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10 Most Interesting Facts About Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein is still the scientist to beat over 100 years after his death. His work remains the greatest miracle in the history of physics. E = mc2, the equation for Einstein’s theory of relativity is the most crucial aspect of modern physics and a component that has influenced the creation of every object in mechanics. The man behind this invention was not a simple man to understand either; he had a complicated social life and a weird approach to most things we consider normal. Although undoubtedly one of the most famous people in history, these are some facts about Albert Einstein’s most people don’t know.

Albert Einstein Failed His University Entrance Exam

Being the smartest mathematician doesn’t necessarily mean you are the smartest guy in the room, well, at least for Einstein. He was generally an intelligent student that passed all his subjects in school, but in 1895, while applying to enter the Federal Polytechnic in Zurich, Einstein only passed mathematics and physics. This was mainly because he had not studied well and he was way younger than the other students. He failed terribly in French as well as other non-science subjects. He had to repeat his studies at Canton School in Aargau for another year before passing the entrance exam.[1]

Albert Einstein Was Married to His First Cousin

Einstein’s first marriage Was to Maric, a lady he met in Zurich with whom they had an illegitimate child. His parents opposed his marriage to her because Maric was older than Einstein and a Catholic. This marriage was mostly a big mistake as Maric and Einstein fought a lot. It is believed that Einstein was having affairs with other women and was generally a bad husband. Albert Einstein, however, jumped straight from a rocky marriage into an incestuous one. After their divorce in 1918, Einstein decided to marry Elsa, his first cousin with whom they had been closed for a long time. Elsa helped Einstein raise his children from the first marriage, but no children resulted from the incest.[2][3]

Albert Einstein Was on the Fbi Watch List for More Than 2 Decades

The oppressive Nazi regime was hostile enough to send Einstein running and swearing never to go back to Germany again. However, unlike most scientists, Einstein was not quiet about politics. One of his most famous quotes was “unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” However, considering the significant advances the US government gained because of his work, you would expect them to cut him some slack, but the FBI didn’t. Immediately after his arrival from Germany in 1932, The FBI started monitoring Einstein because of his vocal antinationalistic statements. He also got Swiss citizenship publicly praising Switzerland for the freedom and respect it had for its citizens as compared to the US. According to Edgar Hoover, the former FBI director, The Bureau believed Einstein was a communist and a radical. Einstein had however grown up in a rough political climate, and a few FBI spies did not bother him so much.[4]

Albert Einstein His Role in the Creation of Atomic Bombs

Einstein wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt urging him to deploy nuclear bombs because he feared the Nazis would beat the allies to it. His actions alongside other physicists had created a monster they soon realized they could not control. A few days after the U.S. deployed nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many physicists led by Einstein himself started campaigning against the use of nuclear weapons. Szilard and Wigner had used Einstein to convince the government about the need for an atomic bomb, but their ambition had nothing to do with Japan. Hitler was Einstein’s arch enemy, and German scientists were the first to successfully split a uranium atom which is why the scientists worked to beat them at getting the first bomb. However, when President Truman decided to use it against Japan instead, the scientists felt betrayed and misused.[5]

Albert Einstein Gave Up the Chance of Being the President

Einstein was successful at many things except social interactions. He, however, had every reason to feel responsible for Israel first because he was himself a Jew and second, he had narrowly escaped the Holocaust. When the land of his “forefathers” lost their first president in 1952, they sought a replacement in none other than the best scientist in the world. The only thing Einstein had to do was accept Israeli citizenship. Sweet as it sounded, Einstein’s reply was not what you expect. Albert Einstein wrote, “I lack both the aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to exercise official functions.” Despite his massive support in the creation of the Jewish state and gain support for Israel abroad, he felt he would let down the people if he took the presidency forcing the prime minister to try another candidate.[6][7]

Albert Einstein Refused a Surgery Meant to Save His Life

Albert Einstein was a friendly scientist with a sense of humor that caused everyone to love him. Most doctors would have gone to the limits of biology to keep Einstein alive, but he would have none of it. On April 17th, 1955, Albert Einstein got sick and went to the hospital for a checkup. The doctors confirmed that a blood vessel had burst near his heart and he was bleeding internally. Surgery to repair the vessel would have saved his life, but Albert Einstein said he had lived as long as he was meant to. His reply to the doctor was “It is tasteless to prolong life artificially, I have done my share, and it is time to go, I will do it elegantly.” And so the fate of the 20th century’s most celebrated scientist was sealed.[8]

Albert Einstein Was Denied the Clearance to Work on Manhattan Project

Einstein, the father of Relativity, saw his work being applied in Nuclear fission and wrote to the president to wake up America to the actual threat posed by the Nazis. However, Einstein’s left-lying political views were seen as a security threat to the government. In 1940, when the Manhattan project was at its peak, the military intelligence denied him clearance. Every scientist working on the project were barred from consulting with Einstein despite being his colleagues and friends. He was already under FBI surveillance, and the denial of clearance was not really strange to him. This may, however, have saved the project to some extent because Einstein would probably have quit if he learned that the first bomb would be dropped on Japan and not Germany.[9]

Albert Einstein Had a Special Hatred for Socks & Haircuts

This was just one of the many weird habits that Einstein was proud of over the years. His hatred for socks started at a young age of 16 when he noticed that his big toe poked holes in them. He was fond of asking what ifs and when he tried going without socks, he felt it was good, so he made it a habit into adulthood. In his letter to Elsa, his cousin and later his wife, he boasted about how he got away with this habit at school by wearing boots. Einstein also hated haircuts and preferred to stay unkempt as seen in most of his photos. These habits are believed to have caused the hardships in his first marriage. They however never affected his work and friendly personality.[10]

Galileo Was Albert Einstein’s Favorite Scientist

Galileo was a great scientist that introduced the concept of relativity in the mid-16th century in his own simple way. He was seen as a rebel because his views of science disagreed with church and government beliefs of the time. Albert Einstein also based his theory on a similar observation as Galileo involving the time it takes for an object to reach the base of the mast when released from the top. Einstein used light as his object bringing clarity to Galileo’s old question in which Galileo had pictured a stone. Einstein was also against nationalism and seen as a rebel just like Galileo. With these similarities, it was not strange when he confirmed to the whole world that Galileo was his all-time greatest scientist.[11]

Albert Einstein Did Not Win the Nobel Prize for Relativity

‘When people think of Albert Einstein, they think of relativity, but Einstein’s discoveries were way wider than this. In fact, all Einstein got for the theory of relativity was lots of public attention which he disliked. Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity changed physics and the world at large becoming his most famous work. However, contrary to popular misconception, Albert Einstein was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for his paper on the law of photoelectric effect and not relativity. This work was not E = mc2, a formula that almost became Einstein’s second name. The law of photoelectric effect was a concept that startled many scientists since its proposal by Henrich Hertz in 1887. They sought to determine the impact of light on the electrons of a metal surface; a concept Einstein clarified although it didn’t receive as much attention as relativity. Both papers were written while Einstein was doing a day job as a patent Clerk.[12][13]

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