Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, the first child of the Jewish couple Hermann and Pauline Einstein. In June 1880 the family moved to Munich where Hermann Einstein and his brother Jakob founded the electrical engineering company Einstein & Cie. Albert Einstein's sister Maria was born on November 18, 1881. Einstein's childhood was a normal one, except that to his family's irritation, he learned to speak later than most. In 1884 he received some tutoring in order to get prepared for school.
In 1885 he started learning to play violin. Beginning in 1885 he received his primary education at a Catholic school in Munich; in 1888 he changed over to the Luitpold-Gymnasium, also in Munich. However, he didn't like his school and he did not get along with his form-master so left this school in 1894 without a degree and joined his family in Italy where they had settled.
In order to be admitted to study in Zurich, Einstein took his entrance examination in October 1895 but didn't do well enough and was forced to enroll at some substandard schools in the area. He continued his education and left school early to work.
Between May 1901 and January 1902 he was teacher in Winterthur and Schaffhausen. Afterwards he moved to the Swiss capital Bern. In order to make his living, he gave private lessons in mathematics and physics.
At the end of 1902 Einstein's father died in Milan. On January 6, 1903 he married Mileva Maric. In May 1904 Einstein's first son, Hans Albert, was born and in July 1910 his second son, Eduard.
In April 1905 Einstein submitted his doctoral thesis "A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions" to the university in Zurich which was accepted in July. During this same year he published five pioneering papers in the scientific magazine "Annalen der Physik" which revolutionized physics around the turn of the century.
From 1909 to 1916 Albert Einstein worked on a generalization of his Special Theory of Relativity. The results of his efforts were published in March 1916 in the paper "The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity". This theory investigates coordination systems which experience acceleration relative to each other and also the influence of gravitational fields to time and space.
The Special Theory of Relativity was still intelligible to the average person; this did not apply to the General Theory of Relativity. Due to the relatively small relativistic effects, this theory was difficult to verify experimentally. Einstein predicted the perihelion motion of mercury, the gravitational red shift as well as the deflection of light in a gravitational field. He was convinced that light deflection by the gravitational field of the sun could be observed during a total solar eclipse. After several failed observations of total solar eclipses proof finally came in 1919: On May 29 of that year the English...