2 December 2004
EINSTEIN, Albert. Autograph letter signed ('Papa') to his son Hans Albert, Old Lyme, Connecticut, 16 June 1935, one page, 4°.
A NEW ATOMIC THEORY, AND THE CATASTROPHE FACING EUROPE. Einstein responds enthusiastically to news of Hans Albert's progress in his doctorate in hydraulics, in particular on the path of a stone through moving water, and suggests an experimental test, though this will be tricky. He offers to support the financial costs of the doctorate: 'I can still remember very clearly how difficult I found it to steer the weak financial boat past this cliff'. On his own scientific work, 'What I have discovered is that the centrally symmetrical solutions of the neutral mass-point and of the electrical mass can be understood as fields free of singularity. This provides a possibility of constructing a general relativistic theory of atomic processes. The mathematical obstacles however to further exposition are very great'. Einstein then turns to the international situation: 'If Europe continues to react so weakly to Hitlerism, there will be a major catastrophe. They let MacDonald [Ramsay MacDonald, British Prime Minister, 1931-35] economize for too long. Here in America there is a very high unemployment rate among academics, so that there are almost no prospects for you at the moment'; but he encourages Hans Albert to send an application to Professor Karman at the California Institute of Technology.
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