Newton and Einstein, spanning 237 years, led distinct lives despite their similar beginnings. Newton, born in England to reformed parents, was entrusted to his grandmother's care early on. His inclination toward crafting with his hands emerged naturally, whereas music held no allure for him.
Einstein, from a prosperous German family, received abundant parental affection but didn't share Newton's penchant for manual work. Music seemed ingrained in him, much like lightning in clouds, and he mirrored his parents' quiet demeanor. Both scientists were eldest children, their fathers reaching their thirties before their daughters were born.
Remarkably, neither family boasted skilled wealth accumulators, yet both scientists' lives steadily progressed. Newton, slender and affected by a plague-induced hiatus from school, was pushed into higher education by devoted friends against his mother's reservations. Similarly, Einstein's struggles with academics were offset by his uncle Jacob's recognition of his natural aptitude, aiding him immensely.
At the age of twelve, their extraordinary intellects were evident, guiding them through prominent educational institutions of their time. Newton thrived in a math-focused Oxford, while Einstein flourished in a well-structured German physics education. Both were fortunate to be guided by the leading mathematics tutors of their era, despite not topping their classes.
Their academic records weren't stellar, prompting a significant part of their education to come from self-study. Newton's early discovery of the Binomial theorem and Einstein's revolutionary critique of prevailing physics laws reshaped scientific thinking.
Newton earned his degree at 22, and Einstein at 21. Both experienced interruptions in their graduate studies, resorting to isolated self-study. Profoundly knowledgeable in topics like motion, energy, gravity, and space-time, Newton introduced the motion and gravity laws, while Einstein reshaped understanding through his unique concepts of space and time.
Newton's Principia, unveiling the Laws of Motion and Universal Gravity, arrived when he was 44. Contrastingly, Einstein's General Theory of Relativity reached the public when he was 37. These seminal works catapulted them to global fame. Einstein's 1917 paper on radiation laid the groundwork for the eventual invention of the laser beam in 1960. He then shifted focus to the unified field concept for the next thirty years.
Despite these contributions, Einstein's later work remains largely unrevealed to the world. His legacy is immortalized in numerous namesakes across buildings and institutions. In contrast, Newton is less commemorated, with only one telescope bearing his name at the Royal Greenwich Observatory and fewer cities named after him in America.
Newton approached the study of science, mathematics, and Christianity with equal fervor. Fluent in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, his academic writings on religion surpassed his scientific output during his time at Cambridge. Despite owning more religious texts than scientific ones, he deeply explored the Bible, holding orthodox Christian beliefs but challenging the doctrine of the Trinity. Fearful of clerical backlash, he kept his religious writings concealed in a box, leading to a posthumous revelation of his non-Trinitarian inclinations. Two hundred years later, these manuscripts unveiled his beliefs, deemed compatible with monotheism and non-Trinitarianism.
Einstein, despite his father's lack of religiosity, engaged with various religious facets throughout his life. From joining a Jewish synagogue in Munich to attending a Catholic school and delving into religious studies at a young age, his religious journey was diverse. His marriages, notably to Mileva Maric, a Christian, resulted in familial complexities, yet his spiritual beliefs leaned toward a pantheistic God rather than a personal one. He discussed the essence of the human spirit with a Swiss religious scholar in his later years, expressing profound philosophical views on God in his autobiography.
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