Einstein (March 14, 1879–April 18, 1955)
was a theoretical physicist who is widely regarded as the greatest
scientist of the 20th century. He proposed the theory of relativity and
also made major contributions to the development of quantum mechanics,
statistical mechanics, and cosmology. He was awarded the 1921 Nobel
Prize for Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect and
"for his services to Theoretical Physics."
After his general theory of relativity was formulated, Einstein became
world-famous, an unusual achievement for a scientist. In his later
years, his fame exceeded that of any other scientist in history, and in
popular culture, Einstein has become a byword for great intelligence or
even genius. His is also one of the world's most recognizable faces.
This popularity has also led to widespread use of Einstein in
advertising and merchandising, eventually including the registration of
"Albert Einstein" as a trademark.
Youth and college
Einstein was born at Ulm in Württemberg, Germany, about 100 km east of
Stuttgart. His parents were Hermann Einstein, a featherbed salesman who
later ran an electrochemical works, and his wife Pauline, whose maiden
name was Koch. They were married in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt. The family
was Jewish (and non-observant); Albert attended a Catholic elementary
school and, at the insistence of his mother, was given violin lessons.
At age five, his father showed him a pocket compass, and Einstein
realized that something in "empty" space acted upon the needle; he would
later describe the experience as one of the most revelatory of his life.
Though he built models and mechanical devices for fun, he was considered
a slow learner, possibly due to dyslexia, simple shyness, or the
significantly rare and unusual structure of his brain (as seen following
his death). He later credited his development of the theory of
relativity to this slowness, saying that by pondering space and time
later than most children, he was able to apply a more developed
intellect. Another, more recent, theory about his mental development is
that he suffered from Asperger's syndrome, a disorder related to autism.
Einstein began to learn mathematics around age twelve. There is a
recurring rumor that he failed mathematics later in his education, but
this is untrue; a change in the way grades were assigned caused
confusion years later. Two of his uncles fostered his intellectual
interests during his late childhood and early adolescence by suggesting
and providing books on science and mathematics.
In 1894, following the failure of Hermann's electrochemical business,
the Einsteins moved from Munich to Pavia, Italy (near Milan). Albert
remained behind to finish school, completing a term by himself before
rejoining his family in Pavia.
His failure of the liberal arts portion of the Eidgenössische Technische
Hochschule (Federal Swiss Polytechnic University, in Zurich) entrance
exam the following year was a setback; he was sent by his family to
Aarau, Switzerland to finish secondary school, where he received his
diploma in 1896. Einstein subsequently enrolled at the Eidgenössische
Technische Hochschule. The same year, he renounced his Württemberg
citizenship, becoming stateless. (At the time, Württemberg was an
autonomous kingdom within the German Empire.)
In 1898, Einstein met and fell in love with Mileva Marić, a Serbian
classmate (and friend of Nikola Tesla). In 1900, he was granted a
teaching diploma by the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule and was
accepted as a Swiss citizen in 1901. During this time Einstein discussed
his scientific interests with a group of close friends, including Mileva.
He and Mileva had an illegitimate daughter, Liserl, born in January
Work and doctorate
Upon graduation, Einstein could not find a teaching post, mostly because
his brashness as a young man had apparently irritated most of his
professors. The father of a classmate helped him obtain employment as a
technical assistant examiner at the Swiss Patent Office in 1902. There,
Einstein judged the worth of inventors' patent applications for devices
that required a knowledge of physics to understand. He also learned how
to discern the essence of applications despite sometimes poor
descriptions, and was taught by the director how "to express myself
correctly". He occasionally rectified their design errors while
evaluating the practicality of their work.
Einstein married Mileva on January 6, 1903. Einstein's marriage to
Mileva, who was a mathematician, was both a personal and intellectual
partnership: Einstein referred lovingly, or perhaps with some chagrin,
to Mileva as "a creature who is my equal and who is as strong and
independent as I am". A remark by Abram Joffe, a Soviet physicist who
knew Einstein, has occasionally been taken to imply that Einstein was
assisted by Mileva, but this appears to be a misinterpretation. Ronald
W. Clark, a biographer of Einstein, claimed that Einstein depended on
the distance that existed in his and Mileva's marriage in order to have
the solitude necessary to accomplish his work.
On May 14, 1904, the couple's first son, Hans Albert Einstein, was born.
