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albertmills
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Einstein - published in 1905 & still at the patent office in 1909

June 1st, 2015, 4:16 pm

Einstein published four famous papers in 1905 ( Annus mirabilis papers). He was still at the Swiss patent office in 1909. Why was he there so long after publishing?Puts any thoughts about how you could be doing something better with your life than working your current job in perspective, considering the fact that Einstein was a patent clerk even AFTER publishing his extraordinary papers. " Much to the patent office's regret, he left in the fall of 1909 to accept the post of Professor Extraordinary in theoretical physics at the University of Zurich. "https://www.ige.ch/en/about-us/einstein ... ffice.html
 
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Alan
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Einstein - published in 1905 & still at the patent office in 1909

June 1st, 2015, 7:16 pm

Good question. A little googling shows it's answered in Pais's biography "Subtle is the Lord..". In brief, a combination of money issues (academic pay sucked!), inflexible rules about submitting a brand new (unpublished!) piece of research, and proscrastination.Search "high school" in Look Inside at amazon and read pg. 184 for the whole story.
 
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Cuchulainn
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Einstein - published in 1905 & still at the patent office in 1909

June 1st, 2015, 8:17 pm

Who wants to work in a university when you can have a steady job in a patent office. Why after 20 years you could become assistant manager.
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Einstein - published in 1905 & still at the patent office in 1909

June 1st, 2015, 8:27 pm

There are some good biographies and his own reminiscences. Einstein was pretty rebellious and had not been a great student. Given the era and norms/politics of academia (that tend to endure today), it was not too likely that he would be welcomed there, even with ground-breaking work.That path only became more clear over time.An analogy, to answer your question: some quants have very good ideas and know how to implement them directly as well - why don't they start their own hedge funds?Granted there are administrative and infrastructural hurdles, but still form a team and go...
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Cuchulainn
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Einstein - published in 1905 & still at the patent office in 1909

June 1st, 2015, 8:45 pm

Einstein was probably a very bad 'politician'.
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Every Time We Teach a Child Something, We Keep Him from Inventing It Himself
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Einstein - published in 1905 & still at the patent office in 1909

June 1st, 2015, 9:10 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnEinstein was probably a very bad 'politician'.Do you think he was a good "listener"? :D
 
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albertmills
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Einstein - published in 1905 & still at the patent office in 1909

June 1st, 2015, 9:34 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: trackstarThere are some good biographies and his own reminiscences. Einstein was pretty rebellious and had not been a great student. Given the era and norms/politics of academia (that tend to endure today), it was not too likely that he would be welcomed there, even with ground-breaking work.That path only became more clear over time.An analogy, to answer your question: some quants have very good ideas and know how to implement them directly as well - why don't they start their own hedge funds?Granted there are administrative and infrastructural hurdles, but still form a team and go...I'm pretty sure that no quant has any ideas which will be called "the extraoridnary year" ideas a hundred years from now (and one of which will get him the Nobel prize). So, yeah, if any quant has such ideas he should definitely be able to start a hedge fund...at the very least.
 
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Einstein - published in 1905 & still at the patent office in 1909

June 1st, 2015, 9:41 pm

What I was addressing with that comment was your query about careers and why, given x, people do not go for it and do y.So it was less related to the extraordinary scale of some achievement, but rather human nature and how people, every incredibly gifted ones who have shown results in a visible way, may hesitate or be held up by certain types of life circumstances (e.g. a steady paycheck from the patent office is better than an uncertain future in politically charged academia).There is a forest and trees aspect to this as well.
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ppauper
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Einstein - published in 1905 & still at the patent office in 1909

June 1st, 2015, 10:45 pm

this is from a bulletin board, so not sure how true it ishttp://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-625641.htmlQuoteEinstein's salary at the Swiss patent Office was 3500 swiss francs per year in 1903 (for a 6-day, 48-hour work week). (This was about double that of a University Assistant Professor.) In 1904, the Patent Office made his temporary position a permanent one, and raised his salary to 3900 per year. By 1906, he was an 'expert (second class) and earned 4500 swiss francs per year.In 1906, he receives his PhD. (Yes, all his annus mīrābilis papers of 1905 were written before he received his doctorate.)Then in 1909, the University of Zurich created a new professorship in 'theoretical physics' and hired him for the job. They got him by paying him the same salary he was receiving at the Patent Office, 4500 francs per year.During much of this period, Einstein was very poor, living in very constrained circumstances. He had a wife & child to support, plus an ex-wife and child. To earn additional income, he obtained a teaching certificate in 1907, and in 1908 he taught a course in mathematics through the University of Bern. The classes were held early in the morning or in the evening, because he was still working an 8-hour day at the Patent office. Alas, his largest class had only 3 students.
 
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albertmills
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Einstein - published in 1905 & still at the patent office in 1909

June 2nd, 2015, 4:39 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: AlanGood question. A little googling shows it's answered in Pais's biography "Subtle is the Lord..". In brief, a combination of money issues (academic pay sucked!), inflexible rules about submitting a brand new (unpublished!) piece of research, and proscrastination.Search "high school" in Look Inside at amazon and read pg. 184 for the whole story.Thanks, that was interesting. I think it partially backs up what ppauper posted too. Only 3 or 4 students were attending his lectures!
 
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Cuchulainn
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Einstein - published in 1905 & still at the patent office in 1909

June 6th, 2015, 11:46 am

IMO, Einstein was in the right place at the right time. He got lucky, like Watson and Crick.But there was only one John von Neumann. He invented/extended MC, computers, QM, FDM and more.
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