You know Einstein as one of the most important figures in 20th-century physics. But chances are there’s a lot about this dude you’ve never heard.
10 Things You Didn't Know About Einstein:
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* You know Albert Einstein: The father of relativity! One of the most important figures in 20th-century physics! But chances are there’s a lot about this dude you’ve never heard.
* He took up speaking late as a child. Little Albert was abnormally late to begin speaking, and remained reluctant to talk until about the age of 7. Some contemporary thinkers have speculated that Einstein, along with other geniuses like Isaac Newton and Marie Curie, had Asperger’s syndrome – an autism spectrum disorder that affects the development of language and behavior. But we’ll probably never know if these kinds of retrospective diagnoses are true.
* He negotiated a hostage crisis. Toward the end of the First World War and afterward, Germany was in social turmoil. In 1918, a group of radical students at the University of Berlin captured a building and took several professors and a rector hostage. Einstein was in a good position to talk them down, since he was known for his liberal views and respected by the students. Together, he and physicist Max Born negotiated the release of the hostages and defused a potentially deadly situation.
* He co-invented a type of refrigerator. Early electric refrigerators were nasty hazards, liable to leak poisonous gas and slay their owners. In 1930, Einstein and the Hungarian physicist Léo Szilàrd patented a design for an absorption refrigerator, which had no moving parts and eliminated the danger of deadly gas leakage. Though it’s not in wide use today, the Einstein refrigerator may soon mount a comeback as a green alternative to compressor refrigerators.
* He was offered the presidency of Israel. Einstein was known for his political positions: pacifism, resistance to Nazism, and later, opposition to the nuclear weapons that his scientific discoveries helped create. In 1952, the Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, sent Einstein a letter offering him the second presidency of Israel. Einstein politely turned him down, stating that he was better suited to objective science than dealing with people and politics.
* His brain and eyeballs were stolen. Einstein stated that in the event of his death, he wished to have his remains cremated and scattered. But after Einstein passed away in 1955, pathologist Thomas Harvey had what must have seemed like a good idea at the time: He abducted 2.7 pounds of Einstein’s brain … and his eyeballs. Presumably, Harvey wanted to study what made Einstein so brilliant, but he never really got around to it.
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