Go to Home Page
  Library Biographies Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Wurtemburg, Germany. In 1895, Einstein attempted to enroll at Eidgenossische Technishe Hockshule (ETH), a technical university in Zurich, to study Electrical Engineering, but failed the entrance examination. In 1896, he renounced his German citizenship and did not officially become even a prospective citizen of another country until 1899 when he applied for citizenship in Switzerland. Einstein eventually attended ETH became a teacher in 1900.

In 1905, Einstein received his doctorate from ETH for a discovery in the determination of molecular dimensions. In this year, he also wrote three papers about his discoveries in quantum theory and relativity. In 1921, Einstein received a Nobel Prize for his 1905 work on photoelectric effects.

For his accomplishments, Einstein began receiving international attention. He returned to Germany in 1914 to accept a research position at the Prussian Academy of Sciences and a chair position at the University of Berlin. He also began traveling to the United States and on his third

Printer Friendly



More on the Web
Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues
Nobel eMuseum
National Academy of Sciences
Albert Einstein on the Nuclear Age 

visit in 1932, he was offered and accepted a job at Princeton University. He became a US citizen in 1940.

In 1939, at the urging of Dr. Leo Szilard, Einstein wrote to President Roosevelt warning of a new discovery of a "nuclear chain reaction in a large mass of uranium." Einstein forewarned President Roosevelt that the discovery of such a reaction could lead to the construction of "extremely powerful bombs of a new type." Einstein also mentioned that Dr. Leo Szilard was working on this and urged the US to find this reaction before Germany. It was Einstein's letter that led President Roosevelt to funding uranium research and later to the Manhattan Project.

Einstein died on April 18, 1955 of heart failure. On July 9, 1955, he and Bertrand Russell issued a Manifesto. The Russell-Einstein Manifesto warned of the peril of nuclear weapons and the dangers of continuing an arms race and called upon scientists to discuss a resolution.