By Ruchika Gupta
NCERT Class 9 English Beehive Book Chapter 4 A Truly Beautiful Mind Summary, Explanation, and Question Answers
A Truly Beautiful Mind – CBSE Class 9 English Lesson 4 A Truly Beautiful Mind Summary and detailed explanation of the lesson along with meanings of the difficult words. The explanation is followed by a Summary of the lesson. All the exercises and Questions and Answers given at the back of the lesson have been covered. Also, Take Free Online Test for Class 9 Click Here
A Truly Beautiful Mind Video Explanation
A Truly Beautiful Mind Class 9 English Beehive Book Chapter 4
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A Truly Beautiful Mind Introduction
This chapter is about Albert Einstein. He was a great scientist. The title of the chapter ‘A Truly Beautiful Mind’ refers to Albert Einstein. This is a short biography of his where some of his qualities have been highlighted – Albert’s interest in Mathematics and Physics and also his humanitarian attribute.
The title – ‘A Truly Beautiful Mind’ makes one wonder how can a scientist’s mind be beautiful. It is so because in this lesson we come across another aspect of Einstein. He was a humanitarian. He advocated world peace, non – violence and that is why the title refers to him as a truly beautiful mind.
A Truly Beautiful Mind Explanation
ALBERT Einstein was born on 14 March 1879 in the German city of Ulm, without any indication that he was destined for greatness.
destined: fate, a predetermined set of events that has to happen in the future.
Albert Einstein was born on 14th March 1879. He was born in a city named Ulm in Germany. When he was a child, no one could predict that one day he would become a great scientist. He was like all the other children.
On the contrary, his mother thought Albert was a freak.
freak: a word used disapprovingly to talk about a person who is unusual and doesn’t behave, look or think like others
Albert’s mother thought that Albert was a freak because he did not behave, talk or look like normal people did. He was different from other children of his age. He behaved abnormally. It seemed as if he had lesser intelligence in comparison to other children.
To her, his head seemed much too large.
Albert’s mother thought that the little boy’s head was a bit too big in comparison to other children’s heads.
At the age of two-and-a-half, Einstein still wasn’t talking.
Albert Einstein started talking when he was two and a half years of age.
When he finally did learn to speak, he uttered everything twice.
Finally, when Einstein started speaking, he used to repeat the words.
Einstein did not know what to do with other children, and his playmates called him “Brother Boring.”
His playmates used to call him ‘brother boring’ because he remained to himself, he did not play or talk to them.
So the youngster played by himself much of the time.
Einstein remained to himself all the time. He used to play with himself only.
He especially loved mechanical toys.
From the very beginning, since his childhood, he loved mechanical toys – such toys in which some kind of machinery was used such as automated cars, automated airplanes.
Looking at his newborn sister, Maja, he is said to have said: “Fine, but where are her wheels”?
When his sister was born, and he looked at her, he could not see her feet. He was wondering where the baby’s wheels were, that means the feet of the baby. As Albert Einstein used to play with toys and all the toys had a set of wheels, to him Maja seemed to be a toy too and so, he might have thought that where were her wheels.
A headmaster once told his father that what Einstein chose as a profession wouldn’t matter, because “he’ll never make a success at anything.”
The headmaster of Einstein’s school told Einstein’s father that Einstein would never be successful in whatever profession he chose.
Einstein began learning to play the violin at the age of six, because his mother wanted him to; he later became a gifted amateur violinist, maintaining this skill throughout his life.
amateur: doing something for personal enjoyment rather than as a profession, something which is your hobby and you do it as a pastime.
Einstein was a very good violinist, he learned playing the violin at the age of six because his mother wanted him to learn to play it. All his life, he was an amateur violinist, he played the violin as a hobby not as a profession.
But Albert Einstein was not a bad pupil. He went to high school in Munich, where Einstein’s family had moved when he was 15 months old and scored good marks in almost every subject.
Albert Einstein was a very good student. He went to a school in Munich because his family had moved from Ulm to Munich when he was 15 months old and scored good marks in almost every subject.
Einstein hated the school’s regimentation, and often clashed with his teachers.
regimentation: order or discipline taken to an extreme
The school where Einstein went had a very strict discipline which he disliked. Due to that he often clashed with his teacher’s opinions and opposed them.
At the age of 15, Einstein felt so stifled there that he left the school for good.
Stifled: unable to breathe; suffocated
Left the school for good: left school forever.
Einstein was so suffocated in that school, he could not follow the strict discipline and so he left the school for ever.
