Albert Einstein, German-born physicist and Nobel Laureate, is probably the best known scientist to emerge from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is best known for his theories of relativity and his bold hypothesis concerning the particle nature of light. Although most people have heard of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, very few are aware of the interesting background of this brilliant scientist. His theory has been described by some as, "the greatest single achievement of human thought". .
Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany on March 14, 1874. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Munich where his father and uncle set up a business. Although he did not talk until the age of three, he displayed a strong sense of curiosity, and the ability to understand difficult mathematical concepts. Despite his extraordinary mathematical skills, Albert was considered a slow learner. Some teachers were convinced that he was actually disabled because he was unable to become fluent in German until he was 9 years old. It is believed that a teacher once told him that he would "never amount to anything". .
At the age of ten, young Albert was enrolled at the Luitpold Gymnasium to begin his next level of education. This is where he first encountered the unimaginative spirit and dull regimentation of the schools in Munich. Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." His disapproval of the teaching methods led to his being viewed as a rebel. Einstein started to search for knowledge outside of school. He took an intense interest in religion, avidly studying the Bible. His religious fervor soon subsided, and he became fascinated with the intrigue of math and science. He was eventually expelled from the Luitpold Gymnasium as being a disruptive influence.
Einstein was eventually accepted into the Swiss Federal Polytechnic Institute, in Zurich. Attending the Institute gave Albert the opportunity to meet other students that shared his curiosity.