries that struck others as mundane.  "It is important to foster individuality, for only the individual can produce the new ideas."


Videos on the History Channel: Einstein's Nobel Prize and other movies


Youtube. Albert Einstein: How I See the World (Six Part Series - PBS Home Videos): Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6


Einstein letters reveal a tumultuous love life and turmoil beyond science.

JERUSALEM -- Albert Einstein made bad financial investments, revealed details about his mistresses to his wives, and was plagued by doubts about his relationship with his two sons.

Those were among the intimate details of Einstein's life that emerged yesterday in a trove of more than 3,500 pages of letters, papers, postcards, and other documents unsealed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

They include notes and drawings to and from his children and his two wives, Mileva and Elsa. In one note to his stepdaughter written in 1928, Einstein drew a small cartoon of himself lying ill in bed, reading a book with a chamber pot at the ready.

Researchers say the newly available papers offer few insights into Einstein's science, but do shed light on the personal life and the character of the creator of the special theory of relativity.

Einstein bequeathed his personal papers to Hebrew University when he died in 1955. The letters released yesterday were an additional bequest added to the collection by his stepdaughter Margot Einstein on condition that they be sealed for 20 years after her death. She died in July 1986.

The letters reveal how Einstein lost most of his Nobel Prize money in bad bond investments on Wall Street, and provide details of how he was showered with affection and gifts by his many mistresses.

It added colors to the image we had of Einstein before," said Barbara Wolff, an archivist at the Albert Einstein Archives at Hebrew University who has read and indexed the newly released material. Now we have a high-resolution picture."

The material unsealed in the archives includes documents from 1912 to 1955. A handful of the items were available for view at a press conference yesterday at Hebrew University announcing the collection. Some will be included in the 10th volume of the Einstein Archive, covering Einstein's correspondence from May to December 1920. The series is published by Princeton University Press and edited by the Einstein Papers Project at the California Institute of Technology.

Einstein achieved world fame in 1905 after publishing his special theory of relativity while he was living in Bern, Switzerland. He settled in Berlin in 1914 but traveled extensively, lecturing and working in many places including three stints as a scholar in residence at Oxford University. Threatened by the Nazis, who put a bounty on his head, he left Berlin for good in 1933 and settled in Princeton, N.J., from where he continued to correspond with his sons and former wife in Switzerland.

He became involved with Elsa, a cousin, in 1912 when he was still married to his first wife Mileva, a fellow scientist with whom he had two boys, Hans Albert and Eduard. Before he and Mileva married, they had a daughter, Lieserl, who was given up for adoption.

In 1919, Einstein divorced Mileva and married Elsa, but within four years he was in love with Bette Neumann, his secretary who was also the young niece of one of his friends. Many more liaisons followed.

The letters reveal that a beautiful Berlin socialite named Ethel Michanowski followed him to Oxford, only to discover that he was involved with a third woman.

According to excerpts of letters made available to reporters, Einstein discussed his extra-marital affairs openly with his family.

It is true that M. followed me and her chasing after me is getting out of control," wrote Einstein to his stepdaughter in May 1931 of Michanowski's infatuation. I will tell her that she should vanish immediately. . . . Out of all the dames, I am in fact attached only to Mrs L. who is absolutely harmless and decent, and even with this there is no danger to the divine world order."

I don't care what people are saying about me, but for mother and Mrs M. it is better that not every Tom, Dick and Harry gossip about it," he wrote.

Mrs L." was Margarete Lenbach, another wealthy woman who used to send a chauffeur-driven car to collect Einstein for their late-night trysts.

But Einstein valued Michanowski's discretion, as he wrote to his second wife Elsa in 1931.

Mrs. M. definitely acted according to the best Christian-Jewish ethics: 1) one should do what one enjoys and what won't harm anyone else; and 2) one should refrain from doing things one does not take delight in and which annoy another person. Because of 1) she came with me, and because of 2) she didn't tell you a word. Isn't that irreproachable?"

Einstein's distance from his two sons after the divorce from Mileva clearly troubled him. He wrote how much he enjoyed taking the boys on holiday but at times expressed despair over his younger son, Eduard, who suffered from schizophrenia. On more than one occasion he suggested it would have been better if Eduard had never been born.