The previous year, Albert’s parents had moved to Milan, and left their son with relatives.
When Albert Einstein left the school, one year before that, his parents had moved to another city – Milan which is in Italy. Albert was left behind in Munich with his relatives.
After prolonged discussion, Einstein got his wish to continue his education in German-speaking Switzerland, in a city which was more liberal than Munich.
liberal: willing to understand and respect others opinions
The school in Munich was very strict, Albert could not follow the discipline over there. He had a long discussion with his family, relatives and finally, his parents agreed to put him in a school in Switzerland and the language used there for communication was German.
Einstein was highly gifted in mathematics and interested in physics, and after finishing school, he decided to study at a university in Zurich.
Einstein was good at studies, he was highly gifted in Mathematics, so he was exceptionally good in Mathematics and he also had an interest in physics.
But science wasn’t the only thing that appealed to the dashing young man with the walrus moustache.
Walrus is a shape of Moustache.
Science was not the only thing that appealed to Einstein who was a very handsome young man.Other than science he had interest in something else also.
He also felt a special interest in a fellow student,Mileva Maric, whom he found to be a “clever creature.”
Other than Maths and Physics, Albert Einstein liked one of his fellow students, her name was Mileva Maric. He thought that she was very clever, sharp and intelligent.
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This young Serb had come to Switzerland because the University in Zurich was one of the few in Europe where women could get degrees.
They met at the University of Zurich. Mileva Maric belonged to Serbia (that is why she is called a Serb). She came from Serbia to Switzerland because the University in Zurich was one of the few Universities in Europe which gave degrees to female students.
Einstein saw in her an ally against the “philistines”—those people in his family and at the university with whom he was constantly at odds.
ally: a friend or an associate
philistines: a word used disapprovingly to talk about people who do not like art,literature or music
To be at odds means to be in the opposition of someone, to be against someone.
Einstein felt that Mileva was a friend because she also liked art, literature or music. Both shared this common interest.In those days, having interest in art, literature or music was not considered to be good. So those people who were interested in art, literature or music used to call their opponents ‘philistines’. Albert Einstein’s family and many people in the university were not in favor of this. So, against such people, Albert Einstein and Mileva Maric’s unity helped them face the situation.
The couple fell in love. Letters survive in which they put their affection into words, mixing science with tenderness. Wrote Einstein: “How happy and proud I shall be when we both have brought our work on relativity to a victorious conclusion.”
Albert Einstein and Mileva Maric fell in love and they exchanged love letters to express their feelings. They used to write such kinds of letters where they used to mix science with their feelings. At one instance, Einstein talked about his scientific invention and said that he would be very proud on that day when they would finally conclude their paper on the theory of relativity.
In 1900, at the age of 21, Albert Einstein was a university graduate and unemployed.
In the year 1900, Albert Einstein was 21 years of age and he completed his graduation from the University but was unemployed.
He worked as a teaching assistant, gave private lessons and finally secured a job in 1902 as a technical expert in the patent office in Bern.
patent: a document which gives the rights of an invention to an inventor
From 1900 to 1902, Albert Einstein was working as a Teaching Assistant and gave private lessons also. Finally, in 1902, he got a job in Bern. Bern is a city in Germany. He got the job of a Technical Officer in a patent’s office in Bern.
While he was supposed to be assessing other people’s inventions, Einsteinwas actually developing his own ideas in secret.
Einstein was supposed to check the inventions done by other people and give them a patent. On the other hand, secretly, he was making his own inventions too.
He is said to have jokingly called his desk drawer at work the “bureau of theoretical physics.”
Einstein later said the desk on which he worked was the office of theoretical physics because there only he started working on his inventions.
One of the famous papers of 1905 was Einstein’sSpecial Theory of Relativity, according to which time and distance are not absolute.
absolute: measured in itself, not in relation to anything else
In the year 1905, Einstein published his first paper. It was about ‘special theory of relativity’. In this publication it was written that the measurement of time and distance is not absolute, it depended on something else.
Indeed, two perfectly accurate clocks will not continue to show the sametime if they come together again after a journey if one of them has been moving very fast relative to the other.
According to the theory, if there are two clocks, and both are moving, they will not show the same time. One clock will move faster than the other.
From this followed the world’s most famous formula which describes the relationship between mass and energy:
E = mc2(In this mathematical equation, E stands for energy, m for massand c for the speed of the light in a vacuum (about 300,000 km/s).
