Albert Einstein quotes

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Albert Einstein

Birthdate: 14. March 1879
Date of death: 18. April 1955

Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist. Einstein developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics . Einstein's work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. Einstein is best known by the general public for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2 . He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect", a pivotal step in the evolution of quantum theory.

Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led him to develop his special theory of relativity during his time at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern , Switzerland. However, he realized that the principle of relativity could also be extended to gravitational fields and—with his subsequent theory of gravitation in 1916—he published a paper on general relativity. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light. In 1917, Einstein applied the general theory of relativity to model the large-scale structure of the universe.

Between 1895 and 1914, he lived in Switzerland , where he received his academic diploma from the Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zürich in 1900. He later taught there at the same institute as a professor of theoretical physics between 1912 and 1914 before he left for Berlin. In 1901, after being stateless for more than five years, Einstein acquired Swiss citizenship, which he kept for the rest of his life. In 1905, Einstein was awarded a PhD by the University of Zürich. The same year, his annus mirabilis , he published four groundbreaking papers, which were to bring him to the notice of the academic world, at the age of 26.

He was visiting the United States when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 and—being Jewish—did not go back to Germany, where he had been a professor at the Berlin Academy of Sciences. He settled in the United States, becoming an American citizen in 1940. On the eve of World War II, he endorsed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt alerting him to the potential development of "extremely powerful bombs of a new type" and recommending that the U.S. begin similar research. This eventually led to what would become the Manhattan Project. Einstein supported defending the Allied forces, but generally denounced the idea of using the newly discovered nuclear fission as a weapon. Later, with the British philosopher Bertrand Russell, Einstein signed the Russell–Einstein Manifesto, which highlighted the danger of nuclear weapons. Einstein was affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, until his death in 1955.

Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers along with over 150 non-scientific works. Einstein's intellectual achievements and originality have made the word "Einstein" synonymous with "genius".

Works

„Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.“

—  Albert Einstein

Letter to Jost Winteler (1901), quoted in The Private Lives of Albert Einstein by Roger Highfield and Paul Carter (1993), p. 79 http://books.google.com/books?id=zY7FE9ZyDO0C&lpg=PP1&pg=PA79#v=onepage&q&f=false. Einstein had been annoyed that Paul Drude, editor of Annalen der Physik, had dismissed out of hand some criticisms Einstein made of Drude's electron theory of metals.
1900s
Variant: A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth.

„But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever.“

—  Albert Einstein

Earliest source located is the book Brighter than a Thousand Suns: A Personal History of the Atomic Scientists by Robert Jungk (1958), p. 249, which says that Einstein made the comment during "a walk with Ernst Straus, a young mathematician acting as his scientific assistant at Princeton."
Variant: "Equations are more important to me, because politics is for the present, but an equation is something for eternity." From A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking (2005), p. 144 http://books.google.com/books?id=4Y0ZBW19n_YC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA144#v=onepage&q&f=false.
Earlier, Straus recalled the German version of the quote in Helle Zeit, Dunkle Zeit: In Memoriam Albert Einstein (1956) edited by Carl Seelig<!-- Zurich: Europa Verlag -->, p. 71. There the quote was given as Ja, so muß man seine Zeit zwischen der Politik und unseren Gleichungen teilen. Aber unsere Gleichungen sind mir doch viel wichtiger; denn die Politik ist für die Gegenwart da, aber solch eine Gleichung is etwas für die Ewigkeit.
Attributed in posthumous publications
Context: Yes, we now have to divide up our time like that, between politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever.

„Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.“

—  Albert Einstein

Actually written by E. F. Schumacher in a 1973 essay titled "Small is Beautiful" which appeared in The Radical Humanist: volume 37, p. 22 http://books.google.com/books?id=oA0IAQAAIAAJ&q=%22more+violent%22#search_anchor. Earliest published source found on Google Books attributing this to Einstein is BMJ: The British Medical Journal, volume 319, 23 October 1999, p. 1102 http://books.google.com/books?id=bQk7AQAAIAAJ&q=%22more+violent%22#search_anchor. It was attributed to Einstein on the internet somewhat before that, for example in this 1997 post http://groups.google.com/group/alt.weemba/msg/2bbf56ab8f4f757d?hl=en.
Misattributed

„Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value.“

—  Albert Einstein

As quoted by LIFE magazine (2 May 1955)
1950s
Variant: Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.

„Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.“

—  Albert Einstein

Letter to his son Eduard (5 February 1930), as quoted in Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), p. 367
1930s

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„Curiosity is more important than knowledge.“

—  Albert Einstein

Variant: Imagination is more imortant than Knowledge

Citát „The important thing is not to stop questioning.“

„The important thing is not to stop questioning.“

—  Albert Einstein

Old Man's Advice to Youth: "Never Lose a Holy Curiosity," http://books.google.com/books?id=dlYEAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PP1&dq=Life%2C%202%20May%201955&pg=PA61#v=onepage&q=Life,%202%20May%201955&f=false LIFE magazine (2 May 1955) statement to William Miller, p. 64.
1950s
Context: The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day. Never lose a holy curiosity. … Don't stop to marvel.

„Everything must be made as simple as possible. But not simpler.“

—  Albert Einstein

Variant: Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.

„It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.“

—  Albert Einstein

Variant: It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.

„Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.“

—  Albert Einstein

Variant: Great ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds.

„I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.“

—  Albert Einstein

Attributed to Einstein by his colleague Léopold Infeld in his book Quest: An Autobiography (1949), p. 291 http://books.google.com/books?id=fsvXYpOSowkC&q=%22garbage+man%22#v=snippet&q=%22garbage%20man%22&f=false
Attributed in posthumous publications

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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