EINSTEIN, Albert. Autograph manuscript, a page from a paper with Walther Mayer on Unified Field Theory using five-dimensional Kaluza-Klein theory, [Berlin, 1932]. 1 page, folio, several pencil deletions to the text, top 4 lines crossed out in pencil, de-acidified and conserved, housed in in aconservation mat.
PART OF A 1932 PAPER ON UNIFIED FIELD THEORY USING FIVE-DIMENSIONAL KALUZA-KLEIN THEORY
This manuscript corresponds to the lower half of p. 135 of the published text of a paper by Einstein and his collaborator Walther Mayer on five-dimensional Kaluza-Klein theory from the point of view of projective geometry (Vizgin 1994, p. 259; see references). In the early 1930s there was a flurry of interest in such theories, and, for a short period, Einstein had high hopes that this theory might be the long sought-after Unified Field Theory. After contributing only two papers on the subject, however, Einstein abandoned this line of inquiry and moved on to different methods to unify gravity and electromagnetism. The present manuscript constitutes is part of the manuscript for the second of these papers. It was presented to the Prussian Academy on April 14, 1932 and published in its Proceedings. The timing of this work is interesting for two reasons. First, 1932 is known as the miracle year of nuclear physics (Segrè 1980, Ch. 9), for in that year, among other things, the neutron, the positron, and deuterium were discovered. In stark contrast, Einstein was doggedly pursuing yet another theory unifying gravity and electromagnetism, still hoping, perhaps against hope, that both nuclear interactions and quantum mechanics could somehow be recovered from these arcane theories. Secondly, and more ominously, this was one of the last papers Einstein ever submitted to the Prussian Academy in Berlin. In the wake of the Nazi party's seizure of power in January 1933, Einstein left Germany in March of that year, never to return.
We are grateful to Drs. Jeroen van Dongen of the Universiteit van Amsterdam for identifying this passage. Van Dongen is finishing a dissertation on Einstein's methodological pronouncements while working on Unified Field Theory.
Albert Einstein and Walther Mayer, "Einheitliche Theorie von Gravitation und Elektrizität." 2. Abhandlung. Königlich Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Berlin). Sitzungsberichte (1932): 130-137.
Albrecht Fölsing, Albert Einstein: Eine Biographie. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp, 1993. Published in English translation as Albert Einstein A Biography. Abridged ed. New York: Viking Penguin, 1997.
Emilio Segré, From X-Rays to Quarks. Modern Physicists and Their Discoveries. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1980.
Vladimir P. Vizgin, Unified Field Theories in the First Third of the 20th Century. Boston: Birkäuser, 1994.
EINSTEIN, A. and W. MAYER. Einheitliche Theorie von Gravitation und Elekrizität. Zweite Abhandlung. Offprint from: Sitzungsberichte der Königlich preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, XII. Berlin, 1932. FIRST EDITION, offprint issue. BRL 207.1. (2)