Download e-book for iPad: Albert Einstein: A biographical portrait by Anton Reiser, Rudolf Kayser, Albert Einstein

By Anton Reiser, Rudolf Kayser, Albert Einstein

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Sample text

And more and more he felt that only a contemplative existence should be his-a life away from activity, from people-a quiet, meditative life, such as artists are accustomed to live. The Zurich years, however, were profitable in many ways. He not only became acquainted with new and important people and entered into close relationship with them, but also came into contact with the greatest scientists of his field. In 1905, while Einstein was still in Bern, the great physicist Max Planck of Berlin had already written him and extended his heartiest congratulations to the special theory of relativity, whose first formulations had just been published.

In the long run, these years of constant creative activity would become too much for him to bear. But the goal was being neared; the stupendous structure grew higher and higher. The general theory of relativity attained its final formulation during these Zurich years, even though many details were still to be accomplished before it could be definitely viewed as a finished work. The final touches followed in Berlin, in 1914, the first year SELF- SUPPORT 89 of the frightful destruction of the European continent.

The terrible distinction existing between rich and poor and the unequal distribution of wealth always seemed a sad injustice to him. Einstein learned a great deal about socialist teachings from his friend Adler, with whom he Iived in the same house in Zurich, Indeed, were all people so conscientious, disciplined, and helpful as this Adler, the socialist paradise could certainly be realized. But Einstein’s knowledge of human beings had made him skeptical about a new society which would necessarily have to be based on the same old human beings.

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