It was 135 years ago this week that one of the most brilliant minds in history was born. Albert Einstein is a household name, and his work continues to influence everything from quantum physics, to mathematics, to pop culture entertainment. Yet he was a high school dropout and a frustration to his teachers.
Albert Einstein was born March 14, 1879, to Jewish parents who were a bit disappointed that young Albert was a late talker. He excelled in math, but otherwise was not a spectacular student. One teacher even told him he would never amount to anything. The world now knows that he was wrong.
Einstein later revealed that his schools seemed bent on stifling creativity and originality, of which Albert had plenty. About that educational system, he said, "It is almost a miracle that modern teaching methods have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for what this delicate little plant needs more than anything, besides stimulation, is freedom."
At the age of 15, Einstein dropped out of school. But his love of science and mathematics propelled him to further study, and eventually he continued his studies at the Polytechnic Institute in Zurich with a lackluster finish. His grades were too poor to earn him a position teaching, so Einstein ended up working at a Swiss patent office, where he worked on his theories in his spare moments.
Out of those years of struggle and seeming failure eventually came the man whose work has impacted virtually every aspect of modern life.
His scientific formula "E = mc2" is now a popular icon of science. Albert Einstein's theory of relativity directly impacted the development of the television. Digital cameras exist because of his explanation of the Photoelectric Effect.
It was Einstein who developed the Theory of Relativity that scientists today depend on in their work. He is often credited with helping to invent the atom bomb, but he actually had no part in that. Albert Einstein was an avowed pacifist, but he saw the writing on the wall and anticipated that the atom bomb was a logical outcome of work that was currently being done. He was correct.
Recently it was reported in the Inquistr that a manuscript by Albert Einstein has surfaced demonstrating that he had proposed the notion that the universe is expanding constantly and eternally, in contrast to the Big Bang Theory. The world of academia and science is still experiencing the shock waves of that revelation.
He was not the smartest man in the world, but he was close. Albert Einstein did not fit neatly into the boxes of the public educational system, but his creativity and scientific influence are unparalleled. Albert Einstein is an inspirational to all those who do not feel that they fit in. He changed the world. They can, too.
[Images Via Bing and jperkinsart.com]