Albert Einstein Timeline

A comprehensive timeline biography of Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German-born American physicist and Nobel Laureate, best known as the creator of the special and general theory of relativity and for his bold hypothesis concerning the particle nature of light.  Explore the turning points in Einstein's life, both personal and professional with this time line.

Albert Einstein Timeline Overview

Einstein Timeline - The Early Years

1879 Born March 14 at 11:30 AM in Ulm, Germany

1880 Einstein family moves to Munich

1881 Sister Maja (Maria) is born

1884 The Compass - A gift from his Uncle sparks his wonder

1885-1888 Pupil at Catholic elementary school in Munich
Private lessons in Judaism at home

1888 Pupil at Luitpold-Gymnasium, Munich for the next six years

1889 Meets 21 year old student, Max Talmud.
Introduction to key science and philosophy texts
Religious instruction at school (until 1892)

1892 Einstein is not Bar Mitzvahed. Technically, not a member of the Jewish community

1894 Parents move to Milan
Six months later, Einstein leaves Gymnasium without completing his schooling and joins his family in Pavia, Italy

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Einstein Timeline - The Swiss Years

1895-96 Pupil at cantonal school in Aarau, Switzerland

1896 Renounces his German citizenship

1896-1900 Student at the Polytechnic (later the Federal Institute of Technology), Zurich

1901 Acquires Swiss citizenship
Completes his first scientific paper

1901-02 Temporary teaching position at school in Schaffhausen, Switzerland

1902 Daughter Lieserl born to Mileva Maric in Novi Sad, Hungary
Appointed as technical expert third class at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern

1903 Marriage to Mileva Maric in Bern
Founds "Akademie Olympia" with Conrad Habicht and Maurice Solovine
Daughter Lieserl probably put up for adoption

1904 Son Hans Albert born in Bern

1905 The annus mirabilis (miracle year) : completes papers on light quanta, Brownian motion, and special theory of relativity
Receives Ph.D. from Zurich University

1906 Promoted to technical expert second class at the Swiss Patent Office

1907 Discovers the principle of equivalence

1908 Appointed lecturer at Bern University

1909 Resigns from Patent Office
Appointed Associate Professor of theoretical physics at Zurich University

1910 Second son Eduard born in Bern

1911 Predicts bending of light

1911-12 Professor of theoretical physics at German University of Prague

1912-14 Professor of theoretical physics at the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich

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Einstein Timeline - The Berlin Years

1914 Appointed Professor at University of Berlin (without teaching obligations) and Member of Prussian Academy of Sciences
Separates from his wife, Mileva Maric - she returns to Zurich with the two sons
Signs anti-war "Manifesto to Europeans"

1915 Joins pacifist "New Fatherland League"
Completes logical structure of the general theory of relativity

1916 Publication of the general theory of relativity

1917 Writes first paper on cosmology
Appointed Director of Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin

1917-1920 Suffers from a liver ailment, a stomach ulcer, jaundice and general weakness - his cousin Elsa
Einstein Loewenthal takes care of him

1918 Supports the new Weimar Republic in Germany

1919 Divorces Mileva Maric
Bending of light observed during solar eclipse in West Africa and Brazil
First discussions on Zionism with Kurt Blumenfeld
Marries his cousin Elsa
Announcement at joint meeting of Royal Society and Royal Astronomical Society that Einstein's theories have been confirmed by eclipse observations
Sensational headlines in The Times and The New York Times : Einstein becomes a world figure

1920 Mass meeting against the general theory of relativity in Berlin
Appointed special visiting professor at Leiden University

1921 First visit to the U.S. with Chaim Weizmann: fund-raising tour for The Hebrew University
Lectures at Princeton University on theory of relativity

1922 Completes first paper on unified field theory
Visit to Paris contributes to normalization of French-German relations
Joins Committee on Intellectual Cooperation of the League of Nations
Lecture tours in Japan and China
Awarded Nobel Prize for Physics for 1921

1923 Visit to Palestine: holds inaugural scientific lecture at future site of The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, named first honorary citizen of Tel Aviv
Visit to Spain
Lecture in acknowledgment of Nobel Prize in Göteborg, Sweden
Edits first collection of scientific papers of The Hebrew University

1924 The "Einstein-Institute" in Potsdam, Germany, housed in the "Einstein-Tower" starts its activities

1925 Trip to South America: Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay
Signs manifesto against obligatory military service
Joins Board of Governors and Academic Council of The Hebrew University

1927 Begins intense debate with Niels Bohr on the foundations of quantum mechanics

1928 Suffers temporary physical collapse - enlargement of the heart is diagnosed

1930 Intensive activity on behalf of pacifism

1930-32 Three trips to U.S.: stays mainly at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, during winter semesters

1932 Supports conservation of the Weimar Republic
Public correspondence with Sigmund Freud on the nature of war
Appointed Professor at The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
Plans to divide his time between Berlin and Princeton
Leaves Germany for the last time

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Einstein Timeline - The Princeton Years

1933 Declares that he will not return to Germany Resigns from Prussian Academy of Sciences
Spends spring and summer in Belgium and Oxford
Emigrates to U.S. in September
Why War? published

1934 Collection of essays The World As I See It published

1935 The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox is published

1936 Elsa Einstein dies

1938 Publication of The Evolution of Physics

1939 Signs famous letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt recommending U.S. research on nuclear weapons

1940 Acquires U.S. Citizenship

1943 Works as consultant with the Research and Development Division of the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance, section Ammunition and Explosives

1944 Handwritten copy of his 1905 paper on special relativity auctioned for six million dollars in Kansas City, as a contribution to the American war effort

1945 Shattered by the extent of the Holocaust of European Jewry
Shocked by the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

1946 Becomes chairman of the Emergency Committee for Atomic Scientists
Expresses public support for the formation of a world government

1947 Intense activity on behalf of disarmament and world government

1948 Supports creation of the State of Israel
First wife, Mileva Maric, dies in Zurich
Intact aneurysm of the abdominal aorta disclosed

1949 Publication of "Autobiographical Notes"

1950 Signs Last Will and Testament: Otto Nathan and Helen Dukas named co-trustees
The Hebrew University named as the ultimate repository of his personal papers
Collection of essays, Out of My Later Years, published

1952 Offered presidency of the State of Israel

1953 Public support for individuals under investigation by the House Un-American Activities Committee

1955 Co-signs the Russell-Einstein Manifesto warning of the nuclear threat
Rupture of the aortic aneurysm
Dies April 18 at 1:15 AM in Princeton Hospital at the age of 76
Body cremated and ashes scattered at an undisclosed place

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About The Albert Einstein Website Online

This web site was developed by a mathematician and a physicist.  The primary aim of this site is to enthuse young people, and those who influence them, about the beauty and truth within physics.  At the same we would like to help build a greater public awareness about Albert Einstein, science in general and physics specifically, and their positive and beneficial roles in society.  

If you know of any other sites or resources regarding Albert Einstein, his work or his life, that you would like to see included online, please feel free to email me Joseph Prindle, and I'll try to find a good home for it. 

Please visit other sections of our website online to learn more about Albert Einstein, the author Joseph C. Prindle, his movie A. Einstein, and his recent book Einstein's Tears.

For further or more detailed information or inquiries, please feel free to contact us at 1-310-453-3624.

A. Einstein

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Albert Einstein in the year 1921

"The most aggravating thing about the younger generation is that I no longer belong to it."

- A. Einstein