But things were troubled even before the split with Mileva, not least because of Einstein's womanizing. In June 1915, Einstein went on holiday with Elsa after his older son, Hans Albert, curtly rejected an invitation to join him.

Dear Papa, You should contact Mama about such things, because I'm not the only one to decide here. But if you're so unfriendly to her, I don't want to go with you either," wrote the boy, then just 11 years old.

The divorce settlement with Mileva contained a unique clause in which Einstein agreed that if he were to win the Nobel Prize he would deposit the money in a Swiss bank account in Mileva's name, and she could use the interest to finance the upbringing of the children. Einstein indeed won the prize for physics in 1921, but failed to fulfill this promise, and biographies have said that Mileva always felt betrayed.

The newly released papers reveal that he invested three-quarters of the money, about $24,000, in long-term bonds via the Ladenburg and Thalmann Bank in New York. Mileva was supposed to receive the interest. But the value of the bonds was wiped out in the Depression of the 1930s and Mileva's income dried up.

On June 12, 1932, Mileva asked her former husband for more money to help pay the mortgage on properties she had bought. Not so much is left for us to live on, especially since our income in any case has been reduced because of the loss from the papers in America," she wrote.

But Professor Hanoch Gutfreund, who is responsible for the Einstein bequest at Hebrew University, said Einstein made amends: Over the course of his life he sent Mileva and the boys regular sums of cash, much more than if he had only given them his Nobel Prize award."

© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.

