Albert Einstein: Imagination Is More Important Than Knowledge

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Albert Einstein
1879 -1955
Imagination is more important than knowledge
Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Wurttemberg, Germany. Einstein contributed more than any other scientist since Sir Isaac Newton to our understanding of physical reality.Einstein worked at the patent office in Bern, Switzerland from 1902 to 1909. During this period 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. The most well known of these works is Einstein's 1905 paper proposing "the special theory of relativity." He based his new theory on the principle that the laws of physics are in the same form in any frame of reference. As a second fundamental hypothesis, Einstein assumed that the speed of light remained constant in all frames of reference.Later in 1905 Einstein showed how mass and energy were equivalent expressing it in the famous equation: E=mc2 (energy equals mass times the velocity of light squared). This equation became a cornerstone in the development of nuclear energy.Einstein received the Nobel Prize in 1921 but not for relativity, rather for his 1905 work on the photoelectric effect. He worked on at Princeton until the end of his life on an attempt to unify the laws of physics.Around 1886 Albert Einstein began his school career in Munich. As well as his violin lessons, which he had from age six to age thirteen, he also had religious education at home where he was taught Judaism. Two years later he entered the Luitpold Gymnasium and after this his religious education was given at school. He studied mathematics, in particular the calculus, beginning around 1891. In 1894 Einstein's family moved to Milan but Einstein remained in Munich. In 1895 Einstein failed an examination that would have allowed him to study for a diploma as an electrical engineer at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich. Einstein renounced German citizenship in 1896 and was to be stateless for a number of years. He did not even apply for Swiss citizenship until 1899, citizenship being granted in 1901.Following the failing of the entrance exam to the ETH, Einstein attended secondary school at Aarau planning to use this route to enter the ETH in Zurich. Indeed Einstein succeeded with his plan graduating in 1900 as a teacher of mathematics and physics. One of his friends at ETH was Marcel Grossmann who was in the same class as Einstein. 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. He did manage to avoid Swiss military service on the grounds that he had flat feet and varicose veins. By mid 1901 he had a temporary job as a teacher, teaching mathematics at the Technical High School in Winterthur. Einstein worked in this patent office from 1902 to 1909, holding a temporary post when he was first appointed, but by 1904 the position was made permanent and in 1906 he was promoted to technical expert second class. While in the Bern patent office 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. Einstein earned a doctorate from the University of Zurich in 1905 for a thesis On a new determination of molecular dimensions. He dedicated the thesis to Grossmann. In the first of three papers, all written in 1905, Einstein examined the phenomenon discovered by Max Planck, according to which electromagnetic energy seemed to be emitted from radiating objects in discrete quantities. The energy of these quanta was directly proportional to the frequency of the radiation. This seemed...
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