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Albert Einstein announced his greatest achievement, the general theory of relativity, in Berlin just over a century ago, on Nov. 25, 1915 .Since the 1960s, following decades of controversy, most cosmologists have regarded general relativity as the best available explanation, if not the complete description, of the observed structure of the universe, including black holes.So why is Einstein the world's most famous and most quoted (and misquoted) scientist – far ahead of Isaac Newton or Stephen Hawking – as well as a universal byword for genius?A somewhat baffled Einstein asked his host what it all meant.Part of the reason for Einstein's fame is surely that his earliest, and best known, achievement – the 1905 special theory of relativity – seemed to have come out of the blue, without any prior achievement.A further reason for Einstein's fame is that he was active in many areas far afield from physics, notably politics and religion, including Zionism. Clearly, Einstein's turbulent later life and courageous stands fascinate many people who are bemused by general relativity.
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