March 8, 2010

Public Gets First Look At Landmark Einstein Manuscript

For the first time since it was originally published in 1916, the manuscript recording Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity can be seen during an exhibit at the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Jerusalem.

The 46-page manuscript, handwritten by Einstein himself and filled with notes and mathematical formulas, will be on display from March 7 through March 25, 2010, in an exhibition sponsored by Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The manuscript is being displayed to celebrate both Einstein's March 14 birthday and the 50th anniversary of the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

According to a press statement released by the university, "The original manuscript of the general theory of relativity represents the most important revolution in the understanding of the universe in modern times "“ a revolution in the way we perceive space, time and gravity. The general theory of relativity brought about new insights into the structure of the universe and its development and predicted the existence of the black holes."

"It changed our understanding of space, time, gravitation, and really the entire universe," Hanoch Gutfreund, former Hebrew University president and current chair of the school's Albert Einstein Archives, told the Associated Press (AP). Gutfreund went on to say that the General Theory of Relativity was "the Magna Carta of physics" and "the most important manuscript in the archives."

Einstein wrote the General Theory of Relativity in his Berlin home in 1916. It contains many of the scientists most important and well-known postulates, including his formula for mass-energy equivalence (E=mc2) and his theories of time dilation. Einstein was born in 1879 and won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1930. He donated his most famous manuscript to Hebrew University in 1925, and left the remained of his work to the institution upon his death in 1955.


Image 2: This is the first time Einstein's entire manuscripts have been displayed in public. (Photo: Courtaesy of the Albert Einstein Archives)


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