Despite what your graduation speaker might have told you, no one really expects miracles from anyone under 30. Arts, sports and computers are pretty much the only career paths where no one bats an eyelid if you become an expert at a young age.
Of course, this is just a bunch of bullshit. Young people can and constantly come up with plenty of awesome ideas, even when they operate in fields that are seemingly impossible to conquer until you've sprouted several gray hairs. Case in point:
5 Albert Einstein Had Most of His Big Ideas at 26
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If you don't know who Albert Einstein is, we're afraid we really can't help you. We mean, who doesn't know the famed 16-time bobsled champion and world-renowned professional wrestler?
To say nothing of his three consecutive spelling bee titles.
But that's not what we're here to talk about today. Right now, we're more about Einstein's more boring endeavors -- namely, the theories of general and special relativity that cemented his reputation as one of the most brilliant minds in history. Now, because every single photo you've ever seen of Einstein looks like the above -- wild white hair, grey mustache, lines around his eyes -- you have to assume all of that work was the culmination of a long life spent doing math stuff. But he came up with all of that shit when he was just 26. That is, right around the time when many of us are realizing our hip-hop career probably isn't going to take off.
The year was 1905, and Albert had just completed his thesis at the University of Zurich, and found employment as a patent examiner, because, fuck you, a paycheck is a paycheck. Being a deeply inquisitive young man, he used his off hours to dabble on theories on physics and matter. You know, every 20-something needs a hobby. But where we lovingly draft fanfic erotica featuring Betty Rubble and Mogo the Living Planet, his after-work endeavors actually plopped out a total of four theories that would become the bulk of his -- and modern science's -- legacy.
He also invented a car door lock that still opens if someone lifts the handle; but, unfortunately, it was lost to the ages.
He started his streak in January and February, casually proving Newton wrong and saying that space and time are not absolute, thus coining the theory of special relativity. In March, Einstein came up with quantum theory, a.k.a. the one about light being all about tiny particles that would eventually become known as photons. Finally, between April and May, he published a couple of papers that proved the thus far impossible-to-verify existence of the atom.
At that point, most of us would have whipped out our sunglasses and ridden into the sunset. Einstein, on the other hand, just pushed on, adding more layers to his theories about light and, finally, creating a little formula regarding the equivalence of energy and matter that you might have heard about:
As made famous by the Animaniacs.
For no-shit-related reasons, the year is now known in physics circles as Annus mirabilis, the Miracle Year. But really, the most impressive thing about it was that Einstein somehow managed to pull this all off at an age, when most of us still can't say with any certainty what we want to be when we grow up.