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Albert Einstein

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Albert Einstein

Biographical Essay Assignment

10128 Soomin(Alice) Lee


Who determines one’s righteousness? Albert Einstein is clearly the greatest scientist of the 20th century. He discovered the general theory of relativity and developed the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, the special theory of relativity, and mass-energy equivalence. He is the one who took physics in an electrifying new direction. Despite the fact that he did contribute greatly to the studies of physics as an intelligent innovator, his unethical behaviors should be further discussed in order to differentiate one’s achievement and morality. He took credits for his wife’s work, failed to take care of his children, and had affairs with numerous women.

Albert Einstein took advantage of his wife’s talents without giving her any recognition. His first wife, Mileva Mariac, was also a physicist student who attended the same school, Polytechnic, with Einstein. Being the only female student in mathematics and physics course, she was deemed to be a talented person who overcame a restricted female admittance. Some findings substantiate that she played a significant part in his work. According to critics, Einstein’s lack of expertise in advanced math in comparison with his wife who excelled at the subject led Mariac to help him with his research paper in mathematical areas. Their letters from 1900 manifest that Einstein wrote a research paper in collaboration with her. According to Renn and Schulmann, Einstein described the project as “our research”, “our paper”, and “our work on relative motion” (Renn and Schulmann 39). Christopher Jon Bjerknes, the author of Albert Einstein: the incorrigible plagiarist [a][b](2002), shows one of the translated letters on page 201 of the book as evidence that Mariac contributed to Einstein’s research. Moreover, Einstein wrote about “how happy and proud will [he] be, when [Mariac and Einstein] both together [had] brought [their] work on the relative motion victoriously to its end” (Stachel 282). His words demonstrate that he and his wife certainly shared the ideas of relativity theories. Also, Einstein did not have enough time to spend on his research paper as a busy assistant junior official in a patent office. The lack of time he had signifies that he could not write the paper without any of Mariac’s help. Thus Einstein’s research papers are believed to be, at least partially, helped by Mileva. Nevertheless, he refused to give credits to his wife for her work. According to Christopher Jon Bjerknes’ Albert Einstein: the incorrigible plagiarist (2002), Einstein acknowledged her work on his first unpublished research paper yet not on the final draft. Thus, some critics assume that Einstein intended to take pleasure in all the respect that comes from winning the Nobel Prize for relativity by claiming that he wrote the paper unassisted. The book also presumes that the reason why Einstein gave Mariac three hundred million dollars he received as a prize for winning the Nobel prize was to conceal the truth that she helped him with the paper. The facts that he refused to give credits for her work and put much effort into keeping the truth undisclosed indicate that he was determined to build his reputation only. Whether or not the research was mostly done by Einstein, his disregard to Mariac’s contribution has a moral issue.

Albert Einstein was a self-oriented father who did not take care of his children. His first daughter, Lieserl, was born a year before his marriage with Mileva Mariac when Einstein was absent. Under Einstein’s force, the daughter is predicted to have been adopted by others. Even when two sons were born after the marriage, the family lived apart. Einstein spent even less time with the sons after the divorce. Only Mariac looked after the younger son who was diagnosed with schizophrenic disorder. Hans Albert, the elder son, expressed his regrets by saying that "probably the only task he ever gave up on was [him]" (Physics World TC). Einstein and Albert had a notably hostile relationship. It worsened significantly when Einstein opposed to Albert’s marriage with Frieda Knecht. Karen and Aries cited the harsh way Einstein objected to Hans marrying his bride and it in reality far surpassed the scene that Einstein's own mother had made about Mileva” (Karen C. Fox and Aries Keck, 2004).[c] Hans was asked and begged by Einstein to not have children because children are the main reason for “inevitable divorce[d]. Despite Einstein’s objection, Hans married his lover in 1927 when he was 23. Even after he immigrated with his family to the United States, where Einstein was, as a professor of hydraulic engineering at UC Berkeley, Einstein and Hans did not spend time together. All he received from his father throughout his life was an inheritance when Einstein did, not his love. Einstein’s indifference and heedlessness are signs that he was an unqualified head of household. Breaking a relation of father and son, Einstein is not a moral person[e][f][g].

Albert Einstein was a ladies’ man with half a dozen girlfriends throughout his life. With Mileva Mariac and his two sons behind, Einstein had an affair with his cousin, Elsa Lowenthal, during his trip to Berlin in 1912. Before their final divorce in 1919, Einstein wrote one letter in 1914 about the “certain conditions[h]” Mileva should follow to maintain the marriage when Mileva resisted a divorce. Noted by Renn, J., and Schulmann, in Princeton University Press, those letters[i] illustrates his autocratic demands.



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