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A TRULY BEAUTIFUL MIND
SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS
(to be answered in about 30 – 40 words each)
Q1. Who is a ‘freak’? Why did Einstein’s mother think him to be a ‘freak’?
Ans: A ‘freak’ is a word used disapprovingly for a person who is unusual in looks and behaviour. Einstein’s mother thought him to be a ‘freak’ because his head seemed too large to her. This made him look different from the other children of his age.
Q2. During his childhood, Einstein did not show any traces of becoming a genius one day. How?
Ans: As a child, Einstein had a large head and did not start to speak till he was two-and-a-half years old. Finally, when he did speak, he used to utter everything twice. He could not interact freely with his playmates either. All this showed the absence of any traces in him of becoming a genius one day.
Q3. Why did Einstein’s playmates call him “Brother Boring”?
Why did Einstein play all alone when he was a child?
Ans: Einstein did not know what to do with other children. His shy and introvert nature made his company boring to his playmates. So, they teased him as “Brother Boring” and did not include him in their games. Therefore, he played all alone when he was a child.
Q4. What kind of toys attracted the attention of Einstein when he was a child? Why?
Ans: Einstein could not enjoy the company of playmates because of his introvert nature. Instead as a child, he was attracted only by mechanical toys. It showed his scientific temperament since mechanical toys work on some kind of scientific principles.
Q5. Why did Einstein try to look for wheels on the body of his newly born sister?
Ans: Einstein was much too interested in mechanical toys and had scientific inclinations. When his sister was born, he thought her to be a new toy; that is why he tried to search for wheels on her body.
Q6. What was the opinion of the school headmaster about Einstein?
Ans: The school headmaster considered Einstein to be a good-for-nothing boy. He was of the opinion that Einstein would never succeed in any profession. Therefore, choice of profession would not make any difference in the results of his efforts.
Q7. Which musical instrument did Einstein begin to learn? Why?
Ans: Einstein began to learn to play upon the violin at the young age of six. He kept this interest alive throughout his life and became a gifted amateur violinist. He began learning the violin because his mother wanted him to.
Q8. How did Einstein perform in various subjects while studying in Munich?
Ans: Although as a young child Einstein was very slow, still while studying in Munich, he showed great progress in almost all the subjects and scored very good marks. He showed a special interest in Physics and Mathematics.
Q9. Why did Einstein leave the school in Munich? (Textual)
Ans: Einstein left the school in Munich because of the stifling environment that suppressed his scientifically curious mind. The excessively stern discipline and rigid rules in that school led to frequent clashes with his teachers. He thus began to feel that such a place was inappropriate for a liberal person like him.
Q 10. Why did Einstein shift to Switzerland to continue his education? (Textual)
Ans: Einstein shifted to the German-speaking part of Switzerland to continue his education because he had left his school in Munich midway. This new place was more liberal than Munich and Einstein’s curious and free temperament got a favourable environment over here.
Q11. Why did Einstein see an ally in Mileva Maric? (Textual)
Ans: Einstein saw an ally in his Serbian fellow student Mileva Maric because, like him, she too was against philistines – the people who have disregard for art and culture. As both shared similar tastes, Einstein developed a liking for her and they both fell in love.
Q12. What did Einstein call his desk drawer at the patent office? Why? (Textual)
Ans: Einstein jokingly called his desk drawer at the patent office as “Bureau of theoretical physics”. He did so because his office job required him to assess the inventions of other people while he secretly developed his own ideas regarding his keen interest in Physics.
Q13. Why did Einstein’s mother not want him to marry Mileva?
Ans: There were two reasons for Einstein’s mother not wanting him to marry Mileva. Firstly, the girl was three years older than Einstein and secondly, she was much too intelligent – ‘a book’ just like him, in his mother’s opinion.
Q14. Why did Einstein’s marriage with Mileva not survive long?
Ans: Although Einstein and Mileva had been in love, still their marriage did not survive long because Mileva gradually lost her intellectual vigour and aspirations. She became a frustrated housewife. There were frequent scuffles between the couple which resulted in their ultimate divorce in 1919.
Q15. What was the new personal chapter in Einstein’s life? How did it coincide with his fame?
“Einstein’s new personal chapter coincided with his rise to world fame”. What new personal chapter in Einstein’s life is the author talking about here?
Ans: The new personal chapter in Einstein’s life was his marriage to his cousin Elsa in the year 1919 immediately after his divorce from Mileva. This chapter coincided with his rise to world fame when his paper on General Theory of Relativity, published in 1915, was found to be accurate due to the proof that came through the eclipse of the sun in 1919.
Q16. When and for what did Einstein gain international fame?
Ans: Einstein gained international fame when his paper on General Theory of Relativity was found to be accurate in 1919. As per this theory, the calculations made by Einstein in advance about the deflection of light in the solar gravitational field during the eclipse were proven true. This theory was treated as “a scientific revolution.”
Q17. How was Einstein honoured for his achievements?
Ans: Honours came pouring in for Einstein after his theories proved him to be a scientist with exceptional abilities. He was awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921. Honours and invitations were conferred on him from all over the world. The newspapers too applauded his genius.
Q18. Why did Einstein leave Germany and emigrate to America?
Ans: Einstein had always been a lover of freedom and liberal ideas. The Nazi government, which came to power in 1933, was very suppressive and autocratic. Therefore, Einstein left Germany and emigrated to America.
Q19. Why did the discovery of nuclear fission in Berlin disturb the American physicists?
‘The discovery of nuclear fission in Berlin had American physicists in an uproar”. Why?
Ans: The American physicists were disturbed by the discovery of nuclear fission in Berlin because they were afraid that Germany would make an atom bomb and use it for destructive purposes.
Q20. Why did Einstein write a letter to Franklin Roosevelt? (Textual)
Ans: Einstein wrote to the American president, Roosevelt, because he wanted to forewarn him regarding the massive destructive power of the atom bomb which the Germans were expected to build after the discovery of nuclear fission. If dropped on a port, the bomb could destroy the whole port as well as the area around it.
Q21. What was the effect of Einstein’s letter on Roosevelt?
Ans: The warning sounded by Einstein in his letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt about how dangerous an atom bomb made by German)’ could be, had a lightening effect on the Americans. They at once rose to action and secretly developed an atom bomb of their own.
Q22. How did Einstein react to the bombing of the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki by America? (Textual)
Ans: Einstein was completely shaken by the immense destruction caused due to the bombing of the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki by America. As a reaction to this tragic event, he wrote a letter to the United Nations proposing the establishment of a world government that could counter such fierce enmity among nations.
Q23. What did Einstein campaign for after he got involved in politics?
Ans: After getting involved in politics, Einstein made earnest efforts for world peace and harmony. He campaigned against the race for armaments and supported the cause of peace and democracy.
Q24. Why does the world remember Einstein as a “world citizen”?
Ans: The world remembers Einstein as a world citizen because, towards the later part of his life, he strived for the peace and well-being of the entire world and not just his own country. He -was no longer solely a scientific genius but a visionary as well, who felt that the solution to enmity between countries was a world government.