In 1904, Einstein's position at the Swiss Patent Office was made
permanent. He obtained his doctorate after submitting his thesis "On a
new determination of molecular dimensions" in 1905.
That same year, he wrote four articles that provided the foundation of
modern physics, without much scientific literature to refer to or many
scientific colleagues to discuss the theories with. Most physicists
agree that three of those papers (on Brownian motion, the photoelectric
effect, and special relativity) deserved Nobel prizes. Only the paper on
the photoelectric effect would win. This is something of an irony, not
only because Einstein is far better-known for relativity, but also
because the photoelectric effect is a quantum phenomenon, and Einstein
became somewhat disenchanted with the path quantum theory would take.
What makes these papers remarkable is that, in each case, Einstein
boldly took an idea from theoretical physics to its logical consequences
and managed to explain experimental results that had baffled scientists
He submitted these papers to the "Annalen der Physik". They are commonly
referred to as the "Annus Mirabilis Papers" (from Latin: Extraordinary
Year). The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) plans
to commemorate the 100th year of the publication of Einstein's extensive
work in 1905 as the 'World Year Of Physics 2005'.
The first article in 1905, named "On the Motion—Required by the
Molecular Kinetic Theory of Heat—of Small Particles Suspended in a
Stationary Liquid", covered his study of Brownian motion. Using the
then-controversial kinetic theory of fluids, it established that the
phenomenon, which still lacked a satisfactory explanation decades after
it was first observed, provided empirical evidence for the reality of
atoms. It also lent credence to statistical mechanics, which was also
controversial at the time.
Before this paper, atoms were recognized as a useful concept, but
physicists and chemists hotly debated the question of whether atoms were
real entities. Einstein's statistical discussion of atomic behavior gave
experimentalists a way to count atoms by looking through an ordinary
microscope. Wilhelm Ostwald, one of the leaders of the anti-atom school,
later told Arnold Sommerfeld that he had been converted to a belief in
atoms by Einstein's complete explanation of Brownian motion.
The second paper, named "On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the
Production and Transformation of Light", proposed the idea of "light
quanta" (now called photons) and showed how it could be used to explain
such phenomena as the photoelectric effect. The idea of light quanta was
motivated by Max Planck's earlier derivation of the law of black-body
radiation by assuming that luminous energy could only be absorbed or
emitted in discrete amounts, called quanta. Einstein showed that, by
assuming that light actually consisted of discrete packets, he could
explain the mysterious photoelectric effect.
The idea of light quanta contradicted the wave theory of light that
followed naturally from James Clerk Maxwell's equations for
electromagnetic behavior and, more generally, the assumption of infinite
divisibility of energy in physical systems. Even after experiments
showed that Einstein's equations for the photoelectric effect were
accurate, his explanation was not universally accepted. However, by
1921, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize, and his work on
photoelectricity was mentioned by name in the award citation, most
physicists thought that the equation (hf = ø + Ek) was correct and light
quanta were possible.
The theory of light quanta was a strong indication of wave-particle
duality, the concept, used as a fundamental principle by the creators of
quantum mechanics, that physical systems can display both wave-like and
particle-like properties. A complete picture of the photoelectric effect
was only obtained after the maturity of quantum mechanics.
Einstein's third paper that year was called "On the Electrodynamics of
Moving Bodies" (original German title: "Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter
Körper"). While developing this paper, Einstein wrote to Mileva about
"our work on relative motion", and this has led some to ask whether
Mileva played a part in its development. However, it is possible, and
perhaps likely, that, having already mentioned this momentous work to
his wife, he was simply referring to it in an endearing manner. This
paper introduced the special theory of relativity, a theory of time,
distance, mass and energy which was consistent with electromagnetism,
but omitted the force of gravity. Special relativity solved the puzzle
that had been apparent since the Michelson-Morley experiment, which had
shown that light waves could not be travelling through any medium (other
known waves travelled through media—such as water or air). The speed of
light was thus fixed, and not relative to the movement of the observer.
This was impossible under Newtonian classical mechanics.
