A larger than life-sized 2.5′ high bronze rough cast bust of Albert Einstein rests on a 6′ high granite pedestal near the intersection of Stockton and Bayard Streets in Einstein’s adopted hometown of Princeton, NJ. Einstein is wearing his characteristic sweater. The front of the pedestal contains a short biography of Einstein and a listing of his accomplishments along with his connection to Princeton.
1879 – 1955
E = mc2
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Knowledge is limited whereas imagination
embraces the entire world.
Born in Ulm, Germany on March 14, 1879. Albert
Einstein became a resident of Princeton in 1933
residing on Mercer Street until his death in 1955.
Before becoming Professor at the Institute for
Advanced Study, Einstein had already become
famous for his Special Theory of Relativity in
1905 and general Theory of Relativity in
1915-1916 both which explained
fundamental laws of the universe. His name
became synonymous with genius.
A Nobel Laureate in physics, a philosopher, a
humanitarian, an educator and an immigrant,
Albert Einstein left an indelible mark on the
world and expressed tremendous appreciation
“I am privileged by fate to live here in
Princeton. Einstein wrote “I feel doubly
thankful that there has fallen on my lot a
place for work and a scientific atmosphere
which could not be better or more harmonious.”
The Einsteins were non-observant Ashkenazi Jews. Albert attended a Catholic elementary school from the age of 5 for three years. At the age of 8, he was transferred to the Luitpold Gymnasium (now known as the Albert Einstein Gymnasium), where he received advanced primary and secondary school education until he left Germany seven years later. Contrary to popular suggestions that he had struggled with early speech difficulties, the Albert Einstein Archives indicate he excelled at the first school that he attended.He was right-handed; there appears to be no evidence for the widespread popular belief that he was left-handed.
His father once showed him a pocket compass; Einstein realized that there must be something causing the needle to move, despite the apparent “empty space”.As he grew, Einstein built models and mechanical devices for fun and began to show a talent for mathematics.
In 1894, his father’s company failed: direct current (DC) lost the War of Currents to alternating current (AC). In search of business, the Einstein family moved to Italy, first to Milan and then, a few months later, to Pavia. When the family moved to Pavia, Einstein stayed in Munich to finish his studies at the Luitpold Gymnasium. His father intended for him to pursue electrical engineering, but Einstein clashed with authorities and resented the school’s regimen and teaching method. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning.
In 1895, at the age of 16, Einstein sat the entrance examinations for the Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zürich (later the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule ETH). He failed to reach the required standard in the general part of the examination,but obtained exceptional grades in physics and mathematics.On the advice of the principal of the Polytechnic, he attended the Argovian cantonal school (gymnasium) in Aarau, Switzerland, in 1895–96 to complete his secondary schooling. While lodging with the family of Professor Jost Winteler, he fell in love with Winteler’s daughter, Marie.
In September 1896, he passed the Swiss Matura with mostly good grades, including a top grade of 6 in physics and mathematical subjects, on a scale of 1–6. Though only 17, he enrolled in the four-year mathematics and physics teaching diploma program at the Zürich Polytechnic. In 1905, while working as a patent clerk in Bern, Switzerland, Einstein had what came to be known as his “Annus Mirabilis” — or “miracle year”. It was during this time that the young physicist obtained his Doctorate degree and published four of his most influential research papers, including the Special Theory of Relativity. In that, the now world famous equation “E = mc2” unlocked mysteries of the Universe theretofore unknown.
Ten years later, in 1915, Einstein completed his General Theory of Relativity and in 1921 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics (iconic status cemented in 1919 when Arthur Eddington’s expedition confirmed Albert Einstein’s prediction). It also launched him to international superstardom and his name became a household word synonymous with genius all over the world.
Einstein emigrated to the United States in the autumn of 1933 and took up residence in Princeton, New Jersey and a professorship at the prestigious Institute for Advanced Study.
Today, the practical applications of Einstein’s theories include the development of the television, remote control devices, automatic door openers, lasers, and DVD-players. Recognized as TIME magazine’s “Person of the Century”
In 1999, Einstein’s intellect, coupled his strong passion for social justice and dedication to pacifism, left the world with infinite knowledge and pioneering moral leadership.