Aside from his theorems and formulae, did Einstein pursue anything else in his laboratory?
In a scenario fitting for a genius, love first bloomed for Albert in the physics lab at the Swiss Polytechnic School in 1901. There, he quickly attached himself to Mileva Maric, a brilliant young Serbian girl who was the only female physics student at the institute at that time. Soon, the two were inseparable.
But Pauline, Albert’s mother, did not approve of the girl. She felt Mileva was bookish and unattractive. Worse, she belonged to a different faith.
“If she has a child,” Pauline warned her son, “you’ll be in a pretty mess.”
That was all the prompting Albert needed, and a year later, Mileva returned home to give birth to a daughter. They named the girl Lieserl and left her with Mileva’s parents in Serbia, telling no one else of her existence. Some sources indicate that Lieserl was mentally handicapped at birth and then went blind after a bout of scarlet fever at age one.
While her ultimate disposition is uncertain, researchers hypothesize that she was put up for adoption and ultimately raised by a friend of Mileva’s.
Albert wasn’t a particularly warm and fuzzy guy, then?
It doesn’t seem so, based on a cache of letters and other papers he bequeathed to Hebrew University.
He did marry Mileva in 1903, but continued to have extramarital dalliances throughout their time together. While the couple went on to have two sons, their relationship was a tenuous one.
Eventually, Albert drew up a “contract” that required Mileva to keep his clothes and study clean, prepare and serve his meals, and renounce all personal relations with him.
He openly discussed his various liaisons with other family members and confided that of all the “dames” he frequented, he liked the “decent, discreet, and harmless” ones best.
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