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A Truly Beautiful Mind

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01 A Truly Beautiful Mind

‘A Truly Beautiful Mind’ is a story about the genius personality, Albert Einstein. He was a young German civil servant who took the world by storm about a hundred years ago. In the summer of 1905, the 26-year-old published in quick succession four ground-breaking papers: about light, the motion of particles, the electrodynamics of moving bodies, and energy. His work took up only a few pages in scientific journals, but changed forever our understanding of space, time and the entire cosmos. This man transformed the name ‘Einstein’ into a synonym for genius.

Albert Einstein was born on 14th March in 1879, in the German city of Ulm. For about two and half years he could not speak. Young Albert had a special affinity towards mechanical toys. At the age of 6, he learned to play the violin. He became a gifted violinist and maintained this quality all through his life. Although he was a good student and scored well in all subjects, he did not feel at ease with the strict regimentation of the school.

At Milan he decided to continue his education in German-speaking Switzerland. Later on, for higher education, he joined the University at Zurich. He showed more interest in Physics and Mathematics. Here, he met Mileva Marie who had many things in common with him. Eventually, Mileva and Einstein fell in love. Before securing a job as a technical expert in the patent office in Bern, Einstein worked as a teaching assistant. This is when he started developing his own ideas secretly.

One of the famous papers of 1905 was Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, according to which time and distance are not absolute. Albert and Mileva married in January 1903, and had two sons. But all didn’t go well and after years of constant fighting, the couple finally divorced in 1919. That same year Einstein married his cousin Elsa.

Albert Einstein went on to publish his General Theory of Relativity in the year 1915. His work was proclaimed as a revolution in the field of science. Einstein was honoured with the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921.

On 2nd August 1939 Einstein warned the American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt through a letter, saying that even one atomic bomb was enough to destroy an entire port together with some of the surrounding territory. In a secret project, the Americans developed the atomic bomb which they eventually dropped the bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

Deeply shaken by the extent of the destruction, Einstein again he wrote a letter, this time to the United Nations in which he proposed the formation of a world government to prevent recurrence of such destruction. During his last days, Einstein got involved in politics and used his popularity to campaign for peace and democracy. Einstein died in 1955 at the age of 76. He was and is still celebrated as a visionary, a world citizen and definitely a scientific genius.

Meanings of words and phrases

  • freak: someone with an unusual physical abnormality
  • amateur: a person who engages in a pursuit, on an unpaid basis
  • regimentation: strict discipline and enforced uniformity
  • stifled: to make someone unable to breathe properly
  • prolonged: continuing for a long time or longer than usual
  • appealed: interesting or attractive to someone
  • ally: friend
  • philistines: hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts
  • coincided: occurred at the same time
  • deflected: to change direction
  • proclaimed: announced officially or publicly
  • lauded: to praise a person or their achievements highly
  • emigrated: to move from one country to another
  • uproar: a public expression of protest or outrage
  • missive: an official, formal, or long letter
  • visionary: a person who is able to imagine how a country, society, industry, etc., will or should develop in the future and to plan in a suitable way

Relevance of the title:

This story revolves around the life and works of the famous scientist Albert Einstein. Einstein could not speak till he was two and a half years old. His mother thought him to be an abnormal child due to his huge head. His teacher called him stupid and said that he wouldn’t be able to achieve anything in life. And inspite of this, Einstein went on to give us the Theory of Relativity. This Nobel Laureate also got involved in politics and used his popularity to campaign for peace and democracy. Thus, we can say that the title of the story ‘A Truly Beautiful Mind’ is apt.

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