Mileva Maric on Relativity

 

  1. Titel, Serbia. A brilliant physicist is born. Female.
    Oh, the wonder and glee
    The vast universe
    My mind
    Ever expanding to sculpt stencils
    Around these inconsistencies
    My head might soon burst
    Pop! Ouch, but oh what fun
    Let the gleeful games begin

    Royal Classical High School in Zagrebe.
    Oh, the wonder and the glee
    Oh, the spinning, altering theories

    Move over boys!
    I’ll take this seat amongst you
    Let’s investigate existence

    Report card: straight brilliance.

    Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule.
    She studies physics.
    Paired with a boy, four years her junior: her peer

    Elbow to elbow
    Mind to mind
    Heart to heart

    Heat conduction

    It’s all relative
    but I think we’re falling in love

    Further research should explore

    “How happy I am to have found in you an equal creature, one who is equally strong and independent as I am.”
    But he’s not as fascinated as I

    He nearly fails. She nearly passes.
    Something seems to slow

    But sense these dynamic moving bodies.
    Our work on relative motion
    Intertwined we’ve begun to sculpt a theory

    A baby girl is born
    I hold a ball of fire in my arms
    A burst of answers

    He studies the skies
    Farsighted, he has yet to see or touch her

    I don’t suppose I shall return
    To sculpting games

    “Until you become my little wife, let’s work together on science quite hard so that we don’t become old philistines, ok?

    The two are wed

    My little ball of fire
    Burned so hot
    She turned cool
    Before he ever saw or touched her

    From a husband to his little wife:
    “You will obey the following points in your relations with me: (1) you will not expect any intimacy from me, nor will you reproach me in any way; (2) you will stop talking to me if I request it; (3) you will leave my bedroom or study immediately without protest if I request it…You will undertake not to belittle me in front of our children, either through words or behavior.”

    He named me his equal:
    strong and independent
    Elbow to elbow
    Mind to mind

    Hearts apart
    Bitter baritone laughter

    It is my recommendation this reader remember

    Observe a vacuum
    Slow
    Slow
    Something seems to slow

    Results:
    Divorce
    Adultery and
    His work on relativity

    “One should be nice and modest and keep one’s trap shut.”

    He named me his equal

    Retrospective gravitational lensing:
    Time bends its spotlight in complementary angles

    Relative memory
    I have begun to sculpt a theory
    It is my recommendation this reader remember–

    “You did make me laugh aloud when you threatened me with your memoirs; doesn’t it occur to you that no cat would give a damn about such scribblings if the man you’re dealing with had not achieved something special. If one is a zero it cannot be helped…”

    If one is a zero it cannot be helped

    If one is a zero it cannot be helped

    No cat would give a damn

    Further research should explore

    No cat would give a damn

    It is my recommendation this reader remember

  1. Northeim Friedhof Cemetary. Zurich, Switzerland.
    Here lies the first wife of a brilliant man;
    Here lies Albert Einstein’s first right hand.

Note and Disclaimer: The above poem is a creative piece, not strict history. It is always a challenge to write about someone else’s life and truly do them justice, and I tried to remain consistent and as close to the historical truth as possible. However, I am not a historian.

I first came across the story of Mileva Maric at University in my Psychology of Close relationships class. The quote “From a husband to his little wife” was in the textbook Intimate Relationships by Benjamin R. Karney and Thomas N. Bradbury.

I posted the above poem with the hope of sharing the story of a female physicist who seems to have been forgotten.

There seem to be historical disagreements regarding the relationship (both academic and romantic) between Mileva Maric and Albert Einstein. For example, some claim she assisted him in writing his Relativity paper, and others claim this is false. I urge you to explore the following links to gain a more nuanced picture of their lives and the varied historical perspectives.

Biography.com: Mileva Einstein-Maric

In Albert’s Shadow: The Life and Letters of Mileva Maric, Einstein’s First Wife

MIT Technology Review: Did Einstein’s First Wife Secretly Coauthor His 1905 Relativity Paper?

New York Times: Dark Side of Einstein Emerges in His Letters

Scientific American: The Forgotten Life of Einstein’s First Wife

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Shantanu says:

    Even if this is historically incorrect, you can remove albert’s name and even then it would be quite the scenario women face, I loved this piece and the sarcasm, “He named me his equal”. Nice one. 🙂

    1. blythenora says:

      Thank you! I completely agree. In this case the emotional truth speaks more than specifics of historical ambiguity! The main question of debate seems to be whether she co-wrote his paper on relativity, however its was their relationship and the emotions of their story that led me to explore it. Thank you for your response, I so appreciate your insights!

      1. Shantanu says:

        you’re welcome 🙂

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