By Matthew Kalman, Globe Correspondent  July 11, 2006


  • 1879 Albert Einstein is born as the first child of the Jewish couple Hermann and Pauline Einstein, nee Koch in Ulm on March 14 at 11.30 am.
  • 1880 In June the family moves to Munich where Hermann Einstein and his brother found the electro technical company Einstein & Cie.
  • 1881 Albert’s sister Maria – called Maja – is born in Munich on November 18.
  • 1884 Albert is given private lessons as preparation for school. His father shows him a compass which fascinates him very much (the first “wonder”).
  • 1885 Albert attends Petersschule, a catholic elementary school in Munich from October 1. He is a good pupil. At home he is given lessons in Jewish religion. Albert starts to learn the violin.
  • 1888 He attends Luitpold-Gymnasium (grammar school) in Munich from October 1.
  • 1889 Max Talmud (later: Talmey), a Jewish medical student, becomes in the following years the tutor of young Albert. Together they read and discuss scientific and philosophic works.
  • 1891 At the age of 12 Albert gets to know the “holy geometry book”, whose content “impresses him very much” (the second “wonder”). With the help of a teacher and a Rabbi, Albert prepares to become a “Bar-Mizwa” - a full member of the Jewish community.
  • 1892 However, he does not go to his “Bar-Mizwa” because he starts to become a freethinker.
  • 1894 Due to reasons at work Hermann Einstein, his wife and his daughter move to Italy - first to Milan, then to Pavia and finally back to Milan again. Albert stays with relatives in Munich to finish school. He leaves Luitpold-Gymnasium without a degree in December and follows his family to Milan.
  • 1895 Albert who does not pass the entrance examination for the Polytechnic (later called Swiss Technical College, ETH) in Zurich at the beginning of October, attends the trade department of the school in Aarau in late October to make up for the school leaving examination (Matura). In Aarau he lives with the family of one of his teachers, Jost Winteler. He writes his first scientific work, however, it is not published.
  • 1896 At the age of 17 Albert Einstein gives up the Wurttemberg and thus the German citizenship with the approval of his father. For the following 5 years he is stateless. At the beginning of October he passes his Matura (general qualification for university entrance) in Aarau and begins to study at the Polytechnic in Zurich in the same month. His aim is to achieve the certificate of a subject teacher for mathematics and physics. His fellow students are among others Mileva Maric and Marcel Grossmann.
  • 1897 Einstein meets Michele Besso in Zurich. They stay friends for all their life.
  • 1898 In October Albert successfully passes his intermediate testing for the diploma.
  • 1899 In Zurich Einstein files the application for the Swiss citizenship.
  • 1900 Albert Einstein finishes his studies at the ETH Zurich with the subject teacher diploma for mathematics and physics. Subsequently he applies, however, without success for the job of an assistant at the Polytechnic and at various universities. In December he hands in his first scientific work to the “Annalen der Physik” (Annals of Physics).
  • 1901 In February Einstein is granted the Swiss citizenship. His first scientific work is published in the “Annalen der Physik” in March. He continuously applies for a job as assistant, however, without any success. From May to June he works temporarily as teacher in Winterthur and from September for a private school in Schaffhausen. He starts working on his dissertation which he hands in at the University in Zurich in November. In December he applies for a job at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern. His former fellow student, Marcel Grossmann, had helped him find this job.
  • 1902 Lieserl, the illegitimate daughter of Albert Einstein and Mileva Maric, his former fellow student, is born in Hungary in January. Einstein is in Bern at this time. He withdraws his dissertation. To make for a living he advertises in newspapers to give private lessons. From June 23 he is a third-class technical expert on probation at the Patent Office in Bern. In October Hermann Einstein dies in Milan.
  • 1903 Albert Einstein marries Mileva Maric on January 6 - against the will of both families. In spring he founds the “Akademie Olympia” in Bern together with Maurice Solovine and Conrad Habicht. In autumn Lieserl is said to be put up for adoption in Hungary.
  • 1904 Einstein’s first son Hans Albert is born in Bern on May 14. Einstein is given a fix job at the Patent Office.
  • 1905 Einstein’s “annus mirabilis”. He publishes four groundbreaking works in the “Annalen der Physik”, which revolutionize the basics of physics around 1900. One of his works, Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper (“On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”), contains the special theory of relativity. In another work he deduces the famous formula E = mc2. In April Einstein hands in his work Eine neue Bestimmung der Moleküldimensionen (A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions) as dissertation at the University of Zurich and it is accepted at the end of July.
  • 1906 In the middle of January Einstein is awarded a doctorate by the University of Zurich and in April he is promoted to be a second-class technical expert at the Patent Office.
  • 1907 Einstein starts to think about the general theory of relativity and discovers the principle of equivalence of mass and energy for continuously accelerated systems. His application for the doctorate is rejected by the University of Bern as his doctorate paper is not sufficient.
