Albert Einstein (1879–1955), one of the foremost scientists and public figures of the 20th century, revolutionized our views of time and space, matter and light, gravitation and the universe.
The Einstein Papers Project is engaged in one of the most ambitious scholarly publishing ventures undertaken in the history of science. The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein provides the first complete picture of Einstein’s massive written legacy.
The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein series now covers Einstein's life and work up to his 46th birthday. It presents, as annotated full text, 400 writings by Einstein and 3,450 letters written by and to him. An additional 2,654 documents appear in abstract.
One might think that if there is any scientist whose work has been thoroughly researched and studied, whose every manuscript and letter has been scrutinized by scholars and other scientists, it would be Albert Einstein. He created the idea of the light quantum, the special and general theories of relativity, wrote the decisive paper establishing the existence of atoms, suggested the first model of the universe as a whole, introduced the principles that gave rise to lasers, and many more things. He also invented a design for a new kind of refrigerator, a gyrocompass, and worked on designs for a tape recorder and a camera that would self-adjust to light intensity. He was instrumental in bringing German science back into the fold of international cooperation after the First World War, and in creating the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He became a major figurehead of the international pacifist movement in the interwar period and the disarmament movement in the postwar period. He exchanged letters with all the great physicists of his time over decades, with senior political leaders, writers, musicians, and artists.
Of whom, if not of Einstein, would we expect that every piece of paper he had ever set his pen to had been studied with great care already?
And yet, it has not happened so far. Einstein’s literary estate, his published and unpublished manuscripts, his letters and notebooks, contain tens of thousands of pages, mostly handwritten. Much of it has likely not been read by anybody, let alone been researched thoroughly, and followed through line by line. [Read More].