It had already been conjectured by George Fitzgerald in 1894 that the
Michelson-Morley result could be accounted for if moving bodies were
foreshortened along the direction of their motion. Indeed, some of the
paper's core equations, the Lorentz transforms, had been introduced in
1903 by the Dutch physicist Hendrik Lorentz, giving mathematical form to
Fitzgerald's conjecture. But Einstein revealed the underlying reasons
for this geometrical oddity. His explanation arose from two axioms:
Galileo's old idea that the laws of nature should be the same for all
observers that move with constant speed relative to each other, and the
rule that the speed of light is the same for every observer. Special
relativity has several striking consequences, because the absolute
concepts of time and size are rejected. The theory came to be called the
"special theory of relativity" to distinguish it from his later theory
of general relativity, which considers all observers to be equivalent.
The theory abounds with paradoxes, and appeared to make little sense,
landing Einstein substantial ridicule; but he eventually managed to work
out the apparent contradictions and solve the problems.
A fourth paper, "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy
Content?", published late in 1905, showed one further deduction from
relativity's axioms, the famous equation that the energy of a body at
rest (E) equals its mass (m) times the speed of light (c) squared:
E = mc2
Einstein considered this equation to be of paramount importance because
it showed that a massive particle possesses an energy, the "rest
energy", distinct from its classical kinetic and potential energies.
Nevertheless, most scientists simply regarded the finding as a curiosity
until the 1930s.
The mass-energy relation can be used to understand how nuclear weapons
produce such phenomenal amounts of energy. By measuring the mass of
atomic nuclei and dividing them by their atomic number, bo th of which
are easily measured, one can calculate the binding energy which is
trapped in different atomic nuclei. This allows one to figure out which
nuclear reactions will release energy and how much energy they will
release. A simple calculation using the mass of the uranium nuclei and
the masses of the products of nuclear fission reveals that large amounts
of energy are released upon fission.
According to Umberto Bartocci (University of Perugia historian of
mathematics), the famous equation was first published two years prior by
Olinto De Pretto, who was an industrialist from Vicenza, Italy, though
this is not generally regarded as true or important by mainstream
historians. Though De Pretto may have introduced the formula, it was
Einstein who connected it with the theory of relativity.
In 1906, Einstein was promoted to technical examiner second class. In
1908, Einstein was licensed in Berne, Switzerland as a teacher and
lecturer (known as a Privatdozent) who had no share in the university
administration. Einstein's second son, Eduard, was born on July 28,
1910. In 1911, Einstein became a full professor at the University of
Prague. At that time, he worked closely with the mathematician Marcel
Grossman. In 1912, Einstein started to refer to time as the fourth
In 1914, just before the start of World War I, Einstein settled in
Berlin as professor at the local university and became a member of the
Prussian Academy of Sciences. His pacifism and Jewish origins irritated
German nationalists. After he became world-famous, nationalist hatred of
him grew, and, for the first time, he was the subject of an organized
campaign intended to discredit his theories.
From 1914 to 1933 he served as director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute
for Physics in Berlin, and it was during this time that he was awarded
his Nobel Prize and made his most groundbreaking discoveries.
Einstein divorced Mileva on February 14, 1919 and married his cousin
Elsa Loewenthal (née Einstein: Loewenthal was the surname of her first
husband, Max) on June 2, 1919. Elsa was Albert's first cousin
(maternally) and his second cousin (paternally). She was three years
older than Albert, and had nursed him to health after he had suffered a
partial nervous breakdown combined with a severe stomach ailment. There
were no children from this marriage.
The fate of Albert and Mileva's first child, Lieserl, is unknown: some
believe she died in infancy, while others believe she was given out for
adoption. Eduard was institutionalized for schizophrenia and died in an
asylum, while Hans became a professor of hydraulic engineering at the
University of California, Berkeley, having little interaction with his
In 1922, Einstein and his wife Elsa boarded the S.S. Kitano Maru bound
for Japan. The trip also took them to other ports including Singapore,
Hong Kong and Shanghai.
In November 1915, Einstein presented a series of lectures before the
Prussian Academy of Sciences in which he described his theory of general
relativity. The final lecture climaxed with his introduction of an
equation that replaced Newton's law of gravity. This theory considered
all observers to be equivalent, not only those moving at a uniform
speed. In general relativity, gravity is no longer a force (as it was in
Newton's law of gravity) but is a consequence of the curvature of
space-time. The theory provided the foundation for the study of
cosmology and gave scientists the tools for understanding many features
of the universe that were not discovered until well after Einstein's
death. A truly revolutionary theory, general relativity has become a
method of perceiving all of physics.
