In 1879, Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Zurich by 1909. His 1905 paper explaining the photoelectric effect, the basis of electronics, earned him the Nobel Prize in 1921. His first paper on Special Relativity Theory, also published in 1905, changed the world. After the rise of the Nazi party, Einstein made Princeton his permanent home, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1940. Einstein, a pacifist during World War I, stayed a firm proponent of social justice and responsibility. He chaired the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, which organized to alert the public to the dangers of atomic warfare.
At a symposium, he advised: “In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast power in the hands of priests. In their labors they will have to avail themselves of those forces which are capable of cultivating the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in humanity itself. This is, to be sure a more difficult but an incomparably more worthy task . . . ” (“Science, Philosophy and Religion, A Symposium,” published by the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., New York, 1941). In a letter to philosopher Eric Gutkind, dated Jan. 3, 1954, Einstein stated: “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this,” (The Guardian, “Childish superstition: Einstein’s letter makes view of religion relatively clear,” by James Randerson, May 13, 2008). D. 1955.
1. Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.
2. 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.
3. I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
4. If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.
5. If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.
6. Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.
7. Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.
8. Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
9. I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.
10. Never memorize something that you can look up.
11. When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.
12. A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
13. Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
14. Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
15. If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
16. I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
17. Any fool can know. The point is to understand.
18. A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
19. Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.
20. The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.
21. The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
22. Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.
23. If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”
24. I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
25. The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.
26. You never fail until you stop trying.
27. Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
28. Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.
29. The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.
30. It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.
31. Creativity is intelligence having fun.
32. The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.
33. If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut
34. Black holes are where God divided by zero.
35. Everything must be made as simple as possible. But not simpler.
36. The best way to cheer yourself is to cheer somebody else up.
37. When you trip over love, it is easy to get up. But when you fall in love, it is impossible to stand again.
38. What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.
39. Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters
40. Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.
41. A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?
42. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity
43. Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.
44. The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.
45. The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
46. We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams.
47. The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.
48. Time is an illusion.
49. I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.
50. It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.
51. Love is a better master than duty.
52. Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
53. I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking
54. We all know that light travels faster than sound. That’s why certain people appear bright until you hear them speak.
55. Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.
56. Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work…
57. Nothing happens until something moves.
58. Out of clutter, find simplicity.
59. I’d rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right.
60. If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.