August 10, 2012
The Accidental Leader
Albert Einstein was a world-renowned German-born theoretical physicist. Best known for his theory of relativity and famous equation of E = mc2 the expression of mass-energy equivalence. In 1921 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics “for his service to Theoretical Physics, and his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.” His numerous contributions to physics include his special theory of relativity, which brought together concepts of mechanics and electromagnetism, and his general theory of relativity, which was intended to extend the principle of relativity to non-uniform motion and to provide a new theory of gravitation. The physics community reveres Einstein; with over three hundred published scientific works and over one hundred and non-scientific works, Einstein’s influence on modern theoretical physics is irrefutable. In a broader sense, he is regarded as one of the most influential people in human history. In 1999, he was name Time magazine’s “Person of the Century”.
Einstein became a German citizen in 1914, but showed feelings of being pressured into accepting Germany citizenship by the Academy. There were growing tensions in Germany after World War I towards Jewish people. Albert was not a practicing Jew but faced the same prejudice and injustice Jewish people across Europe would feel under Hitler rule. Einstein’s fears of a Nazi-ruled Germany came to reality in 1933 when Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. Hitler's administration introduced the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, which removed Jews and politically suspect government employees (including university professors) from their jobs, unless they had demonstrated their loyalty to Germany by serving in World War I. Einstein remained in Berlin until 1933 when he renounced his citizenship and emigrated to America to take the position at Princeton University. Meanwhile, in Germany, a...