The theory was derived with mathematical reasoning and rational
analysis, not with experimentation or observation, leading scientists to
be skeptical. But his equations enabled predictions to be made, and when
those predictions were tested by Arthur Eddington by measuring, during a
solar eclipse, how much the light emanating from a star passing close to
the sun was bent by the sun's gravity, they proved correct. On November
7, 1919, The Times reported the confirmation, cementing Einstein's fame,
and from then on, the theory has "passed" every test up to now (unlike
many other scientific theories).
There were, however, many who were still unconvinced in the scientific
community. Their reasons varied, ranging from those who disagreed with
Einstein's interpretations of the experiments to those who simply
thought that life without an absolute frame of reference was
intolerable. In Einstein's view, many of them simply could not
understand the mathematics involved. Einstein's public fame which
followed the 1919 eclipse created resentment among this faction, some of
which would last well into the 1930s.
Einstein's relationship with quantum physics was quite remarkable. He
was the first, even before Max Planck, the discoverer of the quantum, to
say that quantum theory was revolutionary. His idea of light quanta was
a landmark break with the classical understanding of physics. In 1909,
Einstein presented his first paper to a gathering of physicists and told
them that they must find some way to understand waves and particles
In the early 1920s, Einstein was the lead figure in a famous weekly
physics colloquium at the University of Berlin. On March 30, 1921,
Einstein went to New York to give a lecture on his new theory of
relativity. In the same year, he was finally awarded the Nobel Prize for
his work. Though he is now most famous for his work on relativity, it
was for his earlier work on the photoelectric effect that he was given
the Prize: in 1921 his work on relativity was still too disputed to
merit a Nobel Prize, so the Nobel committee decided that citing his
earlier, less-contested theory would be a better political move.
In the mid-1920s, as the original quantum theory was replaced with a new
quantum mechanics, Einstein balked at the Copenhagen interpretation of
the new equations because it settled for a probabilistic, non-visualizable
account of physical behavior. Einstein agreed that the theory was the
best available, but he looked for an explanation that would be more
"complete", i.e. deterministic. His belief that physics described the
laws that govern "real things" had led to his successes with atoms,
photons, and gravity, and he was unwilling to abandon that faith.
Einstein's famous remark, "Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But
an inner voice tells me it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a
lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the Old
One. I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice," appeared
in a 1926 letter to Max Born. It was not a rejection of probabilistic
theories per se—Einstein had used statistical analysis in his work on
Brownian motion and photoelectricity, and in papers published before the
miraculous year of 1905, had even discovered Gibbs ensembles on his
own—but he did not believe that, at bottom, physical reality behaves
In March 2004, the results of the Afshar experiment were published
which, it is claimed, disprove Bohr's Principle of Complementarity (one
of the foundations of the Copenhagen interpretation). The controversial
results seem to lend support to Einstein's misgivings about the orthodox
interpretation of quantum mechanics.
In 1924, Einstein received a short paper from a young Indian physicist
named Satyendra Nath Bose describing light as a gas of photons and
asking for Einstein's assistance in publication. Einstein realised that
the same statistics could be applied to atoms, and published an article
in German (then the lingua franca of physics) which described Bose's
model and explained its implications. Bose-Einstein statistics now
describe any assembly of these indistinguishable particles known as
bosons. Einstein also assisted Erwin Schrödinger in the development of
the Quantum Boltzmann distribution, a mixed classical and quantum
mechanical gas model—although he realised that this was less significant
than the Bose-Einstein model, and declined to have his name included on
Einstein and former student Leó Szilárd co-invented a unique type of
refrigerator (usually called the Einstein Refrigerator) in 1926. 
On November 11, 1930, US patent number 1,781,541 was awarded to Albert
Einstein and Leó Szilárd. The patent covered a thermodynamic
refrigeration cycle providing cooling with no moving parts, at a
constant pressure, with only heat as an input. The refrigeration cycle
used ammonia, butane, and water.
After Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, expressions of hatred for
Einstein reached new levels. He was accused by the National Socialist
regime of creating "Jewish physics" in contrast with Deutsche Physik—"Aryan
physics". Nazi physicists (notably including the Nobel laureates
Johannes Stark and Philipp Lenard) continued the attempts to discredit
his theories and to politically blacklist those German physicists who
taught them (such as Werner Heisenberg). Einstein had already fled to
the United States, where he was given permanent residency. He accepted a
position at the newly founded Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton
Township, New Jersey. He became an American citizen in 1940 (though he
maintained possession of his Swiss citizenship).
