December 19, 1875 in Titel, Vojvodina, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Serbia) – August 7, 1948, Zurich (Switzerland)
This Serbian mathematician from a wealthy family is also known by the name of Mileva Einstein for being a colleague and first wife of Albert Einstein.
Since she was a child, she stood out for her intelligence and her interest in music, painting, physics and mathematics.
At the age of ten, she began studying at the Novi Sad girls' school and in order to continue her studies in secondary education and then enroll in university, her father requested special permission, since girls were not allowed to attend classes. of this educational level.
In 1888 he began to study at the Sremska Mitrovica Secondary School, which had an excellent Physics and Chemistry laboratory. He graduated in 1890, earning top marks in mathematics and physics.
She was accepted as a student at the Royal College in Zagreb, with special permission to attend physics classes, which was reserved for boys. She was at the University of Zagreb where she struck up a friendship with Nikola Tesla.
In 1896 she entered the Polytechnic Institute of Zurich, where she studied medicine for a semester, being the only female student in her class and the fifth in one of the few higher education centers that admitted women. She also began her studies in mathematics and physics there, and she met Einstein, who began her studies that same year.
Mileva and Einstein began a very strong sentimental relationship, but it was not well received by his family.
In 1897 he studied for a semester at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, where he received classes from Philipp Lenard on number theory, differential and integral calculus, elliptic functions, theory of heat, and electrodynamics.
In 1901, while preparing for her bachelor's exam and beginning her doctoral thesis, she learns that she is pregnant without being married. This generates a very difficult social situation to bear at that time that leads her to abandon her studies despite the fact that she only had to pass the final exam for her doctorate. She gave birth in January 1902 to Lieserl Einstein, who is believed to have died of scarlet fever within a year of birth, although other theories speculate that she was given up for adoption. Einstein never took being Liesert's father well and never informed his family that he was her father.
Mileva had an unsociable character and had a very noticeable limp, due to congenital arthritis, which caused her to have a very low self-esteem despite her brilliant intelligence and her great academic training.
A year later they get married after Einstein finished his studies. In 1904 Hans Albert Einstein was born, who would later become a professor of Hydraulic Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley (California) and in 1909 Eduard Einstein was born, who was born sick and required special care, which his mother took care of, which apparently caused a estrangement between the couple. It is this time when Mileva decides to sacrifice all her professional and research possibilities to dedicate herself to caring for her family. Already then Mileva had a great academic preparation. She had developed research on number theory, differential and integral calculus, elliptic functions, heat theory, and electrodynamics.
In 1911 the whole family moved to Prague, where Albert had been offered a teaching position, but returned to Zurich again four months later.
In 1914, Mileva and her children go to live in Berlin with Einstein, who begins an extramarital affair with his cousin Elsa Löwenthal and who would become his second wife. The marriage was already very deteriorated and Einstein imposed some harsh "rules of coexistence" on her in writing, which she had to comply with:
- My clothes are always neat.
- I am served three meals a day in my room.
- My bedroom and study are always in order and that no one touches my desk.
- You must renounce all personal relationships with me, except those required for the maintenance of social appearances.
- You must not ask me to sit with you at home or go out with you or take you on trips.
- You must not expect affection from me and you will not blame me for it.
- You must respond immediately when he speaks to you.
- You must leave my bedroom my study at once.
- You will promise not to denigrate me when I ask you to do so before my children, whether in word or deed.
That same year Mileva and the children return to Zurich, while Einstein stays in Berlin next to Elsa, and begins to teach music and mathematics.
The divorce of Mileva and Einstein was formalized in 1919 after signing a clause in which Einstein undertook to transfer part of the economic endowment of the Nobel Prize in Physics to Mileva, if it was awarded, an event that occurred in 1921.
Mileva ran out of money on medical care for her son Eduard, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and whose psychotic episodes and violent attacks led him to suffer a nervous breakdown for which he had to be admitted to the hospital urgently, suffering several strokes that They caused his death in 1948.
Sadly, his death Eduard died in 1965 in a psychiatric center and his obituary states "Eduard Einstein. Son of the late Professor Einstein", but his mother's name does not appear.
Mileva Marić was unknown to the scientific world and to general history, until the letters that she and Einstein exchanged during their courtship, between 1897 and 1902, and a letter she sent to a friend came to light in 1897: “Recently we have finished a very important work that will make my husband world famous” shortly before the articles for which Einstein will receive the Nobel Prize were published in the scientific journal Annalen der Physik in 1905. These articles are devoted to atoms and molecules, to "quanta" and to the theory of relativity.
Furthermore, according to some authors, it is believed that the theory of relativity began with the thesis that Mileva wrote and submitted to the supervision of Professor Weber, when she was a student at the Zurich Polytechnic, whose memory has been lost. The photoelectric effect has its origin in Mileva's work when he was studying in Heidelberg with Professor Lenard, who was later awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his experimental work on the photoelectric effect. Instead, the theory of Brownian motion is a product of Einstein's thinking and his interest in thermodynamics. Mileva contributed to it with mathematical work, describing the disordered motion of molecules.
The debate about the potential contribution of Mileva to the first works published by Einstein due to his mathematical knowledge is served and continues today.