Albert Einstein once said, "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." When discussing Einstein, it is important to realize the struggle he dealt with in terms of having his scientific revelations accepted by others in the field of physics. Einstein's ideas were so remarkably revolutionary that many did not understand the theories being presented. His brilliance remains extremely relevant in the present day. For example, today the word "Einstein" is synonymous with genius. Einstein is influential for his contributions to physics, winning the Nobel Prize, and using his fame to further his social and political views.
Einstein was born at Ulm, in Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879. Although his parents first believed he possessed a learning disability (due to the fact that he did not speak until the age of 3), he showed an outstanding interest towards nature and retained the ability to understand complex mathematical ideas in his youth. At this time, his family moved to Munich, Bavaria and opened a small shop that made electric machinery. By the age of 12, he successfully taught himself Euclidean geometry.
Despite the fact that Einstein gained a distaste for the mundaneness of schooling offered in Munich, he enjoyed learning. When he was 15 years old, his family was forced to move to Milan, Italy because of business failure, and Einstein decided to drop out of school. Even from a young age, he was brilliant; however, he refused to apply himself in the classroom. As a college student, he often cut class to study physics on his own free time or play his violin. Because of his unwillingness to put effort in school, his professors disliked him. After Einstein graduated, they refused to recommend him for a position at the university (Glasstone, "Albert Einstein 1879 - 1955"5). Einstein preferred to teach himself many difficult things instead of spending his time in a classroom. Physics greatly benefited from his decision to cut class in order to pursue his passions. If he chose to attend class as he was meant to, is it possible he wouldn't have gone on to become an essential part of modern physics? His preference for self directed learning explains how he changed the field of physics with just a pad and paper.
In the spring of 1905, Einstein sat down with only his thoughts and changed the world of physics. This was the beginning of what is referred as Einstein's "Annus Mirabilis" or miracle year. During the spring, he wrote three major papers that solved fundamental issues in physics and corrected some of Sir Isaac Newton's scientific views. Theses incredibly...