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Medal by Robert Russin (1970), Albert Einstein, Nobel Prize winning Physicist .

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Born in the German town of Ulm, Albert Einstein spent his early youth in Munich. While attending Zurich Polytechnic Institute he became a Swiss citizen; after graduating in 1890, he took a post at the Berne patent office and carried out experiments on his own time. In 1905, he published three scientific papers, including one that would make his name a household word - the Special History of Relativity. Einstein demonstrated that motion is relative and that physical laws must be the same for all observers moving relative to each other, as well as his famous equation E=mc˛ showing that mass and energy are equivalent. He received the Nobel Prize for physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectic effect.

Another paper published in 1920 predicted that large masses would deflect planets or light rays from their paths; this was proven when it was shown that starlight was defected by the gravitational field of the sun during a total eclipse of the sun in 1919.

Einstein's interests were not confined to his research alone. His friend and collaborator Dr. Otto Nathan writes: "Except for his devotion to science, no cause was more important or closer to his heart than the determination that the institution of war be forever abolished."

As an internationalist, Einstein advocated a United Europe in 1914, and welcomed the establishment of the League of Nations in 1919 and the United Nations in 1945. He was also deeply concerned with Jewish affairs, and devoted his active interest to the creation of Brandeis University. Also, Einstein was convinced that the cultural survival of the Jews depended on the establishment of their own national homeland - Israel - with peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Jews necessary for success.

After the death of Chaim Weizmann, when he was asked if he would accept the presidency of Israel, the 73 year old scientist wrote: "I am deeply moved by the offer from our State of Israel, and at once saddened and ashamed that I cannot accept it. All my life I have dealt with objective matters, hence I lack both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to exercise official functions. I am the more distressed over these circumstances because my relationship to the Jewish people has become my strongest human bond, ever since I became aware of our precarious situation among the nations of the world."

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