PROPERTY FROM THE DESCENDANTS OF PAUL S. EPSTEIN (1883-1966)
EINSTEIN, Albert (1879-1955). Autograph letter signed (“A. Einstein”) to Paul Epstein, Princeton, 28 November 1945.
In German. Two pages, 217 x 280 mm, on personal blindstamped letterhead (“A. Einstein, 112 Mercer Street”), with two sketched diagrams.
"It is this view against which my instinct revolts." Epstein had responded to Einstein’s elucidation of the EPR paradox (see lot 38) with further concerns. “Your objection is new to me and quite convincing: One can’t accurately measure the momentum of the system (box + photon) with a spectral apparatus sitting on the box,” writes Einstein. The problem, he argues, is with his thought experiment rather than the principle at stake; in order to satisfy Epstein’s criticisms Einstein presents a re-redesigned EPR paradox, “and I ask you to please look at this with your critical eye”. This new system is sketched out in two diagrams and seems to have satisfied both correspondents; its themes and language are echoed in the short paper “Quantum Mechanics and Reality” published by Einstein in Dialectica in 1948. At the end of the letter Einstein re-affirms what he finds so distasteful about Bohr’s view of quantum mechanics: “Most contemporary physicists would argue that while they do not believe in the subsequent influence on the quantum, they are in principle prohibited from asking for a 'real state of affairs' regarding the dividing quantum. It is this view against which my instinct revolts.”