  • 1908 Through handing in a new dissertation, Einstein is awarded the doctorate at the University of Bern and becomes a private college lecturer. At the end of the year he holds his first lecture.
  • 1909 In July Einstein is awarded his first honorary doctor at the University of Geneva; many more are to follow. He stops working at the Patent Office and in October starts his work as associate professor for theoretical physics at the University of Zurich.
  • 1910 Einstein receives a call to the German University in Prague. His second son Eduard, called Tete, is born in Zurich on July 28.
  • 1911 Einstein becomes full professor at the German University in Prague. At the end of October he takes part in the first Solvay Congress in Brussels. He calculates the deflection of the light in the gravitational field of the sun and in this process recognizes the experimental possibility to observe this process during a total solar eclipse.
  • 1912 He begins a love affair with his divorced cousin Elsa Löwenthal who lives in Berlin. He follows a call as full professor for theoretical physics to the ETH, his Alma mater and returns to Zurich in August. Start of the cooperation with Marcel Grossmann, professor for mathematics at the ETH, about the basics of the general theory of relativity.
  • 1913 Einstein is nominated member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Max Planck and Walther Nernst travel to Zurich to win Einstein for Berlin. He is offered the membership in the Prussian Academy of Sciences as well as a professorship at the University of Berlin without the need to teach and the management of the still to be founded Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics. On November 12 Einstein’s membership in the Academy is approved of by Wilhelm II, German Emperor and King of Prussia, and Einstein accepts the offer of the “Berliners” on December 7.
  • 1914 At the beginning of April Einstein arrives in Berlin, Mileva and the two sons Hans Albert and Eduard arrive one month later. Albert Einstein and Mileva separate. In June she goes back to Zurich with the two sons. Einstein holds his inaugural address at the Prussian Academy of Sciences on July 2. On August 1 World War I begins. Einstein begins to deal intensively with politics. He becomes member of the pacifist Bund Neues Vaterland, and signs the “Manifest an die Europäer” (Manifesto to the Europeans) designed by Georg Nicolai.
  • 1915 With J. W. de Haas Einstein begins to make experimental tests to the gyromagnetic effect (Einstein-de Haas-effect). In November he finishes his work on the general theory of relativity and presents it in a 4-part speech at the Prussian Academy of Sciences.
  • 1916 The article Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie (The Formal Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity) is published in the Annalen der Physik on March 20 he becomes head of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (German Physical Society) as successor to Max Planck on May 5. In December he finishes his work on his most famous book Über die spezielle und die allgemeine Relativitätstheorie, gemeinverständlich (On the Special and General Theory of Relativity, A Popular Account). He receives a call to the Kuratorium der Phyikalisch-Technischen Reichsanstalt (Board of Trustees of the Physical-Technical Institute of the German Reich). Among other things he works on the topic of gravitational waves and again on the topic of quantum theory.
  • 1917 At the beginning of the years Einstein suffers from various illnesses (among other things from a liver disease and a stomach ulcer). His cousin Elsa takes care of him. It will last several years until he recovers completely. He writes a work on cosmology with the cosmologic term which shall guarantee a limited universe. He will refer to this cosmologic term later as his “biggest idiocy”. He takes over the management of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics on October 1.
  • 1918 In August Einstein rejects a joint offer from the Swiss Polytechnic and the University of Zurich though the conditions are very good. The German Reich surrenders on November 9 and the Republic is proclaimed. Einstein welcomes these events.
  • 1919 The marriage of Albert Einstein and Mileva Maric is divorced on February 14. Discussions with Kurt Blumenfeld about Zionism. The solar eclipse which was observed by the astronomer Arthur Stanley Eddington on May 29 confirms Einstein’s forecast about the deflection of light in the gravitational field of the sun which he had postulated in his general theory of relativity. Einstein becomes famous over night. The myth Albert Einstein is born. Einstein marries his cousin Elsa Löwenthal on June 2. She brings with her the two daughters from her first marriage - Ilse and Margot. Einstein is awarded his only German honorary doctor from the University of Rostock on November 12.
  • 1920 In February Einstein’s mother Pauline dies after severe illness in Berlin. The Danish physician Niels Bohr visits Einstein in Berlin. It is their first meeting. Anti-Semitic comments against the theory of relativity and Einstein increase. In June Einstein travels to Norway and Denmark to hold speeches. Einstein takes part in a public presentation in the Berlin Philharmonics against the theory of relativity on August 24. Three days later he criticizes this presentation harshly in the Berliner Tageblatt (newspaper). He thinks about leaving Germany. At the scientists’ meeting in Bad Nauheim on September 23 a hot and controversial discussion with the physicist Philipp Lenard occurs. Lenard who had received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1905 is one of the main objectors of the theory of relativity in Germany. Einstein holds his inaugural address as guest professor at the University of Leiden on October 27.
