By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood

Did Albert Einstein really have a daughter whose existence remained a mystery until 1986?

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Yes, Albert Einstein did indeed have a daughter named Lieserl, whose existence was largely unknown until 1986. Lieserl Einstein was born in 1902 to Mileva Marić, Einstein’s first wife, before the couple were officially married. This fact only came to light when a batch of letters between Albert and Mileva was discovered and made public. These letters revealed not only the existence of Lieserl but also provided insights into the personal and emotional life of Einstein, which was not widely known until then.

The letters indicate that Lieserl might have been born with a developmental disability, and there is speculation that she contracted scarlet fever in her infancy, a serious illness at the time. What happened to Lieserl after 1903 remains a mystery. There is no record of her life beyond her first year, leading to various theories including that she may have died young or been given up for adoption. The revelation of Lieserl’s existence adds a poignant chapter to the life of one of the most celebrated scientists in history. It shows a more personal and vulnerable side of Einstein, dealing with complex family relationships and the challenges of secrecy and personal loss. 

Einstein is most famous for his E=mc2 formula, which simply says:

“energy equals matter, and matter equals energy.”

That formula and his work helped pave the way to understanding how the universe expands. For more, take the 9-minute deep dive: The Expanding Universe Explained.

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