When and where was Albert
He was born on Friday, March
14, 1879 at 11.30 a.m. in Ulm, Württemberg,
in Bahnhofstraße B 135, later renamed
When and where did Albert
Aged 76 he died in hospital
in Princeton, New Jersey, USA on Monday,
April 18, 1955 early in the morning at 1.15
What did Einstein die from?
aneurysm, an enlargement of the abdominal artery filled with blood,
which had been diagnosed earlier, had burst. He bled to death
Was Einstein’s brain removed
during the autopsy?
pathologist, who did this without permission, was Dr. Thomas S. Harvey.
The autopsy was carried out few hours after Einstein’s death. As the
bereaved learned about it they gave their belated approval to take out
and scientifically examine Einstein’s brain.
Where was Albert Einstein
There is no grave. According
to Einstein’s wish his body was burned on
the same day and the ashes were scattered
after a simple ceremony at an unknown place.
Did Einstein write a last
Yes! It was signed by him on
March 18, 1950. His secretary
Helen Dukas and Dr. Otto Nathan were
inserted as administrators of his will. The
heirs were among others his step daughter
Margot and his two sons
Hans Albert and
Eduard. His whole written property was
given to the Hebrew University in
Jerusalem, where it is still to be seen
today, in the Albert Einstein Archives.
Who were Albert Einstein’s
His father was
Hermann Einstein (1847-1902) and his
Pauline Einstein, nee Koch (1858-1920).
Did Einstein have siblings?
He had a sister - Maria,
Maja (1881-1951). Brother and sister
always liked each other.
Where did Einstein spend his
He spent his childhood in Ulm
from his birth in March 1879 until June 1880
and in Munich from June 1880 until December
1894. As a 15-year-old he followed his
family to Milan (Italy), where his family
had settled in the meantime.
What did Albert Einstein like
to play with as a child?
Maja, Albert Einstein’s sister, reports
in „Albert Einstein - Beitrag für sein
Lebensbild“ (Albert Einstein –
Contribution for his biography), that
her brother very much liked to play with
"puzzles, jigsaw works, building complex
constructions with a construction kit". He
liked best building houses of cards, which
he was able to build up to 14 stories high
as a ten-year-old. He was less interested in
wild and sportive games with other children.
With increasing age he began to read very
much and very concentrated.
Is it true that Albert
Einstein had a quick temper as a child?
Young Albert had a quick
temper, however, it vanished during his
first school years. Albert’s sister
Maja reports in Albert Einstein -
Beitrag für sein Lebensbild (Albert
Einstein – Contribution for his biography)
the following: "In such moments his face
became all yellow, however, the tip of his
nose became snow-white, and he was no longer
under control. At such an opportunity he
once grabbed a chair and threw it after his
teacher, who was so terrified, that she ran
away and never came back again. His little
sister was once thrown a big skittles ball
on the head and a third time a children’s
pick served as a device for, hitting
somebody on the head."
Which schools did Einstein
Einstein received private
lessons at home starting in 1884 and
attended „Petersschule” (Peter’s School), a
catholic public school in Munich, from
October 1885 until 1888. „Luitpold-Gymnasium“
(Luitpold Grammar School), also in Munich,
followed from October 1888 until 1894.
However, he left this grammar school before
time in December 1894 without taking his
exams. To make up his graduation exam (Matur)
he attended the business department of the
Cantonal School in Aarau, Switzerland from
October 1895 until October 1896. He studied
at the Polytechnic (the later Swiss
Technical Academy, ETH) in Zurich starting
in October 1896.
Was Albert Einstein a good or
a bad pupil?
Albert Einstein, whose school
performance seemed already very promising in
elementary school, became a good
student. He was always amongst the better
students in his class. He received
especially good marks in maths and the
natural sciences, some worse marks in the
languages, in drawing and in sports.
Is it true, that Albert
Einstein had a 5 in maths?
Einstein’s performance in
maths was always well up to excellent and in
his school reports he received the marks
good and very good. The rumour
about the 5 in maths has proposedly
developed from the fact that in Einstein’s
school reports, for example from the
Cantonal School Aarau, the mark 5 and even 6
can be found in maths. However, we have to
consider that the criteria for school
performance in Germany and Switzerland are
different. That means, mark 1 (very good) in
Germany corresponds to mark 6 in
Switzerland; mark 2 (good) equals mark 5;
Did Einstein „have to repeat
a year“ in school?
