One day Albert Einstein had to be in bed， because he was ill. His father went to town on business. In a shop window， he noticed a small compass. His father thought， “Ah， that might interest Albert， perhaps the little box with the ‘magic’ needle will catch his attention for a while.”
Einstein’s father bought the simple pocket compass home. “See what I have bought for you， my boy. A mysterious2 box with a magic needle.”
Albert took the box and put it in his palm. He turned it one way， then another. Anyway the needle returned gently to point in the same direction.
Albert lay in bed with the compass. Slowly he turned it. He tapped it. No matter what he did， the needle always swung3 around to point north.
For the first time， he sensed that there were things in nature that could not be seen， could not be touched—could hardly be imagined. There had to be something in space to move the little needle！And space was empty！His uncle had said so. But then space could not be empty if it had a force that could pull a compass needle.
His compass became his dearest and fascinating thing. It was the compass that introduced to him the world of science.