This theory of relativity gave us this basic formula of physics – E = mc². E stands for energy, m for mass of the object and c for the speed of the light in a vacuum. (Vacuum means where there is no air and the speed of light in vacuum is almost 300,000 km/s). To put it into simpler words, Einstein said that when you sit with a nice girl for two hours, it seems like two minutes.On the other hand, when you sit on a hot stove for two minutes, it seems like two hours—that’s relativity. Soa person would feel the timing differently.
While Einstein was solving the most difficult problems in physics, his private life was unravelling.
unravelling: starting to fail
Though he was solving the complicated problems in physics for the world, his personal life started becoming problematic. He started to fail in his personal life.
Albert had wanted to marry Mileva right after finishing his studies, but his mother was against it.
Albert Einstein wanted to marry Mileva Maric soon after he finished his studies but his mother, Pauline Einstein was against this.
She thought Mileva, who was three years older than her son, was too old for him.
Pauline thought that Mileva Maric who was three years elder to Albert Einstein was very old for him.
She was also bothered by Mileva’s intelligence. “She is a book like you,” his mother said. Einstein put the wedding off.
Pauline thought that Mileva was very intelligent to be a wife and she told Einstein that Mileva was also like a book and was similar to him. As his mother was against this marriage, he cancelled his wedding with Mileva.
The pair finally married in January 1903, and had two sons.
Albert Einstein married Mileva Maric in the year 1903 and they had two sons.
But a few years later, the marriage faltered.
faltered: became weak
Their marriage failed.
Mileva, meanwhile, was losing her intellectual ambition and becoming an unhappy housewife.
As Mileva Maric was very intelligent, being a housewife she could not cope with her ambitions. She could not fulfill her ambitions and so, she started becoming unhappy.
After years of constant fighting, the couple finally divorced in 1919.
Mileva was unhappy from this marriage, she could not fulfill her career dreams, so, finally in the year 1919 after prolonged fighting both of them separated.
Einstein married his cousin Elsa the same year.
Albert Einstein married the second time.He married his cousin Elsa.
Einstein’s new personal chapter coincided with his rise to world fame.
At the time Einstein married Elsa, another thing coincided. It was Einstein’s rise to world fame. Einstein became world famous. Everyone acknowledged him as a great scientist.
In 1915, he had published his General Theory of Relativity, which provided a new interpretation of gravity.
In the year 1915, he published one more paper which was based on the General Theory of Relativity which gave a new interpretation to gravity.
An eclipse of the sun in 1919 brought proof that it was accurate.
In the year 1919, there was a solar eclipse which proved that Albert Einstein’s General theory of Relativity was correct.
Einstein had correctly calculated in advance the extent to which the light from fixed stars would be deflected through the sun’s gravitational field. The newspapers proclaimed his work as “a scientific revolution.”
deflected: changed direction because it hit something
Albert Einstein had calculated in the year 1915 that in the year 1919 there would be a solar eclipse. Due to it, the apparent position of the stars would change to some extent. His calculation was accurate. So, it was announced that Albert Einstein’s work was a scientific revolution.
Einstein received the Nobel Prize for Physics in1921.
The Nobel Prize was based on the will of the famous Swedish scientist, a scientist who belongs to Sweden, Alfred Nobel. It was established in 1895 and the first Nobel Prize was given in the year 1901.
Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in the year 1921.
He was showered with honors and invitations from all over the world and lauded by the press.
He was honored and was invited to various places all over the world. Even the press praised him.
When the Nazis came to power in Germany in1933, Einstein emigrated to the United States.
Emigrated: leave one’s own country in order to settle permanently in another
In 1933, when Germany came under the power of Nazis, (the famous Nazi ruler was Adolf Hitler), at that time, Einstein left Germany and shifted to the United State of America forever.
Five years later, the discovery of nuclear fission in Berlin had American physicists in an uproar.
in an uproar: very upset
After 5 years, the Germans discovered the process of nuclear fission – the process through which nuclear bombs or atomic bombs are made. This process was prepared in Berlin. Due to this, all the physicists in America were upset as they feared misuse of the technology.
Many of them had fled from Fascism, just as Einstein had, and now they were afraid the Nazis could build and use an atomic bomb.
There were many scientists who escaped to America because of Fascism. (Fascism was a dictatorial concept that was started in Europe from Italy by the rule of Benito Mussolini.) All the scientists were afraid that the Nazis could misuse the atomic bomb.
At the urging of a colleague, Einstein wrote a letter to the American President, Franklin D.
Roosevelt, on 2 August 1939, in which he warned:“A single bomb of this type . . . exploded in a port,might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory.”
