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Happy Birthday, Albert Einstein!

by AMNH on

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Born March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Germany, Albert Einstein (1879−1955) seems not to have anticipated how famous his theories and ideas would make him. In fact, Einstein professed to be mystified by the adulation and attention that rained down on him as his last name became, even during his lifetime, a byword for "genius."

Albert Einstein

The truth is, however, that his life and work continue to intrigue. As the Museum's 2002-3 Einstein exhibition points out, "Albert Einstein reinterpreted the inner workings of nature, the very essence of light, time, energy, and gravity. His insights fundamentally changed the way we look at the universe—and made him the most famous scientist of the 20th century."

Here are a few places around our site to learn about the man and his ideas.

1. OLogy: "I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious." 

Albert Einstein
Visit OLogy, the Museum's website for children, to learn more about the life and work of Albert Einstein.

Filled with Einstein-related activities related to space and time, OLogy's chockablock pages offer something for nearly any child, and perhaps some adults as well. (Did you know that a black hole—a phenomenon we know could exist because of Einstein's work—with the mass of Earth would be only about the size of a marble?) 

2. No matter how you measure it, the speed of light is always the same.

The Special Theory of Relativity is based on Einstein's recognition that the speed of light does not change even when the source of the light moves. Learn more in the Einstein exhibition. 

3. E=mc2

The Einstein exhibition explains more about this, the most famous equation in the world, and the secret it revealed—that mass and energy are different forms of the same thing. 

4. Gravity Bytes

Learn more about the history of the science of gravity, from Newton to Einstein and beyond, in a Science Bulletins documentary. 

Watch the video. 

5. Meet the Einsteins

Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein in 1920

Young Albert grew up in a family of engineers and entrepreneurs. Learn more about his middle-class, Jewish family roots, and his education and personal life in the exhibition.