Have you ever seen this equation before; E=mc2? Well it is considered the world’s most famous equation and the man who came up with it is equally considered one of the greatest scientists that ever lived. His name was Albert Einstein and although he has been dead for over 60 years now, people just cannot stop talking about him. His ideas and discoveries have formed the foundation of so many things we learn in school and scientists today continue to make new discoveries thanks to what he did a long time ago.
Albert Einstein was born in Germany on 14th March 1879 into a Jewish family. His father was an engineer, his mother a housewife and talented musician. There was very little about his childhood which suggested that he was going to be a great scientist. In fact, as a child it took him so long to start speaking that his parents went to see a doctor. He was also very quiet, and one of his teachers even wrote in a report that he will never achieve anything in life. To make matters worse, he failed his first entrance exam into a polytechnic.
After he eventually graduated, it was difficult getting a job so he went to work in a government office and it is from there that he had the time to start developing his ideas that will one day change our perception of the world and how it works.
Once he started work as a scientist, he came up with the famous equation, E = mc2 which shows how energy is related to matter. It is the foundation for many technological advances we use today, like the GPS in mobile phones which can be used to locate someone anywhere on the planet. He also came up with some ideas about how gravity works and just this year, someone proved his idea was true. In 1921, Einstein won the highest award any scientist can ever get; The Nobel Prize.
So what were some of his ideas, that made him so great? Well, have you ever noticed how cars look like they are moving so fast when you are standing by the road side but if you are in that fast car and there is another car travelling beside you, it looks like you are both standing still? Well Einstein came up with some ideas to explain how the laws of nature change when you are travelling at different speeds and together they call this the “Theory of Relativity”. It is so important that things like mobile phones, space ships and satellite TV (like DSTV) only be designed because of his work.
Many say that Einstein was a very fun loving kind of person who also enjoyed playing musical instruments like the violin (his mother probably taught him). One of his famous pictures proves this, and tells us that you can achieve academic excellence and also enjoy a number of different things in life.
People were so amazed with Einstein that he was even asked to become the second president of Israel but he chose not to. After his death in 1955, his brain was preserved and studied. There are now pieces of it in top laboratories all over the world where people are trying to find out what was unique about his brain that made him so intelligent. So the next time your teacher does not believe in you, you fail an exam or find it difficult getting a job, just pause and think; “I am an Einstein in the making”.
Famous quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ― Albert Einstein