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Rabu, 13 Juni 2012

Strange Facts about Albert Einstein

         When saying Albert Einstein, the first thing coming into everyone's mind is the theory of relativity. But, there were some strange facts in Einstein's personal life even more complicated than the theory that revolutionized the world of science. For example, did you know that Albert Einstein had an illegitimate son and he married his cousin?
          Albert Einstein was born on 14 March 1879 in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany. As a boy, he was totally fascinated by the compass needle. When he was four or five, his father showed him a pocket compass, and Albert felt that “something deeply hidden had to be behind things.” He became a theoretical physicist, philosopher and author, being regarded as one of the most influential scientists and intellectuals of all time.

         Albert Einstein was a fat child with an unusually big head. It is said that when his mother saw him, immediately after birth, she thought they had a child with a deformed head, while his family considered him as a monstrosity. However, the doctor calmed them down saying that in a few weeks the proportions will balance. And indeed, things came back to normal and Einstein developed like a normal child, even though too slowly.

         As a child, Einstein seldom spoke, and when he did, he did it very slowly. This is why, until the age 9, his parents thought they had a retarded child. Well, it is worthless saying that they were totally wrong. There is even an anecdote around this theme. It is said that little Albert once said „The soup is too hot”. His parents were, of course, very happy, and asked him why he had never said it before. „Because up to now everything was in order”, it would have been Albert’s answer.
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein and his sister Maja

           Can you imagine that Albert Einstein failed his university entrance exam in 1895? At 17 years old, Albert Einstein applied for an early admission to the Swiss Federal Polytechnical School (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule or ETH). Unfortunately, he passed at maths and science, but he failed the others, such as history or geography. Therefore, he was forced to wait for another year in order to start courses, and the second time he had more success at the exams, being admitted at ETH.

          In 1898, young Albert falls in love with Mileva Maric, a former Serbian colleague at ETH (in fact, she was the only girl there, studying math), with whom he had an illegitimate child, a girl. The girl was born in 1902, at Mileva's parents’ home in Novi Sad, and she was named Lieserl, but from the the letters received it is assumed that Einstein had never seen the girl, while her fate remained unknown. Michele Zackheim sustains in the book “Einstein's daughter” that Lieserl would have been put up for adoption, but she died of scarlet in 1903.

          However, Albert and Mileva got married and had two other sons, Hans Albert and Eduard. His impressive academic activity and his numerous journeys strongly influenced in a negative way the relation with his wife Mileva. In this context, it is said that Einstein would have proposed her a contract in which he promised to live together under certain conditions. Therefore, Mileva had to make sure that his laundry and clothes were kept in good order, she had to serve him three meals in his room, every day, and also keep his room and especially his desk very neat. There were also other strange requests in the contract, such as: “you will stop talking to me if I request it”. Mileva accepted.
Albert Einstein and Mileva Maric
Albert Einstein

           Despite the contract, the divorce was imminent, one of the main reasons for this being his infidelity, Einstein married, in 1919, his cousin, Elsa Lowenthal. In fact, it is said that he wanted to marry her daughter, Ilse, who was 18 years younger than him. Unfortunately, Ilse said she was not attracted to Albert and that she loved him more as a father. Elsa was more tolerant than Mileva regarding Einstein's infidelity and love affairs.

Mileva with Eduard and Hans Albert

Albert Einstein and Elsa Lowenthal
           Einstein's brain was stolen after his death, in 1955, by Thomas Stoltz Harvey, the pathologist who conducted the autopsy at Princeton Hospital. He took the precious “treasure” home and kept it in a jar refusing to gave it to the authorities. For this, he was fired. However, many years after, Harvey got the permission from Hans Albert Einstein to make some researches on Einstein's brain. Harvey sent slices of the brain to different scientists throughout the world, trying to find scientific explanations regarding Einstein's geniality. The theories were numerous, but not totally accepted. This is why, the mystery remained unsolved.