  • 1921 From April 2 to May 30 Einstein and Chaim Weizmann visit the USA. It is Einstein’s first visit to the USA. The main reason for this journey is to collect money for the still to be founded Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Einstein holds four speeches at the University of Princeton about the theory of relativity which are later published as book. He is also awarded his honorary doctor there. More lectures and honors in the USA are to follow. He is welcomed by President Warren G. Harding in the White House in Washington. During his return journey to Germany he visits Great Britain where he holds lectures in Manchester and London.
  • 1922 In January Einstein holds speeches in Prague and Vienna. Also in January he hands in his first work to the Academy of Science about the unified field theory. He visits France from the end of March to the middle of April. With this journey he contributes to the normalisation of the German-French relationship. Next to speeches at the Collége de France he also visits some battlefields of World War I. At the end of April he becomes member of the Völkerbundkommission für Intellektuelle Zusammenarbeit (Commission for Intellectual Cooperation). After the assassination of the German Foreign Secretary Walther Rathenau on June 24 Einstein cancels all public speeches and presentations. He writes a remarkable obituary for Rathenau. As guest of a newspaper house Einstein and his wife Elsa begin a longer journey to Japan on October 8. On their journey they visit among other cities Colombo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Einstein is awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for the year 1921 on November 9. He receives the prize not for his theory of relativity but for his discovery of the Law of the Photoelectric Effect. Einstein officially learns of this honour during his Japan journey. At the awarding ceremony of the Nobel Prize on December 10, Einstein is represented by the German ambassador to Sweden.
  • 1923 On the return journey from Japan Einstein visits Palestine in February. He becomes the first honorary citizen of Tel Aviv. On his journey back home he visits Spain. As he recognizes the ineffectiveness of the Commission for Intellectual Cooperation he resigns from it. In June he supports the association Freunde des Neuen Rußland (Friends of New Russia) in its foundation and becomes member in the board. In July he travels to Sweden and Denmark. He holds his Nobel Speech in Gothenburg in presence of the king on July 11. In December Einstein discusses his work: Möglichkeiten zur Lösung des Quantenproblems (A Possible Solution for the Quantum Problem) in the Academy of Sciences.
  • 1924 As youngest member Einstein is admitted to the Orden Pour le Mérite on June 7. In June he once again joins the Commission for Intellectual Cooperation. Together with the Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose he discovers the Bose-Einstein-Condensation. In December the Einstein Tower is finished in Potsdam on the Telegraphenberg and starts working. Einstein is appointed for life as head of the Board of Trustees of the Einstein Institute.
  • 1925 Einstein formulates the Bose-Einstein-Statistics and publishes the Bose-Einstein-Condensation at the end of the year. From April to June he travels through South America – Argentine, Brazil and Uruguay. Together with Gandhi and other important people he signs a manifesto against compulsory military service. He also becomes a member of the administrative council of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is awarded the Copley Medal of the Royal Society in London on November 30.
  • 1926 He is awarded the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in London on February 12. The quantum mechanics is formulated among others by Werner Heisenberg, Max Born and Erwin Schrödinger. Einstein expresses his discomfort.
  • 1927 At the fifth Solvay Congress in Brussels in October: beginning of an intensive discussion between Einstein and Niels Bohr about the basics of quantum mechanics.
  • 1928 Due to overexertion Einstein now suffers from a heart illness. He has to strictly stay in bed for several months. It lasts almost one full year until he recovers. Helen Dukas begins to work for Albert Einstein on April 13. At the beginning only a secretary, she also his housekeeper after the death of Elsa Einstein.
  • 1929 In March Einstein celebrates his 50th birthday. He lets build a house of wood in Caputh near Potsdam in which he lives during the summer months until his emigration in December 1932. During his stay at the Solvay Congress in Brussels he visits the Royal Family. A friendship begins and also a lifelong correspondence with his “Beloved Queen”. He is awarded the Max Planck medal by his promoter Max Planck on June 28.
  • 1930 Einstein’s first grandson, Bernhard Caesar, the son of Hans Albert and Frieda Einstein is born. In May Einstein signs a manifesto demanding the world’s disarmament. He develops an intensive interest in pacifism. Einstein’s second visit to the USA. The journey begins in December and ends in March of the following year. He visits for example New York and Cuba. The main reason for his journey is his research stay at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) in Pasadena.