Albert Einstein never had to
“repeat a year” during his whole school
Which school leaving
certificate did Einstein have?
He passed the school leaving
examination (Matur) at the Cantonal School
in Aarau, Switzerland, in October 1896.
What did Albert Einstein do
after passing his school leaving exam?
Einstein studied at the
Polytechnic (the later Swiss Technical
Academy, ETH) in Zurich from 1896 until
1900. The aim of his studies was the subject
teacher diploma for maths and physics. He
ended his studies successfully in July 1900.
Did Einstein have to do his
Einstein escaped the German
military service by giving up the German
citizenship as 17-year-old with the approval
of his father. It was different with Swiss
army. Einstein became a Swiss citizen in
February 1901 and was summoned by the
military officials for the medical
examination one month later. At the medical
examination on March 13, 1901 Einstein was
attested varicosities, flat and sweaty feet.
Thus he was declared "Unqualified A"
A") by the
examination committee. The “A” means, that
he could only be used for "helpers’
und Platzdienst"). However, the Swiss Army has never
summoned Einstein to perform these services.
Was Albert Einstein married?
Yes! Albert Einstein was
married two times. He married
Mileva Maric (1875-1948) in January
1903, a former fellow student from his time
as a student at the Polytechnic in Zurich.
They were divorced in February 1919. 4
months later, in June 1919, he married his
Elsa Löwenthal (1876-1936), nee
Did Albert Einstein have
Mileva Maric, his first wife, he had
Lieserl (1902-?), who was born
Hans Albert (1904-1973) and
His second wife,
Elsa Löwenthal, nee Einstein, brought
two daughters from her first marriage, Ilse
Löwenthal (1897-1934) and Margot Löwenthal
Which nicknames did Mileva
and Albert Einstein have for their sons Hans
Albert and Eduard?
As a child
Hans Albert was called Buio,
Swiss for “boy”. However, in Einstein’s
letters he was also only called Bu.
Later Hans Albert was called Adn or
Eduard was only called Tede or
Tedel by Mileva, Serbian word for
"child". In Einstein’s letters he is also
called Tete, Tetel and
How tall was Einstein?
In his Swiss "little log
of 1901 a body height of
171,5 cm is stated. In his passport dated
1923 175 cm are stated.
What colour did Albert
Einstein’s eyes have?
Einstein had brown eyes
(Source: Einstein’s passport dated 1923).
Was Albert Einstein left- or
Einstein was right-handed.
Which hobbies did Albert
Einstein very much liked to
play the violin and the piano. Sailing was
also special to him.
Einstein play an instrument?
He played the violin and the
Did Albert Einstein have one
or more violins?
He had several violins in his
life. The "last" violin was handed down to
his grandson, Bernhard Caesar. Legend
has it that Einstein called all its violins
Lina – supposedly deduced from
Was Einstein a good
Here different opinions do
Rosenkranz writes in his book , Albert
Einstein - Privat und ganz persönlich
(Albert Einstein – Private and very
personal) about Einstein playing the
He himself liked to scoff at
his 'incompetence', which he rarely found
“impressing”, however, this did not reduce
his joy in playing the 'violin'. Supposedly
he was a good amateur musician with an own
intuitive understanding of the music. In his
later years he didn’t like the notes
produced by himself any more; in the end he
stopped playing the violin and only
fantasized on the piano."
Who were Einstein’s favourite
Next to Mozart, whose music
he liked best, there were for example
Vivaldi, Bach, Schubert and Corelli.
Did Einstein have a sailing
boat of his own?
Einstein had a boat in
Caputh, near Potsdam, named Tümmler,
which was confiscated during the national
socialist seizure of power in 1933 and sold
one year later. In the US he had a sailing
boat of his own called Tinnef.
Could Albert Einstein swim?
Though Einstein liked sailing
very much he could not swim. He even denied
to use swim vests. This led to his family
always worrying very much when he was out
Did Albert Einstein have a
Albert Einstein had no car of
his own and he also never learned how to
drive. If he had to, he was driven by
friends and relatives or their chauffeurs.
He smoked cigar and pipe
despite his wife
Elsa and his doctors forbid him to smoke
Did Einstein drink alcohol?
