Who was Albert Einstein's nurse


Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 as the first child of the Jewish couple Hermann and Pauline Einstein, née Koch, in Ulm. In June 1880 the family moved to Munich, where Hermann Einstein and his brother Jakob founded the electrical engineering company Einstein & Cie. founded. Albert Einstein's sister Maria - called Maja - was born on November 18, 1881. Einstein's childhood was normal, except for the family worrying fact that he learned to speak very late. To prepare him for school, he received private lessons from 1884. A year later he began taking violin lessons. From 1885 he attended the Petersschule, a Catholic elementary school, in Munich and in 1888 switched to the Luitpold Gymnasium there. However, since he hated the nature of the teaching in most subjects and had problems with the class teacher, he left grammar school prematurely in 1894 and without a qualification and followed his family to Italy, where they had now settled.

In order to be able to complete a degree at the Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule, later the ETH, in Zurich, Einstein registered for the entrance exam in October 1895. But since some of his exams were not sufficient, he followed the advice of the local rector and went to the canton school in Aarau to close his knowledge gaps. At the beginning of October 1896 he graduated from high school and enrolled at the Polytechnic a short time later. The aim of the study was the diploma of a subject teacher for mathematics and physics. Einstein contented himself with being a mediocre student and successfully completed his studies in July 1900 with the diploma examination. This was followed by unsuccessful applications for an assistant position at the Polytechnic and at other universities. In the meantime, after giving up German citizenship in 1896, Einstein formally applied for Swiss citizenship. On February 21, 1901, he became a Swiss citizen.

1 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, around 1905

The search for employment continued. From May 1901 to January 1902 he worked as a teacher in Winterthur and Schaffhausen. Then Einstein moved to Bern. In order to be able to make a living there, he gave private lessons in mathematics and physics. During this time Albert Einstein, Maurice Solovine and Conrad Habicht founded the Bernese "Akademie Olympia". Scientific and philosophical topics were discussed in the evening academy sessions. In Einstein's words, this - academy - promoted his professional career and he remained loyal to it even after he was living in the USA.

In January 1902, Lieserl, the daughter of Einstein and Mileva Maric, a former fellow student, was born in Hungary. The fact that Einstein had an illegitimate child only became known a few years ago after private letters became public stating the existence of the child. Nothing is known today about the further life of Einstein's daughter. She has likely been put up for adoption. Einstein's father died in Milan at the end of 1902. On January 6, 1903, he married Mileva Maric, against the will of the families, and Einstein's first son, Hans Albert, was born in May 1904, and his second son, Eduard, in July 1910.

Through the mediation of his former fellow student Marcel Grossmann, Einstein applied for a position at the Bern patent office in December 1901, to which he was then appointed, initially on a trial basis. From June 23, 1902, he was a third-class technical expert at the Bern Patent Office. Despite working in the patent office, he found the time to continue working in the field of theoretical physics.

Einstein's dissertation:

"A new determination of molecular dimen-sions"

dedicated "To my friend Dr. Marcel Grossmann"

Bern, April 30, 1905


Printed: Buchdruckerei K. J. Wyss, Bern (1906)

Also published with minor changes in the Annals of Physics, Volume 19 (1906), pages 289-305

2 Cover sheet of Einstein's inaugural dissertation

In April 1905 Einstein submitted his dissertation "A new determination of molecular dimen-sions" at the University of Zurich, which was accepted in July 1905. In the same year he published four groundbreaking works in the journal "Annalen der Physik", which revolutionized the foundations of physics around 1900. Three of these works should be briefly mentioned here. In the first article "About a heuristic point of view concerning the generation and transformation of light" Einstein set up the "daring sentence" that electromagnetic radiation must consist of light quanta or photons. Although this theory explained the photoelectric effect, among other things, it was first rejected by physicists, first and foremost by the pioneer of modern physics Max Planck, but later confirmed. With this work the basis of a quantum theory of radiation was laid, and specifically for it Einstein received the Nobel Prize for 1921. The article "On the electrodynamics of moving bodies" sets out the principles of the special theory of relativity. This theory deals with questions of reference systems moving against each other at constant speed. It led to a new version of the terms space and time and is based on the principle of the constancy of the speed of light and the principle of relativity, which postulates the impossibility of determining an absolute movement. The article follows a short time later "Does the inertia of a body depend on its energy content?". It contains the famous formula of the equivalence of mass and energy "E = m · c2". Through this work Einstein drew the attention of the scientific world to himself. At the end of 1906 he published the article "Planck's theory of radiation and the theory of specific heat", which can be regarded as the first publication on the quantum theory of the solid.

