Albert Einstein and Pythagoras

Discovering the Mathematical Mind of Albert Einstein: The Fascination with Geometry and the Pythagorean Theorem

With each theorem proved,
Doubt was banished from his mind,
Geometry enthused.

Axioms may not hold,
But their power to explain,
Was a sight to behold.

In that little book,
Einstein found a love of truth,
And a lifelong hook.

About his "holy geometry book", Albert Einstein wrote:

Albert Einstein'At the age of 12 I experienced a second wonder of a totally different nature: in a little book dealing with Euclidean plane geometry, which came into my hands at the beginning of a school year. Here were assertions, as for example the intersection of the three altitudes of a triangle in one point, which - though by no means evident - could nevertheless be proved with such certainty that any doubt appeared to be out of the question. This lucidity and certainty made an indescribable impression upon me. That the axioms could not be proved did not annoy me. Actually I was completely satisfied when I was able to rely on such theorems whose validity were not doubtful to me.'

About the Pythagorean theorem, Albert Einstein wrote:

Albert Einstein - young'For example I remember that an uncle told me the Pythagorean theorem before the holy geometry booklet had come into my hands. After much effort I succeeded in "proving" this theorem on the basis of the similarity of triangles ... for anyone who experiences [these feelings] for the first time, it is marvelous enough that man is capable at all to reach such a degree of certainty and purity in pure thinking as the Greeks showed us for the first time to be possible in geometry.'

Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, by Paul Arthur Schilpp, 1951.

Unlocking the Genius of Einstein: How His Act of Kindness Helped a Student Master Geometry


In 1943, Johanna Mankiewicz, a young Polish girl, sent a letter to Einstein asking for his help in solving a mathematical problem. Specifically, she was struggling with a proof in Euclidean geometry.

Einstein responded to her letter, providing her with detailed explanations and diagrams to help her better understand the problem. He also encouraged her to continue pursuing her studies in mathematics and science, and expressed his admiration for her perseverance and dedication.

The original letter from Einstein to Mankiewicz, along with her original letter and subsequent correspondence, are now housed in the Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

This incident is a testament to Einstein's willingness to help others and his belief in the importance of education and intellectual pursuit. It also highlights his own expertise and deep understanding of mathematics, particularly in the field of geometry.


Proving Pythagorean theorem on the basis of the similarity of triangles BCA, BHC, and CHA:




Home | Geometry | Search | Problems | Pythagoras Index Email | Post a comment | by Antonio Gutierrez