Quotation #4054

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Albert Einstein is one of the most frequently quoted individuals of all-time. While possessing a brilliant mind that enabled him to make groundbreaking scientific discoveries in the realm of physics, including the general and specific theories of relativity, Einstein was more than just a great scientist. He was also a personable, thoughtful man who had a keen way with words. As a result, Einstein became a sage of the modern era, a legend who people love to quote. The following Einstein quotes are some of his most remarkable – for their wisdom, wit, irony, and impact on the world, as well as for the surprising things they reveal about this oft-misunderstood genius. [include-posts id="10807" count="1"] About: This equation is the perhaps the world’s most famous and represents one of Einstein’s most significant scientific discoveries: the concept that the mass of a body is a measure of its energy content. In this equation, also known as the mass-energy equivalence formula, E is energy, m is mass, and c is the speed of light. Thus, it means that energy is equal to mass times the speed of light squared. While not a particularly easy concept for the layman to understand, it has had a profound impact on how we understand space and time, and its effects on the world as we know it have been equally profound: this equation helped lead to the discovery of nuclear fission, which, in turn, allowed the development of the atomic bomb and nuclear energy. Source: “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?”, a scientific paper written by Einstein and published in Annalen der Physik  on September 27, 1905. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="14664" count="2"] About: This quote is representative of Einstein’s popular, yet reluctant, personas of “The Philosopher” or “The Wise Man.” It is inspirational, wise, and yet remarkably simple. It reminds us that we must carry on, no matter what befalls us in life. A popular saying for motivational posters, magnets, and the like, this quote is the opposite of E = mc²: it is easy to understand and everyone can relate to it. Proverb-like sayings like this one are a main reason why Einstein is such a quotable figure in today’s culture and why he will likely remain so for generations to come. Source: A letter to Einstein’s son Eduard, dated February 5, 1930. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="83620" count="3"] About: Some people may find this quote shocking. Why’s that? It reveals that, contrary to popular ideas about Einstein, he did not believe in God, or at least not in the personal God of the Judeo-Christian ethic. Other quotes that imply Einstein did believe in such a God are generally misattributed or taken out of context. Raised in a secular Jewish household, Einstein did not call himself an atheist, but he eschewed organized religion. Einstein often referred to himself as an agnostic and said he believed in Spinoza’s God. Spinoza’s God, or Spinozism, is the belief that if there is a God, then God must be nature and everything that exists. It makes sense that Einstein, a “big picture” scientist who sought to discover an all-encompassing “theory of everything,” would embrace such a broad, open-ended spiritual perspective that could coexist with scientific thought. Source: As quoted in European Civilization and Politics Since 1815 (1938) by Erik Achorn, and in Einstein’s obituary in The New York Times (April 19, 1955). [/include-posts] [include-posts id="14660" count="4"] About: This quote tells us Einstein’s moral philosophy and the driving force behind his life’s work: his love for humankind. Many people would find it remarkable that one of the greatest scientists of all time would say that his purpose in life was not to make scientific discoveries, but to serve other people. Nevertheless, this statement and others show that Einstein was, indeed, an altruist at heart. Einstein’s big-hearted philosophy extended to animals as well – he became a vegetarian late in life and, even before he became a vegetarian, he stated he supported the cause of vegetarianism for moral as well as health reasons. Source: As quoted by William Hermanns in Einstein and the Poet: In Search of the Cosmic Man (1983). This particular quote is from a conversation Hermanns had with Einstein in 1948. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="19565" count="5"] About: Contrary to what many people think, Einstein was not involved in the actual development of the atomic bomb. However, he played a part in its creation in two ways. Einstein’s E = mc² theory led scientists to discover the vast quantity of energy in an atom. Also, Einstein wrote a letter to President Roosevelt in 1939 warning him that the Germans were likely developing an atomic bomb and urging that the U.S. do the same. The initiation of the Manhattan Project, which ultimately produced the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII, occurred largely because of this letter. This quote indicates that Einstein, to a certain extent, regretted his role in the creation of these devastating weapons and wanted to prevent them from being used again. Today, the Federation of American Scientists estimates that there are more than 17,000 nuclear warheads in existence. Einstein’s words serve as a chilling warning that is as relevant today as it was when he wrote them more than half a century ago, if not more so. Source: A May 1946 telegram sent out by Einstein asking for contributions to a nationwide campaign by the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists urging atomic education. This bulletin was reported on by The New York Times on May 25, 1946. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="14656" count="6"] About: Remarkably, we learn from this quote that this great scientist valued imagination more than knowledge, and that he even considered himself “an artist.” We normally consider science and logic “left brain” pursuits and art and imagination as the exclusive domain of the “right brain.” However, Einstein challenged this idea, implying, even, that great scientific discoveries were not possible without a great imagination. Even today, this is an uncommon, but illuminating, way to think of scientists – as being a type of artist. Source: "What Life Means to Einstein: An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck", The Saturday Evening Post (October 26, 1929). [/include-posts] [include-posts id="14654" count="7"] About: Einstein was actually quite funny, as is evidenced by this quote. Besides showing his sense of humor and humble attitude, this quote is also encouraging to the many young people who struggle with math in school. A few famous quotes attributed to Einstein are disparaging of formal education, including “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education” and “Education is that which remains, if one has forgotten everything he learned in school.” However, the authenticity of these attributions is disputed. It is also commonly believed that Einstein was a poor student, but this is also untrue. The few sourced statements Einstein made about education indicate he thought that formal education was, indeed, important, but primarily insofar as it teaches you how to think for yourself and behave in the world, not for the mere memorization of facts. Source: A letter to high school student Barbara Lee Wilson, dated January 7, 1943. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="14652" count="8"] About: Perhaps the most ironic and surprising Einstein quote of all, these words demonstrate Einstein’s bewilderment at his superstar status and hint at a sense of loneliness despite his immense popularity. While being such a cherished, “quotable” figure, it is true that Einstein was and is many ways misunderstood. Both his scientific theories and personal beliefs have been oversimplified and misconstrued. Nevertheless, he remains an inspiration to many and his impact on the world is indisputable. For these reasons, he will probably continue to be quoted – and misquoted – for as long as humankind exists. Source: As quoted in "The Einstein Theory of Living; At 65 he leads the simplest of lives — and grapples with the most complex thoughts”, a New York Times article published March 12, 1944. [/include-posts]
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