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Einstein's Escapes

The Genius at Play

" . . . When Albert is here I cannot accomplish anything: There is so much laughing, joking and music-making going on that there is not enough time for anything else." This excerpt from a letter by Pauline Einstein captures her son's enthusiasm for life, whether at work or at play.

Einstein was said to play his violin, nicknamed Lina, as a way to solve problems, perhaps both mathematical and emotional. But he didn't shy away from picking up his bow to play for an audience. He played tirelessly, especially with accompaniment, and music often became the foundation for many of his lifelong friendships.


Einstein on sailboat, 1935

Photo: courtesy AIP, Emilio Segrè Archives

Breezy Moments

Einstein enjoyed sailing as much as he loved music. By some accounts, he carried a little black notebook with him when he sailed so he could jot down his thoughts once the air had cleared his mind.

A passion for music

Einstein once said that he would have been a musician had he not become a scientist. "I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music...I get most joy in life out of music."

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