Einstein spent the last fourteen years of his life trying to unify
gravity and electromagnetism, giving a new subtle understanding of
quantum mechanics. He was looking for a classical unification of gravity
Institute for Advanced Study
His work at the Institute for Advanced Study focused on the unification
of the laws of physics, which he referred to as the Unified Field
Theory. He attempted to construct a model, under the appropriate
conditions, which described all of the fundamental forces as different
manifestations of a single force. His attempt was in a way doomed to
failure because the strong and weak nuclear forces were not understood
independently until around 1970, 15 years after Einstein's death.
Einstein's goal survives in the current drive for unification of the
forces, embodied most notably by string theory.
Einstein began to form a generalized theory of gravitation with the
universal law of gravitation and the electromagnetic force in his first
attempt to demonstrate the unification and simplification of the
fundamental forces. In 1950, he described his work in a Scientific
American article. Einstein was guided by a belief in a single
statistical measure of variance for the entire set of physical laws, and
he investigated the similar properties of the electromagnetic and
gravity forces, as they are infinite and obey inverse-square laws.But
there is not a generalized theory to explain the inverse-square law as
it is not been studied upto its mark.
Einstein's generalized theory of gravitation is a universal mathematical
approach to field theory. He investigated reducing the different
phenomena by the process of logic to something already known or evident.
Einstein tried to unify gravity and electromagnetism in a way that also
led to a new subtle understanding of quantum mechanics.
Einstein assumed a four-dimensional space-time continuum expressed in
axioms represented by five component vectors. Particles appear in his
research as a limited region in space in which the field strength or the
energy density are particularly high. Einstein treated subatomic
particles as objects embedded in the unified field, influencing it and
existing as an essential constituent of the unified field but not of it.
Einstein also investigated a natural generalization of symmetrical
tensor fields, treating the combination of two parts of the field as
being a natural procedure of the total field and not the symmetrical and
antisymmetrical parts separately. He researched a way to delineate the
equations and systems to be derived from a variational principle.
Einstein became increasingly isolated in his research on a generalized
theory of gravitation (being characterized as a "mad scientist" in these
endeavors) and was ultimately unsuccessful in his attempts but has done
many attempts for constructing a theory that would unify general
relativity and quantum mechanicsor both.
In 1948, Einstein served on the original committee which resulted in the
founding of Brandeis University. In 1952, the Israeli government
proposed to Einstein that he take the post of second president. He
declined the offer, and remains the only United States citizen to ever
be offered a position as a foreign head of state. On March 30, 1953,
Einstein released a revised unified field theory.
He died in his sleep at a hospital in Princeton, New Jersey on April 18,
1955, leaving the Generalized Theory of Gravitation unsolved. The only
person present at his deathbed, a hospital nurse, said that just before
his death he mumbled several words in German that she did not
understand. He was cremated without ceremony on the same day he died at
Trenton, New Jersey in accordance with his wishes. His ashes were
scattered at an undisclosed location.
His brain was preserved in a jar by Dr. Thomas Stoltz Harvey, the
pathologist who performed the autopsy on Einstein. Harvey found nothing
unusual with his brain, but in 1999 further analysis by a team at
McMaster University revealed that his parietal operculum region was
missing, and to compensate his inferior parietal lobe was 15% wider than
normal. The inferior parietal region is responsible for mathematical
thought, visuospatial cognition and imagery of movement.
Albert Einstein was much respected for his kind and friendly demeanor
rooted in his pacifism. He was modest about his abilities, and had
distinctive attitudes and fashions—for example, he minimized his
wardrobe so that he would not need to waste time in deciding on what to
wear. He occasionally had a playful sense of humour, and enjoyed playing
the violin and sailing. He was also the stereotypical "absent-minded
professor"; he was often forgetful of everyday items, such as keys, and
would focus so intently on solving physics problems that he would often
become oblivious to his surroundings.
