Lot 19: Albert Einstein typed and signed letter
6th December 2017
TLS in German, signed “A. Einstein,” one page both sides, 8.75 x 11.25, personal letterhead, October 19, 1928. Letter to Dr. Hans Reichenbach, a colleague and important expositor of relativity, to suggest to him a clearer way of explaining one aspect of his theory. He opens the letter by saying (translated): "I think the logical presentation that you give of my theory is indeed possible, but it's not the simplest one." After providing a list of four possibilities for "increasing specialization regarding the distant comparison of vectors" he comments: "Of course one can also start with an affine connection and specialize either by introducing a metric or by introducing integrability conditions; i.e. do it the way you did. But this is less simple, less natural." He goes on to assert that "[t]he naturalness of the field of structure envisaged by me seems indisputable to me. I will only know in a few months whether this construction contains deeper traits of reality; for the problems needed to be solved to make this decision are not at all easy." The letter ends with a postscript in Einstein's hand, inviting Reichenbach and his wife to tea, noting "Schrödinger is supposed to come as well." In fine condition, with light toning and two filing holes to the left edge. At this time, Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrödinger, and Hans Reichenbach were all teaching at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Exquisite content and a remarkable association between titans of modern physics.
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