What were Albert Einstein's skills

A completely normal guy: 5 insights into Einstein's life

Life isn't always easy - especially when you're a genius. But what other things do normal people have in common with Albert Einstein?

A free archive of the famous physicist's writings and correspondence can help find just that. The Princeton University Press 'Digital Einstein' project made Einstein's early years available online, complete with English translation and annotations.

“This is Einstein before he got famous,” said Diana Kormos-Buchwald, a historian from the California Institute of Technology, in a 2014 interview with National Geographic. She is the director of the Einstein Papers Project, which created the archive in collaboration with Princeton and the Hebrew University. "The material has been carefully selected and commented on over the past 25 years."

The archived letters, lectures and other writings take the reader on a journey through Einstein's life, from his birth certificate to the letters he wrote in 1923 on his 44th birthday - just two years after receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 A look at the documents reveals that one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th century was in some ways a person like any other.

1. He was passed over for his dream job.

In 1902 Einstein got a job as a technical expert at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern. A friend had helped him get the job after his hoped-for position as a university professor failed.

"It was mostly his own fault - he wasn't a very good student," says New York University historian Matt Stanley. “He was disrespectful to his professors and sometimes did not show up for lectures and seminars because he knew that he would pass that way. When he asked for letters of recommendation, he did not receive any. "

Does that sound familiar? Nevertheless, it turned out that an unpleasant job did not prevent Einstein from continuing to work on the fulfillment of his dreams.

“Einstein's family was involved in electronics, so he was very familiar with the world of the patent office,” says David Kaiser, a historian of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He was tasked with assessing the reliability of the functioning of new inventions. Einstein used his talents and also incorporated his abilities into his scientific work. In his Annus mirabilis In 1915 he published treatises on the speed of light, the behavior of atoms and his most famous equation E = mc².

2. He liked to relax.

"Unfortunately, both of them under the table were totally drunk," wrote Einstein on a postcard to his friend Conrad Habicht in 1915, referring to himself and his wife Mileva Maric.

Habicht was the co-founder of the Olympia Academy in Bern - a grandiose name for a series of small-scale social gatherings at which Einstein and his friends debated philosophy and science over plenty of alcohol.

"Young Einstein was a bohemian, not the old wise man we imagine these days," says Stanley. “That was what the young people did back then. They hung out in pubs and argued about the nature of space and time. "

Einstein later said the club had a huge impact on his career.