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On March 14, 1879, Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany. Einstein became the most prominent scientist of the 20th century, winning the Nobel Prize for physics in 1921 and authoring the most famous equation in history—E=MC2. 
 
Einstein was a theoretical physicist, meaning he used and formulated mathematical models to understand the way the universe works. In particular, Einstein was interested in the way different sets of physical laws—gravity, magnetism, electricity, energy—relate to each other. His most famous accomplishments reflect this. His Nobel Prize recognized Einstein’s work in explaining the photoelectric effect—the way atoms emit electrons when they absorb energy from light. His famous equation explains that an object’s mass (M) is a measure of its energy (E) and its motion (measured by the speed of light, C).
 
Einstein was a lifelong humanitarian. He supported civil rights for African Americans and protection for religious minorities in Europe (he himself fled Germany and Switzerland as Nazis gained power). He was also a committed socialist who supported strong education for all students: “The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow-men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.”
absorb
Verb

to soak up.

Albert Einstein
Noun

(1879-1955) American (German-born) physicist.

civil rights
Plural Noun

set of fundamental freedoms guaranteed to all individuals, such as participation in the political system, ability to own property, and due process and equal protection under the law.

electricity
Noun

set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and flow of electric charge.

electron
Noun

negatively charged subatomic particle.

emit
Verb

to give off or send out.

equation
Noun

mathematical statement of the equality of two sets of numbers or values.

formulate
Verb

to develop a theory or idea.

genius
Noun

very intelligent person.

gravity
Noun

physical force by which objects attract, or pull toward, each other.

humanitarian
Adjective

having to do with relief, aid, or other support to people in need.

innate
Adjective

based in instinct, not learned or experienced.

Noun

force by which objects attract or repel one another.

mass
Noun

measure of the amount of matter in a physical object.

Nazi
noun, adjective

(1919-1945) (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) having to do with the National Socialist German Workers' Party.

Nobel Prize
Noun

one of five awards established by the Swedish businessman Alfred Nobel in 1901. Nobel Prizes are awarded in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace.

pedestrian
noun, adjective

person who travels by walking.

photoelectric effect
Noun

phenomenon in which electrons are emitted by an atom as it absorbs energy from light.

physics
Noun

study of the physical processes of the universe, especially the interaction of matter and energy.

prominent
Adjective

important or standing out.

protect
Verb

to take action to prevent injury or attack.

socialist
Noun

person who supports greater community control of the production and distribution of goods and services.

theoretical
Adjective

having to do only with theories or models, not practical application.

violin
Noun

bowed string instrument.

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