When he was growing up in Germany in the 1880s and 90s, nobody had pegged Einstein as a genius. He dropped out of high school and had to apply twice to a university in Switzerland that accepted students without high school diplomas. He did well at college, but didn’t apply himself and struggled to complete assignments and pass tests.He ended up working at the patent office in Bern, Switzerland and knew, if he wanted to be a physicist, he had to do research and get published. He was looking at these patent applications and wondering: is it really true, as Isaac Newton had said, that time is the same for everyone, everywhere? So, he came up with a thought experiment which became the idea known as “special relativity.” And it rocked the foundations of physics.
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