Einstein's famous formula:

In April 1906 Einstein was promoted to second class technical expert in the Bern patent office. It didn't go so smoothly with Einstein's habilitation. In 1907 his first application for a habilitation was rejected by the University of Bern. He was only able to complete his habilitation at the University of Bern in early 1908, and he gave his first lecture at the end of the year. Since Einstein wanted to devote himself entirely to science, he resigned his position at the patent office in October 1909 and in the same month took up his position as associate professor for theoretical physics at the University of Zurich. In 1911 Einstein was appointed full professor at the German University in Prague, which he also obeyed. But just a year later, after being offered a position at ETH, he returned to Switzerland.

Having become aware of Einstein's achievements, Max Planck and the physical chemist Walther Nernst tried to bring the young Einstein to Berlin. There they wanted to make him a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, offer him a professorship at the University of Berlin without teaching duties and appoint him as director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics, which was yet to be founded. This offer was so tempting for Einstein - Berlin was the stronghold of natural science at that time - that he accepted and moved to Berlin with his family in April 1914. On July 2, 1914, he gave his inaugural address to the Prussian Academy.

In contrast to career advancement, problems arose in Einstein's marriage. They led his wife to return to Zurich with their sons in July 1914. Since Einstein did not want to keep the marriage to Mileva, they divorced in February 1919. From 1917 Einstein suffered from various illnesses and thus from a general weakness that lasted until 1920. During this time he was lovingly cared for by his cousin Elsa Löwenthal. The two grew closer, and on June 2, 1919 he married Elsa, who brought her daughters Ilse and Margot into the marriage. After the wedding, the family moved within Berlin to Haberlandstrasse 5.

Besides all the work, Einstein always found time for the music. He had played the violin since his youth, and later he was often seen walking the streets with the violin case under his arm. He was an admirer of Bach and Mozart, and through constant practice he developed into a good violin player. In addition to his love of music, Einstein was a passionate sailor. Operated without any sporting ambitions, he found peace here to think about physical problems.

In the years 1909 to 1916 Albert Einstein worked on a generalization of the special theory of relativity, which he wrote in the article in March 1916 "The basis of general relativity" summarized. This theory examines reference systems that are accelerated relative to one another and the influence of gravitational fields on clocks and scales. Was the special theory of relativity still for the layman to understandso this was no longer true for the general theory of relativity. It was also difficult to confirm this theory in experiments because of the sometimes minor relativistic effects. Einstein and his general theory of relativity made the predictions of the perihelion movement of Mercury, the gravitational redshift and the deflection of light in the gravitational field. He was convinced that the deflection of light in a total solar eclipse could be checked in the sun's gravitational field. After several failed solar eclipse observations, the time had come. On May 29, 1919, the English astronomer Arthur Stanley Eddington was able to confirm the deflection of light predicted by Einstein during a solar eclipse that he had observed on the volcanic island of Principe in the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. A second expedition, led by Andrew Crommelin, observed them from Sobral in Brazil.

3Light deflection (shown here intensified) in the gravitational field of the sun

4 mass curves space and time (pictorial representation)


On September 22nd, 1919 Einstein received a telegram from the Dutch physicist and Nobel Prize winner Hendrik Antoon Lorentz with the following content: "Eddington found a star shift at the edge of the sun provisional size between nine tenths of a second and double
Lorentz "

A few days later, on September 27th, Albert Einstein wrote a postcard to his mother: "... Good news today. H. A. Lorentz telegraphed me that the English expeditions really proved the deflection of light in the sun."

"During a total solar eclipse, the sun is completely covered by the moon, which slides between the sun and the earth. Due to the relatively strict conditions for the constellation of the moon between the earth and the sun, a total solar eclipse is very rare." (DLR)

5 Total solar eclipse


The official result of these solar eclipse expeditions was announced on November 6, 1919 at a joint meeting of the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society in London. Einstein had succeeded the great Newton, and the President of the Royal Society, Joseph John Thomson, declared solemnly: "This is the most important result in connection with the theory of gravity since Newton's day. [...] This result is one of the greatest Achievements of Human Thinking. " This confirmation of the deflection of light predicted by general relativity brought Einstein world-wide fame overnight, and not just among scientists. The perihelion movement of Mercury and the gravitational redshift were also brilliantly confirmed in the experiment.

Now everyone was talking about Einstein and the theory of relativity. He has received invitations and honors from all over the world. There was hardly a magazine that did not cover him and his work in the highest tones. But since 1920 Einstein and his theory of relativity were also increasingly exposed to violent attacks, mostly based on anti-Semitism. This went so far that even Nobel Prize winners in physics such as Philipp Lenard and Johannes Stark publicly opposed Einstein and his theory and pleaded for a "German physics".

In Lenard's four-volume work from 1936/37, "Deutsche Physik", written on the basis of classical physics of the 19th century and with an emphasis on experimental physics, theoretical, i.e. Jewish physics, is almost completely rejected.