  • 1931 He returns from his visit to the USA in March. Within his research work he eliminates the Cosmological Term (1917). One month later he visits Christ Church College in Oxford, England for some weeks. During his stay there he is awarded the honorary doctorate (Dr. h. c.) of science by the University of Oxford (May 23). He spends the summer months in his summer house in Caputh. In December he once again travels to the USA. Most of the time he can be found at the CalTech in Pasadena. It is his third visit to the USA.
  • 1932 At the beginning of March he is back from his journey to the USA. He follows the call of the still to be founded Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He plans to spend half the year in Berlin and half the year in Princeton. Inspired by the Commission for Intellectual Cooperation he begins to write with the Austrian physician and psychologist Sigmund Freud about the question: Why war? This conversation is published in 1933. In the autumn, he speaks his credo for a record. In December he travels to CalTech in Pasadena, USA again. He plans to go back to Germany in March 1933. However, the political power shift and thus Nazi Germany cause him to never set foot on German ground again.
  • 1933 On January 30 Adolf Hitler seizes power in Germany; national socialist power seizure. Einstein declares before his return journey to Europe on March 10 that he will not return to Germany and on March 28 he declares his leaving the Prussian Academy of Sciences. He cuts all contacts to German institutions with which he had worked. Thus he renounces for example the membership in the Orden Pour le Mérite. He stays in Belgium, Switzerland and Great Britain. In June he holds the Spencer speech in Oxford. He emigrates to the USA. He comes to New York with his wife Elsa, his secretary Helen Dukas and his assistant Walther Mayer on October 17 and visits his newly adopted home town Princeton, New Jersey. He begins to work for the Institute for Advanced Study.
  • 1934 Einstein’s step daughter Ilse Kayser-Einstein dies in Paris, the step daughter Margot moves to Princeton. A collection of not-scientific works of Einstein is published, bearing the title Mein Weltbild (The World As I See It).
  • 1935 The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-Paradoxon is published in May. Einstein receives the Franklin Medal in Philadelphia on May 15. He and his wife Elsa move in the new house in Princeton in Mercer Street 112 in September. His step daughter Margot and his secretary Helen Dukas live with them.
  • 1936 Einstein’s friend Marcel Grossmann dies on September 7 and Elsa Einstein dies after long illness in their house on December 20.
  • 1938 Together with Leopold Infeld he publishes the book The Evolution of Physics.
  • 1939 Einstein signs a letter to the American president Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 2 to tell him about the possible danger of an atomic bomb. Through the German attack on Poland World War II begins on September 1. Einstein’s sister Maja moves to her brother’s place in Princeton.
  • 1940 Einstein swears the oath on the American constitution on October 1, 1940 and thus becomes an American citizen. However, he keeps his Swiss citizenship.
  • 1941 In America the “Manhattan Project” begins in November. Its function is to develop an atomic bomb. Einstein is regarded as safety risk and is not allowed to take part in the project. Japan attacks Pearl Harbour, the American Navy Centre on December 7. The USA enter the war.
  • 1943 The US Navy employs Einstein as adviser for highly explosive materials.
  • 1944 The copy of Einstein’s work Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper (On the Electrodynamics of Moved Bodies) from the year 1905 is auctioned in Kansas City in February for six million dollars in favor of the Book and Author War Bond Committee. Einstein is officially given emeritus status by the faculty of the Institute for Advanced Study, however, he keeps a working room in the institute until his death.
  • 1945 Einstein is shocked and deeply touched by the news of the two atomic bomb droppings over Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9. The second World War is over. At a Nobel memory dinner on December 10 in New York he holds his famous speech The war is won, but the peace is not.
  • 1946 In an open letter to the United Nations Einstein promotes among other things the formation of a world government. He becomes head of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, whose aim it is to control armament and to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Einstein’s sister Maja suffers a stroke.
  • 1947 Einstein intensifies his activities for armament control and a world government.
  • 1948 Einstein’s first wife, Mileva Maric, dies in Zurich on August 4. In December Einstein is diagnosed a big aorta aneurysm. He gets surgery immediately.
  • 1949 Einstein leaves hospital in January. He publishes his work Autobiographic Notes which he wrote in 1946. It is a review of his scientific career.
  • 1950 Einstein signs his last will on March 18. Dr. Otto Nathan and Einstein’s secretary Helen Dukas are made his administrators. His written heritage goes to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He publishes Out of My Later Years, a collection of his non-scientific essays and speeches of the last twenty years.
  • 1951 Maja, Einstein’s sister, dies in Princeton on June 25.
  • 1952 After the death of Chaim Weizmann, Einstein is offered the presidency over Israel. However, he rejects.
  • 1954 Einstein publicly supports J. R. Oppenheimer because of the accusations of the US government due to his “national reliability”. Einstein suffers from haemolytic anaemia.

