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.”
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry 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.
set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and flow of electric charge.
negatively charged subatomic particle.
to give off or send out.
mathematical statement of the equality of two sets of numbers or values.
to develop a theory or idea.
very intelligent person.
physical force by which objects attract, or pull toward, each other.
having to do with relief, aid, or other support to people in need.
based in instinct, not learned or experienced.
force by which objects attract or repel one another.
Encyclopedic Entry: magnetism 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.
study of the physical processes of the universe, especially the interaction of matter and energy.
important or standing out.
to take action to prevent injury or attack.
person who supports greater community control of the production and distribution of goods and services.
having to do only with theories or models, not practical application.
bowed string instrument.