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When many people hear the name Albert Einstein, they say, “Ooh what did he do, write a bunch of stuff on a chalkboard, prove to some scientists that he was right, and then star in a Pepsi commercial? Well, I’m here to tell you that he did much more than that, (even though I really like that Pepsi commercial.)
Albert Einstein was born March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany. Albert began his extensive studies at a school in Munich. At Munich he pursued a career in Electrical Engineering, but failed an exam and was rejected from Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich. After failing at his original choice of schools, he went on to a secondary school in Aarau to train himself enough to be admitted into ETH (his original choice). While at Aarau he planned on becoming a teacher in mathematics and physics.
As expected he did graduate from ETH in the year 1900 with a degree in teaching for the subjects of Math and Physics. He didn’t however get a job right away, he, in fact, went around writing to different universities applying for one. After searching for about a year, he finally landed a job at a high school teaching mathematics. While at this school he wrote in one of his journals, “I have given up the ambition to get to a University…”
After he went through this job, and indeed a couple more, his friend from school, Marcel Grossmann sought him out so his father could help him get a job. After a recommendation to the director of patents, Einstein held a temporary patent post, holding the title, Technical Expert Third Class. He was promoted several times over a span of about 5 years.
While working at the patent office, he finished a boatload of theoretical physics publications. He even earned a doctorate on one from the University of Zurich. This paper was entitled, “On a new determination of molecular dimensions.”
After publishing a few more papers, he began to be recognized. He became a university lecturer. After a few years of lecturing for Universities, he began to travel. Many people believe that the reason he moved away from Germany was because of the anti-Jewish movements. He visited the U.S. a few times as well as many other countries. But in 1935, Einstein was granted permanent residency in the USA. As a US citizen, Einstein was credited for many new contributions to science. But his biggest known project in the US is the assistance he provided in the Atomic Bomb.
On August 2nd 1939, Einstein wrote to Franklin D. Roosevelt, (then the president of the US.) Him and a few other scientists warned him about Germany’s studies of Uranium, the key to an atomic bomb. Roosevelt was then inclined to start his own project, the Manhattan Project. A project solely developed to discover a method to make an atomic bomb.
After about 6 years of Einstein working alongside other great minds of history, a final product was introduced. Code named Gadget, the atomic bomb was escorted to the test site in Los Alamos. Here they would all watch to see the magnitude of their invention. On July 16th, 1945, at the time of 5:29:45 (mountain war time) the A-bomb, as it was called, was detonated. It then produced a mushroom cloud 30,000 feet high. All that was left at the blast site were fragments of jade green glass, produced from the heat and the sand.
Many of the bomb’s creators had different views on the success of the project. J. Robert Oppenheimer thought the project was a total success. One of the other creators was quoted as saying, “Now we’re all sons of bitches.” Einstein agreed, he also didn’t like what he saw. His view of it was that they had created a monster. He spent much of the rest of his life fighting to get rid of the bomb. But his pleas were ignored. His final letter was to a man named Bertrand Russell, in it he asked to be put on a manifesto urging the world to hang up their nuclear weapons. He died on the 18th of April in 1955 at the town of Princeton, New Jersey, right here in the US.
So it’s easy to see how Albert Einstein changed history. For one he added a ton of knowledge to today’s science and physics, and for two, he helped invent the Atomic bomb that won America the military respect it needed. And then he fought against it to try to bring about world peace. The only way to sum it all up is, “What a guy.”
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