Auction No. 100

Rare and special items

June 20, 2017
Opening $ 8,000
Estimate $ 15,000 - $ 20,000
Sold for $ 51,240
Including buyer's premium

This invaluable collection of letters was written by Prof. Albert Einstein, Prof. Louis de Broglie, Prof. Wolfgang Pauli and Prof. Leon Rosenfeld.

Prof. Albert Einstein, pre-eminent Jewish researcher, was one of the greatest physicists of all times. He won the Nobel Prize for his contribution to physics, including the explanation of the photoelectric effect, his theory of relativity and the quantum theory.

In this collection, Einstein discloses his scientific approach to current issues and to the basis of his scientific approach as a whole. He highlights the importance of an intellectual environment, the importance of government support for research and development, and expresses –restrainedly - his admiration for the scientific research taking place in Israel. Einstein comments about his attitude regarding the complexity of nature, his opinion about the Creator and His manner of operating, and about difficulties regarding the continuation of the development of the quantum theory. He reflects upon the spread of racism in Germany and suggests insights that humanity should remember in order to prevent the repetition of these tragedies in the future.

The other writers were also internationally renowned, top-notch physicists who promoted many theories in physics. Other than Prof. Leon Rosenfeld, all were Nobel Prize winners. These letters discuss the topics of research and theories that the writers were exploring. At times, they present their approach to scientific studies as a whole and theoretical physics in particular.

Most of the letters were sent to Prof. David Joseph Bohm (1917-1992). Dr. Bohm was a professor at Princeton University where he worked together with Albert Einstein. At the start of the McCarthy era, Prof. Bohm refused to testify against people suspected of being communists. This led to his arrest in 1950 and his suspension from the university. After he was acquitted, he moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil where he was appointed head of the physics department. In 1955, he moved to Israel and served as a visiting professor in the Technion. Two years later, he moved to England where he worked in the Universities of London and Bristol.

Provenance: The letters are from the bequest of Mrs. Sarah Bohm, widow of Professor David Bohm.

Signed letter from Prof. Albert Einstein to Prof. David Bohm. Princeton, New Jersey, 1951.

Specifications: [1] leaf, letterhead. 28x21 cm. Typewritten letter with his signature, corrections and additions in his handwriting in the letter itself. At the end of the letter, Einstein added a physics formula with an explanation.

Background: Einstein was happy to hear that Prof. Bohm is satisfied with his work in Sao Paulo. He sent him a copy of his work discussing generalized field theory and notes that he will be sending him improvements that he recently discovered on the matter. To further explain the matter, Einstein adds elucidations and formulas on the bottom of the leaf.
Einstein notes that he was very surprised to hear about Bohm's attempts to find a connection between "the formalism of quantum theory and relativistic field theory." He admits that he cannot guess how much unification can be achieved.

Condition: Fine. Minimal stains. Light tear in the upper section of the letter, not affecting text.

Category
letters by Professor Albert Einstein and Colleagues