Philipp Lenard: German physics
Part 1: Introduction and mechanics
Volume 2: Acoustics and thermodynamics
Volume 3: Optics, electrostatics and the beginnings of electrodynamics
Volume 4: Magnetism, electrodynamics and the beginning of something else

6 Cover of volume 2 of the four-volume textbook "Deutsche Physik" by Philipp Lenard, 1936/1937

Einstein's mother died in Berlin in February 1920. Between 1921 and 1923 he traveled to America, England, France, Japan and Palestine, among others. Since that time he has increasingly taken a position from a pacifist point of view, also on political questions. In 1922 Einstein became a member of the League of Nations Commission for Intellectual Cooperation, from which he resigned a year later, although he supported the aims of the League of Nations. However, through the reawakened belief in the ideals of the League of Nations, Einstein rejoined the League Commission in May 1924. As an opponent of all forms of violence, Einstein promoted pacifist movements whenever he had the opportunity. He continued to support the Zionist cause. Here he was very committed to the planned Hebrew University in Jerusalem, to which he bequeathed all of his written estate in his will from 1950. In November 1952 Einstein even received an offer to become President of Israel, which he refused.

As a result of physical overexertion, Einstein contracted heart disease in 1928, which took almost a year to recover. In 1929, after his 50th birthday, he built a summer house in the municipality of Caputh, where he lived with his family from spring to late autumn until December 1932.

From 1920 Einstein was looking for a unified field theory that should include electrodynamics as well as gravitation. The solution to this problem should occupy him for the rest of his life and be unsuccessful. In the first decade he was supported by his fellow physicists in his work on the unified field theory, who then, because they no longer believed in a solution, turned to other tasks, e.g. the new theory of the microcosm, quantum mechanics. Niels Bohr, the founder of the so-called Copenhagen School, Max Born and from the younger generation Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli and others were the physicists who developed quantum mechanics. In this way Einstein became a lone fighter and, over time, got into a scientific isolation, which, however, did not particularly bother him. The path to isolation was reinforced by the fact that Einstein did not want to come to terms with quantum mechanics as it was presented and persistently criticized it constructively. He was particularly bothered by the probabilities used in this theory. The well-known quote from Einstein when he said: "God does not roll the dice" should also be understood in this context. With regard to quantum mechanics, Einstein was wrong, because today it is just as much a part of everyday physical life as his theories of relativity, for example.

When Einstein and his wife left Caputh in December 1932 to go on a third lecture tour to the USA, the political situation in Germany had changed dramatically. In the 1932 elections, the National Socialists established themselves as the strongest political party, and in January 1933 the National Socialists seized power. Due to the political balance of power and the related events in Nazi Germany after 1933, he never set foot on German soil again. In March 1933 Einstein announced his resignation from the Prussian Academy of Sciences and broke off all contacts with German institutions with which he had ever dealt.

Albert Einstein found a new home in the USA. From November 1933 he worked at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, where he and his wife bought a house at 112 Mercer Street in 1935. Einstein's wife Elsa died in December 1936. In 1939 his sister Maja moved in with him on Mercer Street and stayed there until her death in 1951.

7Albert Einstein in Princeton, around 1950

The war raged in Europe since 1939. Fearing that work was being done in Germany on the development of an atomic bomb, Einstein signed a letter to American President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 2, 1939, to warn him of the possibility of an atomic threat. In the letter he pointed out the military importance of atomic energy to the president and suggested that the USA should also step up its nuclear research. This was Einstein's only involvement in connection with the atomic bomb.

Einstein was sworn in as an American citizen on October 1, 1940, but retained Swiss citizenship. In 1946 Einstein proposed in an open letter to the United Nations the formation of a world government in which he saw the only possibility for lasting peace. He intensified these efforts in the following years.

Einstein's first wife Mileva Maric died in Zurich in August 1948, and he himself had to undergo an abdominal operation in December of the same year. In March 1950 he wrote his will in which he wrote to his secretary Helen Dukas and Dr. Otto put Nathan together as administrators of the estate. On April 15, 1955, Einstein was rushed to Princeton Hospital because the previously diagnosed aortic aneurysm had ruptured. Albert Einstein died on April 18, 1955 at 1:15 a.m. at the age of 76. At his request, the body was cremated that same day and the ashes were scattered in an undisclosed location about two weeks later. Science had lost one of its greatest thinkers and the world had lost a fighter for peace and freedom.


Albrecht FölsingAlbert Einstein Frankfurt am Main 1993
Philipp FrankEinstein. his life and his time Munich 1949
Armin HermannEinstein. The worldly wise man and his century Munich 1994
Ed. R. Schulmann, et al.The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, Volume 1-6 Princeton 1987-1996


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