Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein dilahirkan di Ulm, Kerajaan Wuettemberg, Prusia Raya (sekarang Jerman) pada tanggal 14 Maret 1879. Beliau terlahir sebagai putra sulung dari pasangan Hermann Einstein dan Pauline Koch. Di waktu kecilnya, Albert Einstein nampak terbelakang karena kemampuan bicaranya amat terlambat. Wataknya pendiam dan suka bermain seorang diri.

Bulan November 1981 lahir adik perempuannya yang diberi nama Maja. Sampai usia tujuh tahun Albert Einstein suka marah dan melempar barang, termasuk kepada adiknya. Minat dan kecintaannya pada bidang ilmu fisika muncul pada usia lima tahun. Ketika sedang terbaring lemah karena sakit, ayahnya menghadiahinya sebuah kompas.

Albert kecil terpesona oleh keajaiban kompas tersebut, sehingga ia membulatkan tekadnya untuk membuka tabir misteri yang menyelimuti keagungan dan kebesaran alam. Meskipun pendiam dan tidak suka bermain dengan teman-temannya, Albert Einstein tetap mampu berprestasi di sekolahnya. Ia menjadi juara kelas. Selain bersekolah dan menggeluti sains, kegiatan Albert hanyalah bermain musik dan berduet dengan ibunya memainkan karya-karya Mozart dan Bethoveen.

Albert Einstein menghabiskan masa kuliahnya di ETH (Eidgenoessische Technische Hochscule). Pada usia 21 tahun Albert dinyatakan lulus. Setelah lulus, Albert berusaha melamar pekerjaan sebagai asisten dosen, tetapi ditolak. Akhirnya Albert mendapat pekerjaan sementara sebagai guru di SMA. Kemudian dia mendapat pekerjaan di kantor paten di kota Bern. Selama masa itu Albert tetap mengembangkan ilmu fisikanya.

Tahun 1905 adalah tahun penuh prestasi bagi Albert, karena pada tahun ini ia menghasilkan karya-karya yang cemerlang. Papernya yang tersohor, yaitu tentang teori relativitas khusus, dimuat Annalen der Physik dengan judul Zur Elektrodynamik Bewegter Kurper (Elektrodinamika benda bergerak). Kelanjutan papernya yang sampai pada kesimpulan rumus termahsyurnya : E = mc², yaitu bahwa massa sebuah benda (m) adalah ukuran kandungan energinya (E). c adalah laju cahaya di ruang hampa (c >> 300 ribu kilometer per detik). Massa memiliki kesetaraan dengan energi, sebuah fakta yang membuka peluang berkembangnya proyek tenaga nuklir di kemudian hari. Satu gram massa dengan demikian setara dengan energi yang dapat memasok kebutuhan listrik 3000 rumah (berdaya 900 watt) selama setahun penuh, suatu jumlah energi yang luar biasa besarnya.

Tahun 1909, Albert Einstein diangkat sebagai profesor di Universitas Zurich. Tahun 1915, ia menyelesaikan kedua teori relativitasnya. Penghargaan tertinggi atas kerja kerasnya sejak kecil terbayar dengan diraihnya Hadiah Nobel pada tahun 1921 di bidang ilmu fisika. Selain itu Albert juga mengembangkan teori kuantum dan teori medan menyatu. Pada tahun 1933, Albert beserta keluarganya pindah ke Amerika Serikat karena khawatir kegiatan ilmiahnya, baik sebagai pengajar ataupun sebagai peneliti terganggu. Tahun 1941, ia mengucapkan sumpah sebagai warga negara Amerika Serikat. Karena ketenaran dan ketulusannya dalam membantu orang lain yang kesulitan, Albert ditawari menjadi presiden Israel yang kedua. Namun jabatan ini ditolaknya karena ia merasa tidak mempunyai kompetensi di bidang itu.

Akhirnya pada tanggal 18 April 1955, Albert Einstein meninggal dunia dengan meninggalkan karya besar yang telah mengubah sejarah dunia. Dalam tahun-tahun terakhirnya ia mengaju pada “perasaan religius kosmik” yang meresapi dan menjaga karya-karyanya. Pada tahun 1954, setahun sebelum kematiannya, ia mengatakan tentang ingin “merasakan alam semesta seperti sebuah kesatuan kosmik.” Ia juga suka menggunakan istilah religius, seperti pada tahun 1926 mengatakan bahwa “Ia [Tuhan] tidak bermain dadu” ketika mengacu pada ketidakpastian yang dihasilkan oleh teori kuantum.

Beberapa pernyataan Albert Einstein dikutip dari berbagai sumber:

iRwhs.jpgThe beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear at an early stage of development, e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learned especially from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer, contains a much stronger element of this. The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man’s image; On the other hand, I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research. It is cosmic religious feeling that gives a man such strength. A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people. (Albert Einstein : The Development of Religion, New York Times Magazine dan Albert Einstein: The World as I See It) 

Menurut Albert Einstein, Buddhis sebagai agama yang tanpa dogma dan tanpa adanya Tuhan sangat cocok dengan sains.

Schopenhauer’s saying, that “a man can do as he will, but not will as he will,” has been an inspiration to me since my youth up, and a continual consolation and unfailing well-spring of patience in the face of the hardships of life, my own and others”. (a speech by Albert Einstein to the German League of Human Rights, Berlin, in the autumn of 1932) 

At first, then, instead of asking what religion is I should prefer to ask what characterizes the aspirations of a person who gives me the impression of being religious: a person who is religiously enlightened appears to me to be one who has, to the best of his ability, liberated himself from the fetters of his selfish desires and is preoccupied with thoughts, feelings, and aspirations to which he clings because of their superpersonalvalue. It seems to me that what is important is the force of this superpersonal content and the depth of the conviction concerning its overpowering meaningfulness, regardless of whether any attempt is made to unite this content with a divine Being, for otherwise it would not be possible to count Buddha and Spinoza as religious personalities. Accordingly, a religious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt of the significance and loftiness of those superpersonal objects and goals which neither require nor are capable of rational foundation. They exist with the same necessity and matter-of-factness as he himself. In this sense religion is the age-old endeavor of mankind to become clearly and completely conscious of these values and goals and constantly to strengthen and extend their effect.(Albert Einstein: “Science and Religion” in The Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion)

 I believe in Spinoza’s God, Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind. (Albert Einstein: “Science and Religion” in The Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion dan Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist edited by Paul Arthur Schilpp) 

What humanity owes to personalities like Buddha, Moses, and ranks for me higher than all the achievements of the enquiring and constructive mind. (Albert Einstein, The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press, 1954) 

Konsep Tuhan Personal menurut Einstein:
“I cannot accept any concept of God based on the fear of life or the fear of death or blind faith. I cannot prove to you that there is no personal God, but if I were to speak of him I would be a liar.” (Albert Einstein in an interview with Professor William Hermanns)

 “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions, No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this” (a letter written by Albert Einstein on January 3, 1954 to the philosopher Eric Gutkind) 

About God, I cannot accept any concept based on the authority of the Church. As long as I can remember, I have resented mass indocrination. I do not believe in the fear of life, in the fear of death, in blind faith. I cannot prove to you that there is no personal God, but if I were to speak of him, I would be a liar. I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. My God created laws that take care of that. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws. (W. Hermanns, Einstein and the Poet—In Search of the Cosmic Man) 

Einstein tidak mengakui adanya Tuhan personal dan menganggap keyakinan akan Tuhan personal sebagai sesuatu yang kekanak-kanakan. Konsep ketiadaan Tuhan secara personal sejalan dengan konsep Buddhis.

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