Albert Einstein was requested by a colleague and so, he wrote a letter to the President of America, Franklin D. Roosevelt on 2nd August 1939. He warned him that the atomic bomb which was developed by Germany was very powerful. If one of these bombs exploded on any port, it would not only destroy the area, but also it would destroy the surrounding territory. This shows Einstein’s humanitarian quality. He wanted good for the people, he wanted peace in the world. That is why he wrote his concern to the president of America and warned him.
His words did not fail to have an effect.
Albert Einstein’s letter had an impact on Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The Americans developed the atomic bomb in a secret project of their own,and dropped it on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
The Americans developed the atomic bomb secretly and dropped it on two cities of Japan – Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Germans had just developed the atomic bomb, they did not use it on any country, but America did.
Einstein was deeply shaken by the extent of the destruction.
Lot of destruction took place and Einstein was shaken.
This time he wrote a public missive to the United Nations.
missive: letter, especially long and official
He wrote an official letter to the United Nations Organization.
In it he proposed the formation of a world government. Unlike the letter to Roosevelt, this one made no impact.
Albert Einstein proposed to form a world government, but this letter did not bear any fruit.
But over the next decade, Einstein got ever more involved in politics —agitating for an end to the arms buildup and usinghis popularity to campaign for peace and democracy.
For another ten years Albert Einstein was involved in World Peace. He was involved in politics and his agenda was to stop the countries involved in collecting arms and developing weapons. He campaigned for world peace and democracy. His main agenda was world peace and freedom of people.
When Einstein died in 1955 at the age of 76, he was celebrated as a visionary and world citizen as much as a scientific genius
visionary: a person who can think about the future in an original and intelligent way
Einstein could foresee the future. When he died in 1955 at the age of 76, the world celebrated him as a visionary. He was a world citizen and a scientific genius too.
A truly Beautiful Mind Summary
Albert Einstein was born on 14th March in 1879, in the German city of Ulm. Till the age of two and a half years, he could not speak and when he started speaking, he spoke every word twice.
His playmates considered him to be boring and his mother thought that he was crazy because of the abnormally large size of his head. At school, his headmaster regarded him as stupid and good for nothing.
But he proved them all wrong. At the age of 6, at the insistence of his mother, he learned to play the violin. He became a gifted violinist. At the age of 15, his family moved to Munich. He did not feel comfortable with the strict discipline at the school and left it.
On completing his schooling, he joined the University at Zurich because the atmosphere there was more liberal, and accepted new ideas and concepts. He showed more interest in Physics and Mathematics.
He met a fellow student, Mileva Maric at the University. She was equally intelligent and clever. Later on, they married and had 2 sons but unfortunately, their marriage did not survive, and were divorced in 1919.
After completing his education, Albert worked as a technical expert in the patent office at Bern. Here, he worked secretly on his idea of relativity. In 1915, he published his paper on the special theory of relativity, followed by the world-famous equation E = mc2.In 1915, he published his paper on General Theory of Relativity, which gave an absolutely new definition to the concept of gravity. This theory made him a famous figure.
In 1919, during the solar eclipse, his theory came out to be accurate and revolutionized physics. In 1933, he emigrated to the USA as Nazis had come to power in Germany. He did not want his finding and research to be used for destruction.
In 1938, when Germany discovered the principle of Nuclear Fission, he was the first person to write to the American President about the dangers of the atomic bombs. In 1945, when America dropped the Atomic Bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, he was deeply hurt and wrote to the United Nations for the formation of a world government to prevent the recurrence of such destruction.
He spent his later days in politics advocating world peace and democracy. He died at the age of 76 in the year 1955.
A truly Beautiful Mind Question Answers
Here are some headings for paragraphs in the text. Write the number(s) of the paragraph(s) for each title against the heading.
(i) Einstein’s equation [ ]
(ii) Einstein meets his future wife [ ]
(iii) The making of a violinist [ ]
(iv) Mileva and Einstein’s mother [ ]
(v) A letter that launched the arms race [ ]
(vi) A desk drawer full of ideas [ ]
(vii) Marriage and divorce [ ]
(i) Einstein’s equation 
(ii) Einstein meets his future wife 
(iii) The making of a violinist 
(iv) Mileva and Einstein’s mother 
(v) A letter that launched the arms race 
(vi) A desk drawer full of ideas 
(vii) Marriage and divorce 
2. Who had these opinions about Einstein?
(i) He was boring.
(ii) He was stupid and would never succeed in life.
(iii) He was a freak.
3. Explain what the reasons for the following are.
(i) Einstein leaving the school in Munich for good.
