When the physicist died in 1955, he bequeathed the university his archives, with curator Roni Grosz saying its 82,000 items make it the world's most extensive collection of Einstein documents.
The acquisition was a birthday gift not only to the collectors and public, "but to Einstein himself, because all of the material here reaches the place he wanted it to," Gutfreund said.
The dramatically changing historical circumstances under which these papers were written may also serve as a reminder of the fragility of the scientific enterprise and the need both to reflect on its contexts and to strengthen it by civil courage, just as Einstein has taught us.
The Annalen der Physik, one of the most influential journals in the history of physics, was founded in 1790 by Friedrich Albert Carl Gren, a professor of physics and chemistry at Halle University.
Einstein was forced to emigrate from Germany in 1933 and was never to return again.
This volume, published in the centenary of Einstein's annus mirabilis, offers the reader a comprehensive overview of the breathtaking scope and depth of the investigations of the towering figure of 20-century physics, focusing on his most productive years.
The first three essays, by David Cassidy, Jürgen Renn, and Robert Rynasiewicz, discuss key aspects of the scientific revolution triggered by the pathbreaking papers of Einstein's annus mirabilis 1905, which changed our understanding of space, time, matter, and radiation.
Various ramifications of these papers are worked out in Einstein's subsequent contributions to the Annalen.
"If they would have come down hard a year and a half ago, it would have been better and easier." This document is subject to copyright.
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