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Published On: Fri, Mar 14th, 2014

This Day in History: Albert Einstein born in Germany, Happy Pi Day

On March 14, 1879, Albert Einstein is born, the son of a Jewish electrical engineer in Ulm, Germany. Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity drastically altered man’s view of the universe, and his work in particle and energy theory helped make possible quantum mechanics and, ultimately, the atomic bomb.

Jaakobou via Wikimedia Commons

Jaakobou via Wikimedia Commons

Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led to the development of his special theory of relativity and the equation E=mc squared, a formula nearly everyone knows.

Einstein became an American citizen in 1940. Einstein accepted a post at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He would remain there for the rest of his life, working on his unified field theory.

Einstein’s birthday has become part of America’s celebration of Pi Day – March 14 or 3,14.

  • Have a piece of pie: key lime, apple, cherry, chocolate silk, even pizza pie.
  • Keep an eye out for restaurant specials: $3.14 as a price, or a free slice of pie after your meal.
  • Connect with other math geeks.
  • Challenge each other to recite Pi to as many digits as possible.Listen to The Pi Song.

Schoolchildren often are encouraged to have math bees, like spelling bees, in which they recite as many decimals of Pi as possible. Winners, of course, get pie.

According to the Pi Day website www.piday.org, “Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point.”

 

 

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