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Multimedia gallery

Time Line of Einstein's Life

1879: Albert Einstein is born to Hermann Einstein (a featherbed

salesman) and his wife Pauline in Ulm, Germany.

1884: Around this time, Albert receives his first compass,

beginning his quest to investigate the natural world.

1889: At age 10, Albert sets into a program of self education and

reads as much about science as he can.

1894: The Einsteins move from Munich to Pavia, Italy and

Albert, 15, stays on in Munich to finish the school year. Albert

lasts only a term on his own and follows his family to Pavia.

1895: Albert attempts to skip high school by taking an entrance

exam to the Swiss Polytechnic, a top technical university, but he

fails the arts portion. His family sends him to the Swiss town of

Aarau to finish high school.

1896: Albert graduates from high school at the age of 17 and

enrolls at the ETH (the Federal Polytechnic) in Zurich.

1898: Albert falls in love with Mileva Maric, a Hungarian

classmate at the ETH.

1900: Albert graduates from the ETH.

1901: Albert becomes a Swiss citizen. Unemployed, he searches

for work. He and Mileva meet in northern Italy for a tryst.

Mileva becomes pregnant. In the fall, Albert finds work in

Schaffhausen, Switzerland as a tutor. Mileva, visibly pregnant,

moves to Stein Am Rhein, three miles upriver. Mileva then moves

to Hungary to give birth to their baby at her parent's home.

Albert moves to Bern.

1902: In January, Mileva gives birth to their daughter, Lieserl,

whom they eventually put up for adoption. She reportedly

becomes ill and then all record of her disappears. Albert takes a

job at the Swiss Patent Office. Hermann Einstein becomes ill and


1903: Albert and Mileva marry in January

1904: Mileva gives birth to their first son, Hans Albert.

1905: "Annus Mirabilis" -- Einstein's "Miracle Year": his Special

Theory of Relativity is born. June 30th, Einstein, submits his

paper, "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" to the leading

German physics journal. At age 26, he applies his theory to mass

and energy and formulates the equation e=mc2.

1906: Still living in Bern, Einstein continues as an Examiner at

the Swiss Patent Office.

1907: Einstein begins applying the laws of gravity to his Special

Theory of Relativity.

1910: Son Eduard is born.

1911: The Einsteins move to Prague where Albert is given a full

professorship at the German University there. Albert is the

youngest to attend the invitation-only Solvay Conference in

Brussels, the first world physics conference.

1912: The Einsteins move to Zurich where Albert is given a

position as a professor of Theoretical Physics at the ETH.

1913: Einstein works on his new Theory of Gravity.

1914: Einstein becomes director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute

in Berlin and professor of theoretical physics at the University of

Berlin. The family moves there in April, but Mileva and the sons

return to Zurich after 3 months. The divorce prodeedings begin.

In August, World War I begins.

1915: Einstein completes the General Theory of Relativity.

1917: Einstein collapses and, near death, falls seriously ill. He is

nursed back to health by his cousin, Elsa. He publishes his first

paper on cosmology.

1919: Albert marries Elsa. May 29, a solar eclipse proves

Einstein's General Theory of Relativity works.

1922: Is awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for 1921.

1927: Attends fifth Solvay Conference and begins developing the

foundation of quantum mechanics with Bohr.

1928: Einstein begins pursing his idea of a unified field theory.

1932: Einstein is 53 and at the height of his fame. Identified as a

Jew, he begins to feel the heat of Nazi Germany.

1933: Albert and Elsa set sail for the United States. They settle in

Princeton, New Jersey where he assumes a post at the Institute for

Advanced Study.

1936: Elsa dies after a brief illness.

1939: World War II begins. Einstein writes a famous letter to

President Franklin D. Roosevelt warning of the possibility of

Germany's building an atomic bomb and urging nuclear research.

1940: Einstein becomes an American citizen; retains Swiss


1949: Mileva dies.

1955: Einstein dies of heart failure on April 16.

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