Einstein's religious views are that of pantheism. He stated "I believe
in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what
exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of
human beings." Einstein wanted "to know how God created the world":
after being pressed on his religious views by Martin Buber, Einstein
exclaimed, "What we (physicists) strive for is just to draw His lines
after Him." Summarizing his religious beliefs, he once said: "My
religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior
spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive
with our frail and feeble mind." He also expressed admiration for
Buddhism, which he said "has the characteristics of what would be
expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal
God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and the
spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the
experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity."
Einstein considered himself a pacifist and humanitarian, and in later
years, a socialist. Einstein once said, "I believe Gandhi's views were
the most enlightened of all the political men of our time. We should
strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence for fighting for
our cause, but by non-participation of anything you believe is evil."
Einstein's views on other issues, including socialism, McCarthyism and
racism, were controversial (see Einstein on socialism). Einstein was a
co-founder of the liberal German Democratic Party.
The American FBI kept a 1,427 page file on his activities and
recommended that he be barred from immigrating to the United States
under the Alien Exclusion Act, alleging that Einstein "believes in,
advises, advocates, or teaches a doctrine which, in a legal sense, as
held by the courts in other cases, 'would allow anarchy to stalk in
unmolested' and result in 'government in name only'", among other
Einstein opposed tyrannical forms of government, and for this reason
(and his Jewish background), opposed the Nazi regime and fled Germany
shortly after it came to power. He initially favored construction of the
atomic bomb, in order to ensure that Hitler did not do so first, and
even sent a letter to President Roosevelt (dated August 2, 1939, before
World War II broke out, and likely authored by Leó Szilárd) encouraging
him to initiate a program to create a nuclear weapon. Roosevelt
responded to this by setting up a committee for the investigation of
using uranium as a weapon, which in a few years was superseded by the
After the war, though, Einstein lobbied for nuclear disarmament and a
world government: "I know not with what weapons World War III will be
fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
Einstein was a supporter of Zionism. He supported Jewish settlement of
the ancient seat of Judaism and was active in the establishment of the
Hebrew University in Jerusalem, which published (1930) a volume titled
About Zionism: Speeches and Lectures by Professor Albert Einstein, and
to which Einstein bequeathed his papers. However, he opposed nationalism
and expressed skepticism about whether a Jewish nation-state was the
best solution. He may have originally imagined Jews and Arabs living
peacefully in the same land. In later life he was offered the post of
second president of the newly-created state of Israel, but declined the
offer, claiming that he lacked the necessary people skills.
Einstein, along with Albert Schweitzer and Bertrand Russell, fought
against nuclear tests and bombs. With the Pugwash Conferences on Science
and World Affairs and Russell, he released the Russell-Einstein
Manifesto and organized several conferences.
Popularity and cultural impact
In 1999, Einstein was named "Person of the Century" by Time magazine.
Albert Einstein has become the subject of a number of novels, films and
plays, including Nicolas Roeg's film Insignificance, Fred Schepisi's
film I.Q., and Alan Lightman's novel Einstein's Dreams. Einstein was
even the subject of Philip Glass's groundbreaking 1976 opera Einstein on
He is often used as a model for depictions of eccentric scientists in
works of fiction; his own character and distinctive hairstyle suggest
eccentricity, electricity or even lunacy and are widely copied or
On Einstein's 72nd birthday in 1951, an unknown UPI photographer was
trying to coax him into smiling for the camera. Having done this for the
photographer many times that day, Einstein stuck out his tongue instead.
The image has become an icon in pop culture for its contrast of the
genius scientist displaying a moment of levity. Yahoo Serious, an
Australian film maker, used the photo as an inspiration for the
intentionally anachronistic movie Young Einstein.
"Albert Einstein" is a registered trademark of The Roger Richman Agency,
Inc., which controls the (commercial) usage of the name. Advertisements
and merchandise including the name, likeness and image of Albert
Einstein must be licensed by this agency. In this specific case the
agency acts as a representative of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
which Einstein himself had supported actively, and the university
benefits from all of the license fees. Furthermore, the agency may
entirely prevent usage of Albert Einstein in a way that does not conform
to the public image of the trademark. The agency's website dedicated to
Albert Einstein  (http://www.albert-einstein.net) states that "When
written in copy on all materials, the name 'Albert Einstein™' must
always bear a ™ symbol."
Honors in the scientific community
A unit used in photochemistry, the einstein, the chemical element
einsteinium, and the asteroid 2001 Einstein were named in his honor.