Auction No. 106

Letters by A. Einstein and Other Illustrious Personalities, Zionism, Jewish Art, letters of Rabbis and Rebbes and Collection of letters to Sir Moses Montefiore from the archive of the late Rabbi Avraham Shisha - London - Buyer's commission 22%

March 6, 2018
Opening $6,000
Estimate $20,000 - $30,000

Correspondence between Prof. Albert Einstein and his colleague Danish Prof. Martin Knudsen.

Specifications: [2] pages. Ink on paper. 22x14 cm. 43 lines written and signed by Einstein. Written on the 27th of October, 1916. A printed answer from Martin Knudsen to Einstein, dated the 4th of November, 1916 is attached.

Content: In this important letter, Einstein writes to Martin Hans Christian Knudsen [1871-1949], professor of physics at the Copenhagen University. He recommends his colleague, Finnish scientist Gunnar Nordstrom, for tenure at the University of Helsinki. The letter was sent at the end of 1916, shortly before Einstein published his General Theory of Relativity.
Einstein notes that he had recently met Nordstrom in Holland. Nordstrom was a Finnish physicist who studied the Theory of Gravitation and was a colleague of Hendrik Lorentz and Paul Ehrenfest. Einstein was impressed by Nordstrom, both as a physicist and human being.
At the end of the letter, Einstein mentions the First World War, which had already been raging for two years. In line with his pacifist views, he complains about the violence and lack of reason, and wonders how long the war will continue.

Background: Martin Knudsen [1871-1949] was a Danish physicist, a lecturer and researcher at the Technical University of Denmark. He is primarily known for his studies of molecular gas flow and the development of the Knudsen cell which measures the vapor pressure of materials amid temperature control of the evaporation process.

Gunnar Nordstrom [1881-1923] was a theoretical physicist noted for his theory of gravitation, which competed with Einstein's General Theory of Relativity for a number of years. This competition caused his colleagues to call him "The Einstein of Finland."

Condition: Very fine, other than filing holes affecting isolated letters.

Letters by A. Einstein and Other Illustrious Personalities