Albert Einstein drank only
few alcohol. If at all, a glass of wine or a
little glass of cognac. Mostly he only
sipped on the alcoholics served to him.
Did Einstein have a favourite
book and a favourite author?
Einstein liked reading very
much and he read a lot. Therefore it is
difficult to name single books or authors.
Despite that fact a small selection in the
following: He very much liked to read Don
Quijote by Cervantes Saavedra and The
Karamasow Brothers by Dostojewski. David
Humes Traktat about human nature had
according to Einstein’s own words quite an
influence on his development.
Here the authors have to be mentioned
Poincaré, Mach, Tolstoi, Heine,
Shaw as well as Schopenhauer and
Spinoza. As a student he read with
increasing enthusiasm the
(Natural-Scientific Popular Books) by
Aaron Bernstein and dealt among other things
with Ludwig Büchners Kraft und Stoff
(Energy and Matter) and Kant’s
Kritik der reinen Vernunft (Critique of Pure
Did Albert Einstein write
books of his own?
Next to very many scientific
and non-scientific publications Albert
Einstein has also written, i.e. published
About the special and the general theory
of relativity (intelligible to everybody),
Basics of the theory of relativity,
The evolution of physics, with
The books mentioned here have been
translated into many languages.
Albert Einstein write some kind of diary?
During his journeys he wrote a diary. Today
the following travel diaries exist:
(Albert Einstein Archives, Jerusalem)
1: Japan, Palestine, Spain - October 1922 to
2: South America - 1925
3: USA - November 1930 to January 1931
4: USA - December 3, 1931 to February 4,
1932 to December 18, 1932
5: Berlin, London - April 1931 to June 1931
6: USA - January 28, 1933 to February 16,
Einstein had worked at the
Patent Office (Swiss Office for Intellectual
Property) for some years in Bern. Did he
also have own patents?
Yes, he owned more then
twenty patents. However, always together
with a partner. Thus for example with the
Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard among other
things a patent for a refrigerator. With the
industrial Hermann Anschütz-Kaempfe a patent
for a gyroscopic compass, with Rudolf
Goldschmidt, a professor for mechanical
engineering and electrical engineering, a
patent for a hearing device and with the
doctor Gustav Bucky a patent for an
When was Einstein working at
the Swiss Office for Intellectual Property
He was employed as technical
expert third-class with an annual salary of
3500 Swiss Francs in June 1902 and he was
promoted to be technical expert
second-class, with an annual salary of 4500
Swiss Francs in April 1906. He handed in his
notice to start a new job as extraordinary
professor for theoretical physics at the
university Zurich in July 1909.
What became of Einstein’s
working place (office) in the Patent Office
in Bern? Is it open to the public today?
Einstein’s former working
place, i.e. his office in the back then Bern
Patent Office in Speichergasse has been
rebuilt during the course of time. The
building, which is not open to the public,
is used no longer as patent office today and
except for a commemorative plaque in the
foyer nothing anymore points out that Albert
Einstein has worked there.
What became of Einstein’s office in
Princeton, in which he worked until shortly
before his death?
From Einstein’s office in the
Institute for Advanced Study in
Princeton there is only the known photograph
still left, which shows the room how
Einstein left it in 1955. Nothing more is
left of "his office". After Einstein’s death
is was again used as office by an employees
of the institute.
On the official website of the Institutes
for Advanced Study the following hint
can be found:
"Is it possible to visit
Albert Einstein's office at the Institute?
Professor Einstein's Institute office has
been occupied, since his death in 1955, by
other members of the Institute's Faculty.
The offices of all Faculty and Members are
What is the theory of
Whole books might be filled
with answering this question. Very briefly
the following: Concerning Einstein’s theory
of relativity it can be differentiated
between the special theory of relativity
dated 1905, and the general theory of
relativity (gravity theory) of 1915.
The special theory of relativity
deals with questions of systems of reference
moving with constant speed against each
other. It lead to a revision of the terms
space and time and is based on the principle
of the constancy of the speed of light and
on the principle of relativity, which
postulates the impossibility of the
determination of an absolute movement.
However, the general theory of relativity
deals with systems of reference relatively
accelerated against each other, as well as
the impact of gravity on space and time.
Was it possible to confirm
the effects predicted by the general theory
of relativity with experiments?
