Lesson 19: Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in Germany. He is known as the “father of modern physics.” Not only was he the most influential physicist of the 20th century, but he is also regarded as the most famous scientist to have ever lived.
In 1905, when Einstein was only twenty-six, he published papers that completely changed our understanding of how the universe works.
Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. He was persecuted for being a Jew and so he moved to the United States in 1933.
In the U.S. he criticised the use of the atom bomb. He spoke against racism and nationalism.
He died on April 18, 1955.

An anecdote about Albert Einstein:
In 1922 Einstein travelled to Japan. He had no money for a tip.
He gave the hotel employee a slip of paper, on which he had scribbled in German, “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success, combined with constant restlessness.”
This note fetched $1.56 million dollars (Rs.10 crore) at an auction recently.

 (A) Vocabulary:

Scientist– a person who studies any of the sciences, like biology or chemistry.
Physicist– a scientist who studies physics.
Universe- the whole world, all of space and everything in it, including stars and planets.
Racism- A belief that one race is better or superior to another.
Nationalism– extreme loyalty and devotion to a nation. It is the belief that your country is superior, without question or doubt.
Anecdote –   a short amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person
Auction   –   a public sale in which each thing is sold to the person who offers the highest price

(B) Discussion points: 

 Einstein was a physicist.

  1. What do you call someone who studies chemistry?
  2. What do you call someone who studies Biology?
  3. Einstein was the “father of modern physics.”
    When we say “father of the nation” in India, who are we talking about?
  4. Mentor and mentee, please discuss the two Einstein quotes.
    One is at the end of this lesson. Explain them in your own words.
  5. Please look up the Internet and find two Mahatma Gandhi quotes.
  6. Can you give us an example of nationalism?
  7. Can you give us an example of racism?
  8. Why are both racism and nationalism negative?
  9. Can you name a few more influential people who lived in the 20th century?
  10. In which century are we living now?

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
Albert Einstein