Trove of Einstein Papers Goes on Display in Yerushalayim

Part of a collection of 110 manuscript pages written by Albert Einstein that were unveiled by the Hebrew University are seen on display at the university in Yerushalayim, Wednesday. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

The Hebrew University put on display on Wednesday a collection of 110 manuscript pages written by Albert Einstein, many of which it said had never been shown in public before.

They include handwritten mathematical notes, most from 1944 to 1948, and also an appendix – which the university said had been thought lost – to a paper on unified field theory that the German-born physicist presented to the Prussian Academy of Science in 1930.

Einstein, who developed the theory of relativity, a pillar of modern science, tried unsuccessfully for decades to prove another concept – that electromagnetism and gravity were different manifestations of a single fundamental field.

Hebrew University said it had received the papers as a donation to its 80,000-item Albert Einstein Archives from a foundation in Chicago after they were purchased from a private collector in North Carolina.

“These papers reflect the way Einstein was thinking, the way Einstein was working. Most of them, in his handwriting, are mathematical calculations with very little text,” said Professor Hanoch Gutfreund, academic adviser to the archives.

“They are summaries of his notes; whenever something struck him, a new idea, he sat down immediately and scribbled it, looking for its consequences,” Gutfreund told Reuters.

Einstein, who settled in the United States after renouncing his German citizenship when Adolf Hitler came to power, bequeathed his scientific and personal writings to Hebrew University.

Einstein won the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics. He died in New Jersey in 1955.

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