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EINSTEIN, Albert. Autograph correspondence card signed ('Albert') to his friend Albert Karr, Huberlandstrasse 5, Berlin, 17 October 1919. One page, small 8vo (140 x 90mm), autograph address panel on verso, including Einstein's own name ('A. Einstein') as the sender (minor soiling and creasing).
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EINSTEIN, Albert. Autograph correspondence card signed ('Albert') to his friend Albert Karr, Huberlandstrasse 5, Berlin, 17 October 1919.

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EINSTEIN, Albert. Autograph correspondence card signed ('Albert') to his friend Albert Karr, Huberlandstrasse 5, Berlin, 17 October 1919.

One page, small 8vo (140 x 90mm), autograph address panel on verso, including Einstein's own name ('A. Einstein') as the sender (minor soiling and creasing).

GENERAL RELATIVITY EMPIRICALLY DEMONSTRATED: Einstein thanks Karr for his congratulations [on the success of the 1919 solar eclipse experiment]: 'Danke auch für den Glückwunsch. Die Bestätigung der Voraussage der Theorie is für mich wirklich eine Befriedigung [Thanks too for your congratulations. The confirmation of the prediction of the theory is a real satisfaction for me]'. The postcard also thanks Karr for alerting Einstein to a problem at his bank, which may have to wait until his return from a two-week trip to Holland before he can resolve it.

Einstein had proposed three tests of his theory of general relativity in 1916 -- the perihelion precession of Mercury's orbit, the deflection of light by the Sun and the gravitational redshift of light. The unusually long solar eclipse of 29 May 1919 gave the opportunity for the British astronomer Arthur Eddington (1882-1944) to run the second of these tests, by measuring the degree to which the position of stars near the sun would appear to have shifted, which he did through a series of photographs taken from the island of Principe off the west coast of Africa. Eddington had made a preliminary announcement of the success of the experiment at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science on 9-13 September, and news was unofficially passed to Einstein on the 22nd by H.A. Lorentz, prompting a letter by Einstein to his mother on 27 September that 'they have really verified the deflection of light by the sun'. The present letter appears to be THE SECOND-EARLIEST SURVIVING REFERENCE BY EINSTEIN to the successful demonstration of his most famous theory (although intriguingly he had evidently already mentioned it to Karr in a preceding communication), and predates the official announcement by some three weeks. When this occurred, it was front-page news around the world (the Times on 7 November had the headline 'Revolution in Science – New Theory of the Universe – Newtonian Ideas Overthrown'), and propelled Einstein to the degree of international celebrity which was to characterise the rest of his life. 2016 is the centenary of the publication of Einstein's 'Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie' (Annalen der Physik, Vierte Folge, Band 49).




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