Albert Einstein needs no introduction. The world-famous Nobel Prize-winning scientist is synonymous with physics, and science in general, for everyone.
But apart from his groundbreaking work on the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, a lot of us don’t really seem to know much about the man. On his 143rd birthday, let’s find out the lesser-known facts about the man who changed the way we look at time and space.
Nobody knows Einstein’s actual IQ
While a lot of websites claim that Einstein’s IQ was 160, we have no way of knowing what it actually was because nobody measured it while he was alive, nor did he give any tests to the effect. While some make an estimated guess like 160, others believe there is a possibility that he may have only been a genius when it came to physics and not other areas of his life.
The famous ‘fact’ that Einstein failed maths in school is a myth, of course. He aced physics and mathematics and had mastered complex calculus by the age of 15. However, his natural genius didn’t extend to all subjects. Reportedly, he didn’t do well in languages or biology in high school.
Einstein loved sailing
The scientist took up sailing while he was in college in Zurich and fell in love with it. However, he was never really any good at it and would often end up tipping his boat and would require to be saved multiple times. Rumour has it that he named his boat ‘tinef’, which is Yiddish for ‘worthless’, although there is some debate about that.
Albert Einstein: Inventor extraordinaire
Not only did Einstein love contemplating the nature of time and how it works, but he was also an inventor. He was naturally curious about all things electronic and would often spend time tinkering with gadgets. He even spent seven years working at the Patent Office in Switzerland and would come across all sorts of new inventions. Einstein holds about 50 patents of his own, having invented a refrigerator that would last for 100 years, a self-adjusting camera, and even a kind of adjustable blouse.
Albert Einstein, President of Israel
Did you know that Einstein was asked to be the next president of Israel? After the death of the first President of the country in 1952, the Prime Minister wrote to Einstein, inviting him to take over the post (which was mostly ceremonial, much like in India). Einstein, however, declined by politely saying that he had no aptitude for “dealing with people and official functions.”
Inspiration for Yoda, Einstein was
That’s right. According to special-effects artist Nick Maley, who worked on the Star Wars films, Yoda’s face was partly modelled after Einstein’s face, by matching his wrinkles around his eyes.
There’s a lot more to our favourite scientists than what we just see in textbooks and it’s really interesting to find out what kind of people they really were. Are there any other fascinating facts about your favourite scientist that you’d like to share? Drop us a comment below.
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