California Institute of Technology
Einstein Papers Project

Welcome

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.

 

Published Volumes

Online / On Paper

The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein series now covers Einstein's life and work up to his 48th birthday. It presents, as annotated full text, 484 writings by Einstein and 3,450 letters written by and to him. An additional 3,441 documents appear in abstract.


Einstein Archives Online

A unique resource: You can access our database of 90,000+ records of all known Einstein manuscripts and correspondence and also search the full text of 2,000 digitized items.

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News

100 Year Anniversary of the Meeting that Confirmed Einstein's Theory

Caltech Twitter Screenshot

On November 6, 1919 the results of Arthur Eddington, Frank Dyson and Andrew Crommelin's expedition-- to observe a total solar eclipse and test Einstein's general theory of relativity-- were presented to the Royal Astronomical Society and Royal Society, in London.

Today in London, on the hundredth anniversary of that meeting, EPP editor Daniel Kennefick will present, with Dr. Meghan Gray of the University of Nottingham, Dr. Carolin Crawford of University of Cambridge and author Ron Cowen at the Royal Astronomical Society.

From the event webpage: Speakers will look at how general relativity underpins modern science. Astrophysicists use it to explain the motion of stars and planets, and understand how matter behaves in extreme environments like the regions around black holes. On the largest scales general relativity is crucial to our understanding of the beginning and ultimate fate of the universe we live in. And in everyday life, it makes possible navigation with satnavs and mobile phones.

Check out Caltech's Twitter page for their announcement of the above and to follow, like and retweet. New York Times subscribers can read Mr. Cowen's Opinion piece in today's digital edition titled How Einstein Became the First Science Superstar.

11-06-19


Q & A with New EPP Editor: Joshua Eisenthal

Eisenthal portrait

1. Welcome to the Einstein Papers Project! Describe the work you were doing in recent years and how that work led you to joining us at the EPP.

After studying Physics and Philosophy at the University of Oxford I spent two years as a science and physics teacher at Capital City Academy in London. In 2018 I completed a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, where I continued as lecturer in Logic and Philosophy of Science. My dissertation focused on the philosopher-physicist Heinrich Hertz and the influence he had on Ludwig Wittgenstein. Another project I worked on while at Pittsburgh concerned the philosophy of geometry before and after general relativity, particularly Hermann Weyl’s distinctive solution to the “problem of space”.

A focal point of my research is the close interplay between physics and philosophy at the turn of the century and the intellectual upheaval brought about by the transition from classical to modern physics. Einstein, of course, is one of the most important figures in this period: the father of relativity, one of the major progenitors of quantum mechanics, and perhaps the most prominent example of a scientist who remained deeply engaged with philosophy throughout his career.

2. In what ways does your previous research dovetail with or diverge from what we work on at the project?

My recent research on Weyl’s interpretation of general relativity is closely connected with work at the EPP. Weyl’s analysis of geometry led him to a unified theory of gravity and electromagnetism. He quickly communicated his work to Einstein, and although Einstein’s initial response was enthusiastic , he soon discovered a tension with observational data. Weyl’s response to Einstein’s criticism went to the heart of the physical interpretation of geometrical notions, and seems to have influenced Einstein for decades after.

My interest in Wittgenstein, however, brings up questions in the foundations of logic and language which are more distant from Einstein’s work. There appear to be relatively few connections between Einstein and Wittgenstein, which is a little surprising given Wittgenstein’s engineering background and persistent interest in a number of Einstein’s predecessors (Boltzmann, Hertz & Maxwell). Nevertheless, a number of philosophers—especially the members of the Vienna Circle—had parallel interests in Wittgenstein and Einstein, and this is an area of research that I hope to pursue in the future.

3. Does your experience of teaching science continue to affect your working practices? Do you anticipate that it may affect your work as an editor?

One of the lasting impacts of my teaching experience was a sense of the importance and power of clear and effective communication, especially communication to a diverse audience. (If my teenage pupils didn’t find my classes engaging, they would let me know about it very quickly!) The more I’ve learnt about Einstein’s work the more fascinating I have found it, and I am keen to communicate the importance of the work done at the EPP to as broad an audience as possible.

4. Was there a key moment in your formative years that set you on the path to becoming a researcher or philosopher?

I began my undergraduate degree focusing exclusively on physics. However, I soon realized that my interests were always in the theoretical and foundational aspects of physics—those aspects which lie closest to philosophy. (The study of space, time and matter are the most central issues in twentieth century physics, but they are also tied to some of the oldest questions in philosophy.)

The first of two critical moments for me was choosing to study “Physics and Philosophy” as a combined degree. The second was visiting Princeton University as an exchange student, where I wrote a thesis on “Space, Spacetime, and Geometry”. In fact, it was the experience of working on that thesis which set me on the path to becoming a professional researcher today.

10-30-19
Photo by Emily Araújo



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