He’s the scientist who created the most famous equation in the world. We may not understand what it means but we’ve all certainly heard of e=mc2. In the run up to British Science Week, here are some facts you might not know about our Albert Einstein.
1. He didn’t fail maths
This urban legend has been doing the rounds for years, but it’s not true. Einstein was actually a brilliantly bright child. However, he did fail an entrance exam to Zurich Polytechnic but it was down to his lack of French, not his maths skills.
Etching by Hermann Struck, 1923
2. He didn’t win his Nobel prize for the theory of relativity
Einstein’s most famous theory wasn’t awarded with a Nobel prize. In fact, the theory of relativity was never awarded a prize. In 1921, he was awarded the prize for his work on photons. To many people in the science community, including Einstein himself, this felt like a huge snub.
3. He was a talented musician.
Einstein’s piano-playing mother ensured that music was a huge part of his life from an early age. He began violin lessons aged five. He hated playing until he heard Mozart as a teenager and then he played for the rest of his life.
4. He was unsuitable for employment
Einstein may have succeeded academically but he was deemed unsuitable for employment by all of his professors and none would give him a recommendation. It took him nine years to find work.
5. There was a bounty on his head
Einstein was born in Germany but he left for the United States when Nazi Regime stopped Jews holding any official position. A £5000 bounty was placed on his head and he was watched by intelligence authorities in America for years - they suspected him of being a spy.
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
6. His brain was stolen
Having your brain nicked after your death is probably a sign that you didn’t do too badly career-wise. Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who looked after Einstein’s autopsy, took his brain without permission. He lost his job and years later his medical license.
“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
7. He couldn’t swim.
Despite Einstein being a keen sailor, he had never learned how to swim. He also couldn’t drive.
8. He didn’t actually wear socks
Evidently Einstein had never tried socks as good as ChattyFeet. He didn’t really like wearing them and once bragged about not wearing them while he was at Oxford! Don’t worry, Albert, we won’t hold it against you.