Albert Einstein- the 20th Century Science Hero Essay

1867 Words May 30th, 2013 8 Pages
Albert Einstein- The 20th Century Science Hero

Albert Einstein is considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century. He is known for developing the theories of relativity. He is also noted for his mathematical formula of E = mc² (David Bodanis). Although he was not directly involved in the Manhattan Project, which was responsible for creating the atomic bomb, but he is still considered the mastermind because of his breakthrough formula. In 1921, he won the Nobel Prize for physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect (A. Calaprice & T. Lipscombe).

The Einstein’s were a secular, middle class Jewish family. Albert’s father Hermann Einstein was a salesman and an engineer who owned a company that manufactured
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He gained numerous awards in recognition of his work, including the Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London in 1925, and the Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute in 1935 (Whittaker).

He became a German citizen in 1914 and remained in Berlin until 1933 when he renounced his citizenship for political reasons and emigrated to America to take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton. He became a United States citizen in 1940 and retired from his post in 1945 (Whittaker).

While Einstein was touring much of the world speaking on his theories in the 1920s, the Nazis were rising to power under the leadership of Adolph Hitler. Einstein’s theories on relativity became a convenient target for Nazi propaganda. In 1931, the Nazi’s enlisted other physicists to denounce Einstein and his theories as "Jewish physics (A. Calaprice & T. Lipscombe) ." At this time, Einstein learned that the new German government, now in full control by the Nazi party, had passed a law barring Jews from holding any official position, including teaching at universities. Einstein also learned that his name was on a list of assassination targets, and a Nazi organization published a magazine with Einstein's picture and the caption "Not Yet Hanged" on the cover (A. Calaprice & T. Lipscombe).

In December, 1932, Einstein decided to leave Germany forever. He took a position a the newly formed Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey, which soon became a Mecca

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