We have all heard about the genius physicist Albert Einstein but do you know about her former flame Mileva Marić? Well, you are not to be blamed. You have never heard of her in any textbook nor any scientific theories. Mileva was Einstein’s first wife and their romance lasted over 22 years. But Is that it? Is this the end of the story? or Does Mrs. Einstein deserve her due credit too?
Who was Mileva Marić?
Let’s not talk about Mileva as Einstein’s wife, but what she was before meeting him. Mileva Maric was the only female physics major at the Polytechnic in Zurich, where Einstein went to college. During their second semester, Einstein and Mileva began to take an interest in each other. And this interest developed so well that Mileva became pregnant while still trying to pass her teaching exams. And the result is pretty easy to speculate. Marić never passed her teaching exams and discontinued work on her Ph.D. thesis. People often gave reasons that she was not intelligent enough but we must remember that she was one of the few women who were accepted by Zurich Polytechnic for that section.
Did Mileva contribute in Einstein’s research work?
This is the question where answers get tricky. Few years after giving birth to a child, they finally got married around the time Albert found a job with the patent office. This is the time which raises a hell lot of questions. This was the time when Albert did all the monotonous work. ALONE. It was only one man unravelling the deepest secrets of the Universe all alone. And that too at a time when she was married to a woman who almost got away with her Ph.D. if she hadn’t been unexpectedly pregnant.
But that doesn’t prove anything! Or Does it? Much of his groundbreaking work came from his time in university, the golden year of 1905 at the patent office when he was married to Mileva. After they went separate ways, Einstein was just refining his previous work.
Does that ring a bell? Not yet?
How about this? Einstein never hired any assistants until they separated and 15 years is a long time for any kind of genius to go without any help at all. And that too in most promising years of his career. Mileva and Einstein shared a lot of letters with each other and most of these talked about his ideas on relativity and other principles. Although, most of his letters are missing which could fill in a lot of details, there are multiple references to Albert to “OUR theories” That’s right!
No one has enough sources or historical evidence to claim anything about Einstein or Meliva in this regard but we would surely like to know more about it. More than anything, this is about giving due credit to someone who deserves it.
Scientific history says the same thing!
Yeah, We have heard of the phrase “Correlation is not causation” but there is an interesting perspective to this too. History is littered with couples and partners who did some groundbreaking research together and even won Noble Prize. There’s Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, with some help from Sabrina Spielrein. There’s also Marie and Pierre Curie and, ironically, their daughter who also won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry with her own husband. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Albert’s wife Meliva had some important contributions in his research too. But, as we are short of evidence, there is nothing to claim. All we can do is just wait and watch and hope the truth prevails. For she deserves her due credit too.
Inspiration from Medium post.