(ii) Einstein wanting to study in Switzerland rather than in Munich.
(iii) Einstein seeing in Mileva an ally.
(iv) What do these tell you about Einstein?
(i) strict regimentation at school.
(ii) Liberal atmosphere
(iii) Like him, Mileva also disapproved of the ‘philistines’ – those who disliked art, literature or music.
(iv) He loved freedom. He was a liberal and cultured person
4. What did Einstein call his desk drawer at the patent office? Why?
A. He called his desk drawer at the patent office ‘the bureau of theoretical physics’ because he stored his secret papers on ideas on physics there.
5. Why did Einstein write a letter to Franklin Roosevelt?
A. Einstein feared that the Germans under the rule of the Nazis had developed the atomic bomb and could misuse it. He wrote to the president of the USA to warn him of this development.
6. How did Einstein react to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
A. Einstein was deeply shaken by the disaster caused in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He wrote a public missive to the United Nations demanding the formation of a world government to stop the development of nuclear weapons.
7. Why does the world remember Einstein as a “world citizen”?
A. Einstein was a ‘world citizen’ because of his efforts for world peace and non – violence.
8. Here are some facts from Einstein’s life. Arrange them in chronological order.
[ ] Einstein publishes his special theory of relativity.
[ ] He is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
[ ] Einstein writes a letter to U.S. President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and
warns against Germany’s building of an atomic bomb.
[ ] Einstein attends a high school in Munich.
[ ] Einstein’s family moves to Milan.
[ ] Einstein is born in the German city of Ulm.
[ ] Einstein joins a university in Zurich, where he meets Mileva.
[ ] Einstein dies.
[ ] He provides a new interpretation of gravity.
[ ] Tired of the school’s regimentation, Einstein withdraws from school.
[ ] He works in a patent office as a technical expert.
[ ] When Hitler comes to power, Einstein leaves Germany for the United
 Einstein publishes his special theory of relativity.
 He is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
 Einstein writes a letter to U.S. President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and
warns against Germany’s building of an atomic bomb.
 Einstein attends a high school in Munich.
 Einstein’s family moves to Milan.
 Einstein is born in the German city of Ulm.
 Einstein joins a university in Zurich, where he meets Mileva.
 Einstein dies.
 He provides a new interpretation of gravity.
 Tired of the school’s regimentation, Einstein withdraws from school.
 He works in a patent office as a technical expert.
 When Hitler comes to power, Einstein leaves Germany for the United
Here are some sentences from the story. Choose the word from the brackets which can be substituted for the italicised words in the sentences.
1. A few years later, the marriage faltered. (failed, broke, became weak).
2.Einstein was constantly at odds with people at the university. (on bad terms,in disagreement, unhappy)
3. The newspapers proclaimed his work as “a scientific revolution.” (declared,praised, showed)
4. Einstein got ever more involved in politics, agitating for an end to the arms buildup. (campaigning, fighting, supporting)
5. At the age of 15, Einstein felt so stifled that he left the school for good.
(permanently, for his benefit, for a short time)
6. Five years later, the discovery of nuclear fission in Berlin had American
physicists in an uproar. (in a state of commotion, full of criticism, in a
7. Science wasn’t the only thing that appealed to the dashing young man with the walrus moustache. (interested, challenged, worried)
1. Became weak
2. in disagreement
6. in a state of commotion
II. Complete the sentences below by filling in the blanks with suitable participial clauses. The information that has to be used in the phrases is provided as a sentence in brackets.
1. _____________ the firefighters finally put out the fire. (They worked round the clock.)
2. She watched the sunset above the mountain, __________ (She noticed the colours blending softly into one another.)
3. The excited horse pawed the ground rapidly, ____________(While it neighed continually.)
4. _____________, I found myself in Bangalore, instead of Benaras. (I had taken the wrong train.)
5.________________, I was desperate to get to the bathroom. (I had not bathed for two days)
6. The stone steps, _____________ needed to be replaced. (They were worn down).
7. The actor received hundreds of letters from his fans, ____________. (They asked him to send them his photograph.)
1. Working round the clock, the firefighters finally put out the fire.
2. She watched the sunset above the mountain, noticing the colors blending softly into one another.
3. The excited horse pawed the ground rapidly, neighing continually.
4. Having taken the wrong train, I found myself in Bangalore, instead of Benaras.
5.Having not bathed for two days, I was desperate to get to the bathroom.
6. The stone steps, being worn down, needed to be replaced.
7. The actor received hundreds of letters from his fans, asking him to send them his photograph.