Einstein’s friend Michele Besso dies in Geneva on March 15. In April Einstein signs a letter to Bertrand Russell. In this letter he declares himself ready to sign Russell’s order to get all nations to do without nuclear weapons (Einstein-Russell-Manifesto). This manifesto founds the international Pugwash movement.

  • 1955 Einstein is brought to the hospital in Princeton on April 15. A few days earlier the aneurysm had burst.

Albert Einstein dies in the hospital in Princeton on April 18 in the early morning hours (about 1.15 am). He is 76 years old. His body is burned the same day and the ashes are about two weeks later scattered at an unknown place after a modest funeral service.


Nobel Committee: The Nobel Prize in Physics 1921 - to Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein - Biography (Science)

Albert Einstein was born at Ulm, in Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879. Six weeks later the family moved to Munich, where he later on began his schooling at the Luitpold Gymnasium. Later, they moved to Italy and Albert continued his education at Aarau, Switzerland and in 1896 he entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich to be trained as a teacher in physics and mathematics. In 1901, the year he gained his diploma, he acquired Swiss citizenship and, as he was unable to find a teaching post, he accepted a position as technical assistant in the Swiss Patent Office. In 1905 he obtained his doctor's degree.

During his stay at the Patent Office, and in his spare time, he produced much of his remarkable work and in 1908 he was appointed Privatdozent in Berne. In 1909 he became Professor Extraordinary at Zurich, in 1911 Professor of Theoretical Physics at Prague, returning to Zurich in the following year to fill a similar post. In 1914 he was appointed Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Physical Institute and Professor in the University of Berlin. He became a German citizen in 1914 and remained in Berlin until 1933 when he renounced his citizenship for political reasons and emigrated to America to take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton*. He became a United States citizen in 1940 and retired from his post in 1945.

After World War II, Einstein was a leading figure in the World Government Movement, he was offered the Presidency of the State of Israel, which he declined, and he collaborated with Dr. Chaim Weizmann in establishing the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Einstein always appeared to have a clear view of the problems of physics and the determination to solve them. He had a strategy of his own and was able to visualize the main stages on the way to his goal. He regarded his major achievements as mere stepping-stones for the next advance.

At the start of his scientific work, Einstein realized the inadequacies of Newtonian mechanics and his special theory of relativity stemmed from an attempt to reconcile the laws of mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. He dealt with classical problems of statistical mechanics and problems in which they were merged with quantum theory: this led to an explanation of the Brownian movement of molecules. He investigated the thermal properties of light with a low radiation density and his observations laid the foundation of the photon theory of light.

In his early days in Berlin, Einstein postulated that the correct interpretation of the special theory of relativity must also furnish a theory of gravitation and in 1916 he published his paper on the general theory of relativity. During this time he also contributed to the problems of the theory of radiation and statistical mechanics.

In the 1920's, Einstein embarked on the construction of unified field theories, although he continued to work on the probabilistic interpretation of quantum theory, and he persevered with this work in America. He contributed to statistical mechanics by his development of the quantum theory of a monatomic gas and he has also accomplished valuable work in connection with atomic transition probabilities and relativistic cosmology.

After his retirement he continued to work towards the unification of the basic concepts of physics, taking the opposite approach, geometrisation, to the majority of physicists.

Einstein's researches are, of course, well chronicled and his more important works include Special Theory of Relativity (1905), Relativity (English translations, 1920 and 1950), General Theory of Relativity (1916), Investigations on Theory of Brownian Movement (1926), and The Evolution of Physics (1938). Among his non-scientific works, About Zionism (1930), Why War? (1933), My Philosophy (1934), and Out of My Later Years (1950) are perhaps the most important.

Albert Einstein received honorary doctorate degrees in science, medicine and philosophy from many European and American universities. During the 1920's he lectured in Europe, America and the Far East and he was awarded Fellowships or Memberships of all the leading scientific academies throughout the world. He gained numerous awards in recognition of his work, including the Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London in 1925, and the Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute in 1935.

Einstein's gifts inevitably resulted in his dwelling much in intellectual solitude and, for relaxation, music played an important part in his life. He married Mileva Maric in 1903 and they had a daughter and two sons; their marriage was dissolved in 1919 and in the same year he married his cousin, Elsa Löwenthal, who died in 1936. He died on April 18, 1955 at Princeton, New Jersey.

From Nobel Lectures, Physics 1901-1921, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1967


Albert Einstein was the founding father of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Technion in Haifa, Israel's oldest Universities.

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Albert Einstein, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1921's Timeline

March 14, 1879
Ulm, Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
- 1901
- 1909
Age 21
Zurich, Switzerland
January 1902
Age 22
Novi Sad, Vojvodina, Serbia
May 14, 1904
Age 25
Bern, Bern, Canton of Bern, Switzerland
- 1909
Age 28
Berne, Switzerland
- 1911
Age 29
Zurich, Switzerland
July 28, 1910
Age 31
Zurich, Switzerland
- 1912
Age 31
Prague, Czech Republic