I'm a big fan of Einstein and I'm guessing many of you are also. I thought I'd start a thread where people who have researched Einstein's life and science can corroborate or dispel myths about the legend. I'll start with a couple unanswered questions I have after doing some research and reading on his life and throw in a fun survey at the end. After that, feel free to ask your own questions in this thread and perhaps I or someone else can address them. 1) The Hilbert War--When Einstein was finishing his equations of General Relativity in 1915, David Hilbert was racing him to that goal. Most accounts say that this was a serious concern for Einstein, and there's one quote in particular where Einstein wrote about the dispicableness of Hilbert in trying to come up with the equations before him. In fact, there is some controversy as to who actually came up with the completed equations first. Walter Isaacson said in an interview that, at the end of the day, Hilbert conceded to Einstein and was very gracious about it--after all, it was Einstein's theory to begin with. However, I've heard other reports that Hilbert wasn't so agreeable or gracious about the whole thing and continued to contest that he actually came up with equations first. Does anyone know the real story? 2) Einstein's patent office-- Another legend is that Einstein came to develop his special theory of relativity because, as a patent clerk, he reviewed dozens of patent application for the synchronization of clocks due to the "modern world" needing to prevent trains from colliding around Europe. Is there any report of Einstein ever making a comment on this? Or is this just what historians like to imagine what happened? 3) SURVEY- Reliable reports claim that Einstein did not know of the Michelson-Morley experiments in 1887 showing the constancy of the speed of light when he developed his SR theory he published in 1905. How many of you believe this is true?