Most Quoted Scientist: Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein; The Great Idea Finder

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was the most famous physicist of the 20th century. He was born in Ulm, in Württemberg, Germany in a Jewish family. During his stay at the Swiss Patent Office Einstein produced much of his remarkable work. In 1905 he obtained his doctor’s degree. He won the Nobel Prize for his work on the Photoelectric Effect in 1921.

Einstein immigrated to the United States in the late 1930s to take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton; upon the urging of a colleague in physics, recommended that President Franklin D. Roosevelt develop an atomic bomb project. He later regretted this and became a passionate pacifist. In 1952, he was offered the Presidency of Israel, but he turned it down. Einstein collaborated with Dr. Chaim Weizmann in establishing the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Albert Einstein died on April 18, 1955 at Princeton, New Jersey at the age of 76.

Einstein’s famous formula E=mc2 says that mass and energy can turn into each other. It was first published by H. Poincare. Einstein published an alternate derivation that was corrected and improved by M. Planck. E stands for energy, m is mass, and c is the speed of light. So, if you increase the energy of a substance, for example by heating it, it gains a minute amount of mass. It was later realized that if you split an atom apart, as in a nuclear explosion, it loses a tiny amount of mass and you release a huge amount of energy.

The Annus Mirabilis papers are four articles pertaining to the photoelectric effect (which gave rise to quantum theory), Brownian motion, the special theory of relativity, and E = mc2 that Albert Einstein published in the Annalen der Physik scientific journal in 1905. These four works contributed substantially to the foundation of modern physics and changed views on space, time, and matter.

In the period before World War II, Einstein was so well-known in America that he would be stopped on the street by people wanting him to explain "that theory". He finally figured out a way to handle the incessant inquiries. He told his inquirers "Pardon me, sorry! Always I am mistaken for Professor Einstein.".

Einstein became an American citizen in 1940. Not long after settling into his career at Princeton, he expressed his appreciation of the "meritocracy" in American culture when compared to Europe. According to Isaacson, he recognized the "right of individuals to say and think what they pleased", without social barriers, and as result, the individual was "encouraged" to be more creative, a trait he valued from his own early education.

Einstein has been the subject of or inspiration for many novels, films, plays, and works of music. He is a favorite model for depictions of mad scientists and absent-minded professors; his expressive face and distinctive hairstyle have been widely copied and exaggerated. TIME magazine’s Frederic Golden wrote that Einstein was "a cartoonist’s dream come true".

Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers along with over 150 non-scientific works. His great intelligence and originality have made the word "Einstein" synonymous with genius.

ALBERT EINSTEIN QUOTES

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction."

Albert Einstein


"I want to know God’s thoughts; the rest are details."

Albert Einstein


"The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax."

Albert Einstein


"A person starts to live when he can live outside himself."

Albert Einstein


"I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice."

Albert Einstein


"Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character."

Albert Einstein


"I never think of the future. It comes soon enough."

Albert Einstein


"Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing."

Albert Einstein


"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."

Albert Einstein


"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."

Albert Einstein


"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

Albert Einstein


"Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one’s living at it."

Albert Einstein


"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."

Albert Einstein


"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."

Albert Einstein


"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking."

Albert Einstein


"We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

Albert Einstein


"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school."

Albert Einstein


"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."

Albert Einstein


"Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater."

Albert Einstein


"If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut."

Albert Einstein


"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe."

Albert Einstein


"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

Albert Einstein


"The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking…the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."

Albert Einstein


"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

Albert Einstein


"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."

Albert Einstein


"A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?"

Albert Einstein


"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."

Albert Einstein


"Human beings must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it."

Albert Einstein


"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious."

Albert Einstein


"I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right."

Albert Einstein


"If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts."

Albert Einstein


"If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough."

Albert Einstein


"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

Albert Einstein


"Information is not knowledge."

Albert Einstein


"Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them."

Albert Einstein


"It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer."

Albert Einstein


"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."

Albert Einstein


"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."

Albert Einstein


"Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today’s events."

Albert Einstein


"Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them."

Albert Einstein


"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein


"Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds."

Albert Einstein


"Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing."

Albert Einstein


"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once."

Albert Einstein


"There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle."

Albert Einstein


"You ask me if I keep a notebook to record my great ideas. I’ve only ever had one."

Albert Einstein


"You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else."

Albert Einstein