Albert Einstein, 20th Century Genius Essay

968 words - 4 pages

Albert Einstein, 20th Century GeniusIntroductionAlbert Einstein's famous E = mc^2 alone makes him worthy of a special place in human history, since that equation fundamentally changed the way many people think of the universe we live in. Distance and time seem to be absolutes, not capable of change. According to the textbook The Cosmic Perspective, "With extremely precise measurements, the distance you measure between home and work will be different from the distance measured by a friend in a car, and you and your friend will also disagree about the time it takes you to walk to work." (Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, Voit, 2002, p. 384) Einstein was able to verify that this, indeed, was true by applying his theory of relativity, and general theory of relativity.Einstein's Formative YearsRealizing that Albert Einstein is among the most intelligent people in recent history, one would have a difficult time believing he had trouble passing many courses in school. This, in fact, was true in regards to particular subjects. Granted, he was a mathematical genius, which made it easy for him to excel in those subjects. Humanities, and the arts was another story; Einstein did not fare so well with these subjects. In fact, a prestigious engineering school (ETH) he was attempting to enter made it a point that prospective students be well-rounded, which temporarily kept him out.Albert Einstein finally did get into ETH, and graduated in 1900 as a teacher of mathematics and physics. While attending ETH, he made friends with fellow classmate Marcel Grossman. Einstein attempted to gain a post at ETH, to no avail. O'Connor & Robertson stated that "Einstein tried to obtain a post, writing to Hurwitz who held out some hope of a position but nothing came of it. Three of Einstein's fellow students, including Grossmann, were appointed assistants at ETH in Zurich but clearly Einstein had not impressed enough and still in 1901 he was writing round universities in the hope of obtaining a job, but without success." (1997)He did get a temporary job as technical expert third class at the Bern patent office, eventually earning a permanent position there in 1906. The fact that he earned his doctorate from the University of Zurich in 1905 probably helped his employment cause. Einstein's true genius began to emerge during his employment at the patent office, as he "completed an astonishing range of theoretical physics publications, written in his spare time without the benefit of close contact with scientific literature or colleagues." (O'Connor & Robertson, 1997) These accomplishments were in addition to completing his doctorate in physics, earned with a thesis titled On a new determination of molecular dimensions.The Genius Shines ThroughGiven his accomplishments during the first decade of the 20th century, it became obvious that Einstein was a man that wouldn't let obstacles hinder him. By the end of that decade, Einstein...

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