Einstein’s Universe in … 1951

Albert Einstein in 1951. Photo: Arthur Sasse

Albert Einstein in 1951.
Photo: Arthur Sasse

This iconic photograph was taken on Albert Einstein’s 72nd birthday, March 14th 1951. The photographer was Arthur Sasse.

Einstein had just gotten into a car to be driven home with friend Frank Aydelotte and his wife. Sasse was asking Einstein to smile but he had smiled many times for the photographers that day and was having none of it. So he stuck out his tongue instead. Sasse snapped the photo and the iconic image was captured.

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The original uncropped version also showing Frank Aydelotte and his wife. Photo: Arthur Sasse.

Einstein loved the photograph after he saw it and ordered nine copies of it for his personal use. The original photograph sold at auction in 2009 for $74,324. 

  This is the scene in the moments leading up to the famous photograph being taken.


This is the scene in the moments leading up to the famous photograph being taken.

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Einstein’s house in Princeton (1935-1955)

In 1935 Einstein purchased a family house at 112 Mercer Street in Princeton, New Jersey, close to his workplace at The Institute for Advanced Study. He lived here until his death in 1955.

 Einstein relaxes at his Princeton home in 1951. PHOTOGRAPH BY ERNST HAAS, HULTON ARCHIVE.

Einstein relaxes at his Princeton home in 1951.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ERNST HAAS, HULTON ARCHIVE.

The Albert Einstein Award was an award in theoretical physics established to recognize high achievement in the natural sciences. It was first awarded in 1951 and in addition to a gold medal of Einstein it also included a prize money of $15,000. The winner was selected by a committee, the first of which consisted of Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, John von Neumann and Hermann Weyl of the Institute for Advanced Study. 

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The Albert Einstein Award being presented to Kurt Godel and Julian Schwinger in 1951 by Einstein himself.

The award was considered by some to be the prestigious equivalent of a Nobel Prize. It was awarded to Stephen Hawking in 1978 and was last awarded in 1979.

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This photo, taken in May 1951, shows Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion sitting next to Albert Einstein at his house in Princeton.

 Here is a newsreel which recorded their meeting …

Finally, in 1951, Albert Einstein wrote a short letter in which he defined what makes life worthwhile.

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“I was really moved by your letter. It is true that the number of people striving ardently for the right and the worthwhile things is small. But the existence of these few is what makes life worthwhile.” (The Raab Collection archives)

 

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