People Who Kick Buts: Albert Einstein
Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
- Born on March 14 1879 and passed away on April 18 1955.
- Was a German theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics.
- For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics. Einstein is generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century.
- While best known for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2 (which has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation”), he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”. The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory within physics.
- He was visiting the United States when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, and did not go back to Germany, where he had been a professor at the Berlin Academy of Sciences. He settled in the U.S., becoming a citizen in 1940.
- On the eve of World War II, he helped alert President Franklin D. Roosevelt that Germany might be developing an atomic weapon, and recommended that the U.S. begin similar research; this eventually led to what would become the Manhattan Project. Einstein was in support of defending the Allied forces, but largely denounced using the new discovery of nuclear fission as a weapon.
- Later, together with Bertrand Russell, Einstein signed the Russell–Einstein Manifesto, which highlighted the danger of nuclear weapons. Einstein was affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, until his death in 1955.