Albert Einstein was the greatest genius of his time, and perhaps all time. His name is often referred to when you want to compare someone to greatness or having great intelligence. Einstein’s contributions to science have been matched by only a hand-full throughout history. His most famous formula, E=mc2 is known as the most famous in the world. Even if you do not know what mass-energy equivalence is, you still know that one formula. There was much more to Albert than just that one formula or being a great genius. These are the top ten surprising facts about Albert Einstein that we are sure you have not been aware of.
List of Top 10 Surprising Facts About Albert Einstein
10. E=mc2 the Famous Formula
The famous formula, E=mc2 suggests an equivalence between mass and energy and is the most important part of the equation. The fact about this formula is that Einstein isn’t completely responsible for it. For decades before he published this theory, other scientists had proposed this same idea. This was all decades before it was published in 1905 by Einstein. Long before it was published; scientists such as Oliver Heaviside, Henri Poincare, and Friedrich Hasenohrl all suggested this same theory. Einstein’s theory was certainly more simplified, but slightly different versions of it had been published more than once before he published his. Most of Einstein’s theories annihilated the boundaries of science, he rarely visited a laboratory. He is perhaps the most famous scientist of all times, but he worked out things at his desk on paper and from out of his head.
When Einstein was about twenty years old he had to take a job as a patent clerk in a Swiss office. He quickly mastered the task of evaluating patents which gave him a lot of time to work on his world-changing theories. The work was tedious but the income was steady so he continued to work there as it gave him ample time to work on what interested him most. The reason he settled for this work was he couldn’t get a job in academia for almost a decade. His professors knew he was brilliant but they also knew he was rebellious and unruly and therefore wouldn’t recommend him for positions at the University.
9. Failed University Exam
When Einstein was 17-years-old he took an entrance exam for early admission to the Swiss Federal Polytechnic University. This was a University specializing in technology, science, and engineering. In 1895 Einstein attempted to enter this facility but failed the entrance exam. His scores for math and physics were indeed exceptional; however, all other scores were not as high and not good enough for him to enter the University. The classes he scored low in were; geography, languages, and history. He was forced to enter a trade school for a year before he was able to retake the exam which gained him entry.
8. Development of Nuclear Weapons
Albert Einstein is credited for his help in developing the nuclear weapon. What he contributed is often misinterpreted. Some credit him with creating the atomic bomb; however, all Einstein actually did was to write a letter to President Roosevelt stating he thought he should begin working on a weapon of this nature. This suggestion to the President resulted in the creation of the Manhattan Project which ultimately led to the atomic bomb. Albert would become an anti-nuclear weapons spokesman and was a dedicated pacifist, but before the Nazis, he believed America needed the atomic bomb.
7. A Bad Husband
Einstein divorced his first wife, Mileva Maric and then married his cousin, Elsa Lowenthal. He was not a very good husband and was actually quite bad to his first wife. He became involved with other women that he didn’t even try to hide from Mileva and he moved their entire family to Berlin without even discussing it with them. It is said he treated his first wife more as if she were his servant than his wife. There was recently a list discovered he made Mileva sign if she wanted to remain his wife. He forced her to agree with things like her not being able to expect intimacy from him and she was to renounce all personal relations with him as they were not necessary for social reasons.
6. Promised Money He Hadn’t Won
Einstein filed for divorce from Mileva in 1919. Drawing up those papers he promised her she would receive some of the money he had won from the Nobel Prize. At the time he made this promise he had not yet won the Prize. Some history experts see this as a tacit admission that Mileva actually helped him create some of the theories he is actually credited with. The Nobel Prize was in fact awarded to him two years later, and he did keep his promise by giving the money to Mileva. The money he awarded to her was not the full amount of the Noble Prize but rather only to the interest the money made.
5. Illegitimate Daughter
It was not known by many until the 1980’s that Albert Einstein had an illegitimate daughter. It was discovered through correspondence between him and Maric, a fellow former student he later married, that they had a daughter named Lieserl. This daughter was born in 1902 the year before the two were married. Einstein never met or saw this daughter. The letters indicate the baby girl was born in the home of Maric’s parents and that it was a difficult delivery. Since any mention of her stopped in their correspondence to one another, it is unknown what became of her. This is one amongst the Top 10 Surprising Facts About Albert Einstein.
4. His Son was sent to Asylum
Albert Einstein had two sons. His son, Eduard was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was twenty years old and was then institutionalized. He had suffered a breakdown and is reported to have said he hated his father and told him so. Eduard spent his days either in the care of his mother or various asylums. He never saw Einstein again after he left for America. His other son, Hans Albert had a relationship with him that was quite rocky after the divorce of his first wife, Han’s mother. He blamed Einstein for the parting of the two and for leaving Mileva financially strapped.
3. Einstein had a Large Head
When he was born, Einstein’s mother was afraid he was deformed as his head was alarmingly large. After a few weeks, her doctors were able to comfort her with the news that he would grow into his head and he did within a short time after. Another abnormal feature that alarmed some when he was young was the fact he didn’t speak when normal children begin making words. He did not begin speaking until he reached the age of four and there is now a term coined, the Einstein Syndrome. The name was created by Thomas Sowell and refers to exceptionally intelligent people who have early speech problems.
2. Brain was Physically Different
Einstein’s brain was physically different than the rest of us. There have been many curious researchers that have examined his brain since his death and found what was ultimately misleading or deceptive features in nature were present. One of the studies found his parietal lobe, the area of the brain responsible for mathematical thought, visuospatial cognition, and imagery movement was, in fact, fifteen percent larger than the average person’s. There was also a difference in the weight of his brain when compared to the average person’s. Researchers found after his death, his brain weighed only 1,230 grams whereas the normal brain weighs 1,400 grams. The pathologist who performed the autopsy took Einstein’s brain without permission. His son did eventually grant permission to the researcher; however, he lost his position with Princeton when he refused to turn the brain over to the University.
He kept Einstein’s brain for more than 40 years before he finally turned it over to Princeton.
The same doctor who stole Einstein’s brain also took his eyeballs. He passed these on to a friend of his who is an ophthalmologist, Henry Abrams. These still remain in a safe deposit box in New York City to this day.
1. Left Homeland because of Hitler
Hitler became chancellor of Germany in January of 1933. One month later in February, Einstein left his homeland and came to the United States. He never returned to Germany and never looked back. Germany was no longer a safe place for Jews and Einstein knew that so he felt he could never return to the place of his birth. The FBI kept him under surveillance for a long time after his move to the United States. It was feared by J. Edgar Hoover that because he was a left-wing, pacifist he was a threat to the country and even possibly a Soviet spy. The FBI went through his mail, listened in on his phone calls and were even seen going through his trash. The surveillance went on for more than two decades.
So, these above are the Top 10 Surprising Facts About Albert Einstein. Those who are known as geniuses or extremely intelligent are still simply people. They have quirks and habits, whether good or bad, just like the ordinary public does. These top ten surprising facts about Albert Einstein show just how human this genius was.