Thinking bout the Text (Page 50)

Question 2 : Who had these opinions about Einstein?

i) He was boring.
ii) He was stupid and would never succeed in life.
iii) He was a freak

Answer :
i) Einstein’s playmates found him boring.
ii) A headmaster thought that he was stupid and would never succeed in life.
iii) Einstein’s mother thought that he was a freak because, to her, his head seemed much too large.

Question 3 : Explain what the reasons for the following are

i) Einstein leaving the school in Munich for good.
ii) Einstein wanting to study in Switzerland rather than in Munich.
iii) Einstein seeing in Mileva an ally.
iv) What do these tell you about Einstein?

Answer :
i) Einstein hated the regimented environment of his school in Munich. He always argued with his teachers. His mind was not made for the normal strict and disciplined environment of a school. That is why he left school in Munich for good to enjoy his independence.

ii) Switzerland was more liberal than Munich. Enstein must have hoped to find a less stifling environment in Switzerland compared to that in Munich. So, he wanted to study in Switzerland.

iii) Mileva was just opposite to Einstein’s parents. Unlike them, she used to appreciate the arts and finer things of life. Her mindset matched with that of Einstein. So, Einstein saw an ally in Mileva.

iv) These snippets from Einstein’s life give an idea about the extraordinary thinking power Einstein was having since his childhood, because only a person with above normal intelligence can think beyond the accepted systems of behaviour and actions. Einstein always like to take his own decisions which is evident from his insistence on leaving Munich for a better future.

Question 4 : What did Einstein call his desk drawer at the patent office? Why?

Answer : Einstein called his desk drawer at the patent office as the “bureau of theoretical physics.” It is not mentioned in the story, but it may be assumed that most of the application for a patent were of minor changes in scientific theories and practices because really originally and innovative ideas rarely come as routine basis. Moreover, as Einstein was himself a genius, he could see the errors in the patent applications, as probably most of them must have been only theoretical, with no resultant benefitĀ  for mankind. That is why Einstein called his desk, ‘the bureau of theoretical physics.’

Question 5 : Why did Einstein write a letter to Franklin Roosevelt?

Or, Why did Einstein write a letter to the American President Roosevelt?

Answer : From the story it is not clear if Einstein wanted the USA to stop Nazis from making the nuclear bomb or wanted to encourage the USA to make a nuclear bomb to utilise its destruction potential. Probably he wanted the USA not to allow the Nazis to make the atomic bomb. However, the result of writing the letter was that the USA made the atomic bomb and used it against Japan.

Question 6 : How did Einstein react to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Answer : Einstein was deeply shaken by the mishaps in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He wrote a letter to the United Nations urging it to make a world government. He travelled all over the world campaigning for an end to the arms buildup and using his popularity to campaign for peace and democracy.

Question 7 : Why does the world remember Einstein as a ‘world citizen’?

Answer : Einstein’s discovery had impacted the whole world by initiating new discoveries about the universe. His theories of relativity changed the perspective through which scientists saw the universe earlier. Apart from this, he worked towards world peace and nuclear disarmament . Because of his scientific and geopolitical contribution. Einstein is called a ‘world citizen’.

Question 8 : Here are some facts of Einstein’s life. Arrange them in chronological order.

a) Einstein publishes his Special Theory of Relativity
b) He is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
c) Einstein writes a letter to US President, Franklin D Roosevelt and warns against Germany’s building of an atomic bomb
d) Einstein attends a high school in Munich
e) Einstein’s family moves to Milan
f) Einstein is born in the German city of Ulm
g) Einstein joins a university in Zurich, where he meets Mileva
h) Einstein dies
i) He provides a new interpretation of gravity
j) Tired of the school’s regimentation, Einstein withdraws from school
k) He works in a patent office as a technical expert
l) When Hitler comes to power, Einstein leaves Germany for the United States.

Answer : f –> d –> e –> j –> g –> k –> a –> i –> b –> l –> c –>h

Thinking about Language (page 51)

Here are some sentences from the story. Choose the word from the brackets which can be substituted for the italicised words in the sentences.

Question 1 : A few years later, the marriage faltered. (failed, broke, became weak).

Answer : became weak

Question 2 : Einstein was constantly at odds with people at the university. (on bad terms, in disagreement, unhappy)

Answer : in disagreement

Question 3 : The newspapers proclaimed his work as “a scientific revolution.” (declared, praised, showed)

Answer : declared

Question 4 : Einstein got even more involved in politics, agitating for an end to the arms buildup. (campaigning, fighting, supporting)

Answer : campaigning

Question 5 : At the age of 15, Einstein felt so stifled that he left the school for good. (permanently, for his benefit for a short time)

Answer : permanently

Question 6 : Five years later, the discovery of nuclear fission in Berlin had American physicists in an uproar. (in a state of commotion, full of criticism, in a desperate state)

Answer : in a state of commotion

Question 7 : Science wasn’t the only thing that appealed to the dashing young man with the walrus moustache. (interested, challenged, worried)

Answer : interested

Writing Newspaper Reports (Page 53)

Here are some notes which you could use to write a report.

21st August, 2005 – original handwritten manuscript of Albert Einstein unearthed – by student Rowdy Boeynik in the University of the Netherlands – Boeynik researching papers – papers belonging to an old friend of Einstein – fingerprints of Einstein on these papers – 16-page document dated 1927 – Einstein’s work on this last theory – behaviour of atoms at low temperature – now known as the Bose-Einstein condensation – the manuscript to be kept at Leyden University where Einstein got the Nobel Prize.

Write a report which has four paragraphs, one each on:

  • What was unearthed.
  • Who unearthed it and when.
  • What the document contained.
  • Where it will be kept

Your report should begin like this:

Student Unearths Einstein Manuscript

21st August, 20005. An original handwritten Albert Einstein manuscript has been unearthed at a university in the Netherlands…………

Answer :

Student Unearths Einstein Manuscript

21st August, 20005. An original handwritten Albert Einstein manuscript has been unearthed at a university in the Netherlands. This belonged , among many other papers of Einstein, to an old friend of Einstein who is no longer alive. This original Einstein manuscript was unearthed by a student named Carl Swatch at the University of the Netherlands last week. Though Swatch is still going through all the papers found, this particular one has created a sensation.

The reason why this document is imporant is that it contains Einstein’s work on his last theory before his death which concerned the behaviour of atoms at very low temperatures. This is now known as the Bose-Einstein condensation. It has been proved that this document was made by Einstein because it has decided to keep this original manuscript in its archives for further reasearch by scholars.