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Mileva Maric (1875-1948)
Mileva Maric was Albert Einstein's first wife. Einstein married Mileva Maric on January 6, 1903. The two witnesses at the quiet wedding were the original members of the Olympia Academy, Maurice Solovine and Conrad Habicht. There were no honeymoon and after the celebratory meal in a local restaurant the couple returned to their new home on 49 Kramgasse, close to Berne's famous clocktower.
They had two sons. Their daughter Lieserl was born before their marriage and died in childhood. At the time of Mileva's death in 1948 her oldest son Hans Albert was a professor in hydraulic engineering at the University of California at Berkley. A Serbian mathematician, Mileva Maric was Einstein's companion, colleague and confidante whose influence in his most creative years was enormous.
After their marriage Mileva subordinates her professional goals to Einstein's. She was born in Titel-Vojvodina, a northern part of Yugoslavia of Serbian parents. Einstein and Mileva met as students at Swiss Federal Polytechnic Institute in Zurich.
At the age of twenty-one Mileva entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic in 1896, the same year as Einstein, who was three-and-a-half years younger than Mileva. She was, in that year, the only woman beginning studies in the mathematical section of the School for Mathematics and Science teachers.
While married to Mileva Maric at the age of 26, Einstein published in 1905 three fundamental contributions to three different areas of physics, a unique event in the history of science. In 1921, Einstein received the Nobel Prize for those contributions.
Mileva entered Einstein's life in a crucial period of his scientific achievements and helped him in his endeavor. Einstein's marriage to Mileva was an intellectual partnership. Einstein admired Mileva's calm independence and intellectual ambitions. He consider himself lucky to have founded Mileva, "a creature who is my equal and who is strong and independent as I am" said Einstein.
Einstein continues to discuss the topics of his scientific interest with Mileva and with his friends Michele Besso and Marcel Grossman.
While working on the subject of electrodynamics of moving bodies, Einstein wrote to Mileva about "our work on relative motion".
Einstein was reading together with Mileva, the classic works of Boltzmann, Drude, Helmholtz, Herz, Kirchkoff and Osward. This reading had an important role on his education.
Einstein and Mileva shared common interested in physics and science.
Mileva spend her winter semester 1897-1898 in Heidelberg, Germany. In her letter to Einstein written from Heidelberg, Mileva expressed her fascination with a lecture of the German physicist Phillip Lenard about the relationship between the velocity of molecules and the distance traversed by it between collisions, a topic relevant in Einstein's studies of Brownian motion.
Mileva contributions to the Einstein success story will be further elicitated in important volumes of the "Collected Papers of Albert Einstein".
"The Love Letters, Albert Einstein and Mileva Maric" shed a light on this great woman Mileva Maric and her contributions to the success in the life and scientific achievements of one of the greatest men in history - Albert Einstein.
Dr. Ljubo Vujovic
Secretary General Tesla Memorial Society
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