Research

Einstein ‘puzzle solved as missing page emerges

Share
Einstein ‘puzzle solved as missing page emerges

The new collection acquired by Hebrew University includes 84 sheets, majority mathematical derivations from 1944-48. To him, the University represented a combined commitment to a Jewish identity, the pursuit of truth, and respect for all human beings.

He said: "But in the copies we had, one page was missing, and that was a problem".

Researchers are now preserving and digitizing the new documents, after which they will work to pick through the scientific and mathematical meanings for the calculations found within their margins. Tilman Sauer at the University of Mainz.

The scribbled page of writing was an appendix to a paper written on unified field theory by Noble Prize-winner Albert Einstein in 1930. The paper was a significant milestone in his many attempts to formulate a single unified theory for gravitation and electromagnetism.

Three of these letters, written in 1916, refer to a "glorious idea" Einstein had about the absorption and emission of light by atoms, according to a press release by the university.

The letter was written while Hans Albert was living in Zurich, Switzerland, with his mother Mileva Maric and his mentally ill brother Eduard.

Einstein, who left Germany just before Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, renounced his German citizenship that year.

In the letter to his son, he writes that "in Germany things are slowly starting to change". The German armament must be extremely unsafe; but the rest of Europe is now starting to finally take the thing seriously, especially the English. "If they would have come down hard a year and a half ago, it would have been better and easier", Einstein wrote his son.

The filed picture shows Albert Einstein and his friend Michele Besso.

In another letter to Besso, Einstein writes that after 50 years of thinking about it, he still does not understand the quantum nature of light.

Included in the documents are original manuscript pages - some of which had never been seen before - and personal letters that offer a window into the man behind the science. "But I prefer to feel ashamed than to learn it", Einstein wrote to Besso.

"As a goy, you're not obligated to study the language of our forefathers, while I, as a 'Jewish saint, ' should be embarrassed at the fact that I know nearly nothing".

Present at the event was Karen Cortell Reisman whose father was Einstein's cousin.

"The only thing I inherited from Albert Einstein is his hair texture, the frizzy hair", Reisman said laughingly. The two often traveled together and remained in close contact throughout their lives, sharing decades' worth of correspondence.

Einstein's more human side can be seen in the personal letters.

The new manuscripts were acquired for HU's Albert Einstein Archives thanks to a philanthropic gift by the Crown-Goodman Family Foundation in Chicago.

Hebrew University is now working with Caltech's Prof. "Many of these papers, we still don't know what they relate to and it will still require significant research".

Roni Grosz, curator of the Albert Einstein Archive at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, called the documents "a rare find".

Share