To the classical confirmed
tests of the general theory of relativity
belong among others the predicaments of the
perihelion motion of Mercury, the
gravitation red shift as well as of the
deviation of light in the gravitational
field of the sun.
The gravity waves predicted by Einstein and
his theory however, could only be indirectly
proven until today.
How many people understand
the theory of relativity?
Was the special theory of
relativity still "intelligible", the general
theory of relativity could not be understood
by most of Einstein’s contemporaries. Legend
has it that the English astronomer Arthur
Stanley Eddington is said to have answered
on the question, whether three people could
understand the theory of relativity: "And
who is going to be the third?"
Today things have changed. The theories of
relativity are already dealt with in the
upper classes of grammar school and are
basic components of every physics study.
Thus it can be assumed that very many people
are able to understand Einstein’s theory of
relativity, at least the basics of it.
What does the formula: E = m
· c2 mean?
Einstein’s famous formula of
the Equivalence of Mass and Energy:
E = m · c2 (energy equals
mass times speed of light squared) is a
direct consequence of his special theory of
relativity from the year 1905.
It says that any energy, which is supplied
to a body, also increases its mass and each
energy, which is deduced from the body,
reduces its mass.
The conversion from mass into energy was
sadly confirmed at the latest in August 1945
by the throwing two atomic bombs on
Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
How big is the part of
Einstein’s first wife, Mileva Maric, in the
theory of relativity?
Again and again there are
people claiming that
Mileva Maric had a big part in
Einstein’s special theory of relativity. Of
course the two of them have jointly
discussed Einstein’s work, in which Mileva
has introduced some thoughts. However, it is
pure speculation to say that Mileva played a
bigger part in Einstein’s theories. There
are no known documents, from which it
becomes clear that Mileva has scientifically
contributed to Einstein’s theories. Her
personal and intellectual relationship with
the young Einstein however, has played an
important role in his development. But she
could not help him with the creative part of
the theory of relativity.
In the 20ies there is said to
have been a film by Einstein concerning the
theory of relativity. What do you know about
The German version of the
film about Einstein’s special theory of
relativity, which was first shown on April
2, 1922, is no longer be traceable. Hanns-Walter
Kornblum had the idea to this film, which
almost entirely consisted of animated
pictures. Today only the English version of
the film from the year 1923 is preserved.
However, this is a version which is very
shortened of the German original version.
Was Albert Einstein awarded
the Nobel Price?
was awarded the Nobel Price for physics in 1921. The price was given to him
"for his merits concerning theoretical physics, especially for his
discovery of the law of photoelectric effect". It has to be mentioned
that Einstein was not awarded the Nobel Price for the theory of relativity.
What had Einstein to do with
the construction of the atomic bomb?
Frightened that Germany
worked on the development of the atomic
bomb, Albert Einstein signed a letter to the
Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 2, 1939
to point out the possibility of an atomic
danger to him. In the letter indicated to
the president that there was a military
threat with atomic energy and gave him the
tip, that also the US should increase its
nuclear research. This was the only part
Einstein played in connection with the
In a letter to his long-time friend Max von
Laue Einstein wrote in March 1955: "...The
thing with the atomic bomb and Roosevelt was
restricted to the fact that I have signed a
letter by Szilards facing the danger that
Hitler could be in possession of the atomic
bomb first. If I had known that this danger
was not real, I would not have participated
in opening Pandora’s box, by the way as
little as Szilard.
Which contemporary technical
modern comforts can be traced back to Albert
Today Einstein’s findings are
also applied in technical systems. Such for
example in laser technology, the CD player,
the digital camera, the solar cell and in
the „Global Positioning System“,
abbreviated GPS, which we are no longer to
imagine being without, which is used in our
cars as navigation system.
Are there still descendants
of Albert Einstein today (2013)? If yes,
where do they live?
Yes, there are still
descendants. However, due to reasons
of personality protection their addresses
are not published.
Again and again it can be
read, e.g. on the internet, that there is a
"Einstein-riddle" with the following or
similar conceptual formulation:
1. There are 5 houses, each with a different
2. In each house lives a person of another
3. Each tenant prefers a certain beverage,
smokes a certain cigarette brand and has a
4. None of the 5 persons is drinking the
same, smoking the same or has the same pet.
The question is: To whom does the fish
Is this riddle really from
The riddle is not from
There is no prove for the fact that it is