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Albert Einstein (1879–1955). Relativity: The Special and General Theory. 1920.

. Biographical Note

ALBERT EINSTEIN is the son of German-Jewish parents. He was born in 1879 in the town of Ulm, Würtemberg, Germany. His schooldays were spent in Munich, where he attended the Gymnasium until his sixteenth year. After leaving school at Munich, he accompanied his parents to Milan, whence he proceeded to Switzerland six months later to continue his studies.

From 1896 to 1900 Albert Einstein studied mathematics and physics at the Technical High School in Zurich, as he intended becoming a secondary school (Gymnasium) teacher. For some time afterwards he was a private tutor, and having meanwhile become naturalised, he obtained a post as engineer in the Swiss Patent Office in 1902, which position he occupied till 1909. The main ideas involved in the most important of Einstein’s theories date back to this period. Amongst these may be mentioned: The Special Theory of Relativity, Inertia of Energy, Theory of the Brownian Movement, and the Quantum-Law of the Emission and Absorption of Light (1905). These were followed some years later by the Theory of the Specific Heat of Solid Bodies, and the fundamental idea of the General Therory of Relativity.

During the intervel 1909 to 1911 he occupied the post of Professor Extraordinarius at the University of Prague, Bohemia, where he remained as Professor Ordinarius until 1912. In the latter year Professor Einstein accepted a similar chair at the Polytechnikum, Zurich, and continued his activities there until 1914, when he received a call to the Prussian Academy, of Science, Berlin, as successor to Van’t Hoff. Professor Einstein is able to devote himself freely to his studies at the Berlin Academy, and it was here that he succeeded in completing his work on the General Theory of Relativity (1915–17). Professor Einstein also lectures on various special branches of physics at the University of Berlin, and, in addition, he is Director of the Institute for Physical Research of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft.

Professor Einstein has been twice marrid. His first wife, whom he married at Berne in 1903, was a fellow-student from Serbia. There were two sons of this marriage, both of whom are living in Zurich, the elder being sixteen years of age. Recently Professor Einstein married a widowed cousin, with whom he is now living in Berlin.

R. W. L.