As is described in the masterful account of the rise of theoretical physics by Christa Jungnickel and Russel Mc Cormmach (Intellectual Mastery of Nature, University of Chicago Press), the original mission of the Annalen was to familiarize its German-speaking readership with the results of investigations pertaining to the mathematical and chemical parts of the theory of nature, including reports from other journals, foreign as well as German.
From the outset, the spirit of the journal was international and integrative and continued to be so under the subsequent editors, in particular Ludwig Wilhelm Gilbert and Johann Christian Poggendorff, who succeeded in turning it into a principal point of reference for the German-speaking scientific community in physics and chemistry, which included not only university professors, but also teachers, doctors, and apothecaries.
The handwritten page, part of an appendix to a 1930 paper on the Nobel winner's efforts towards a unified field theory, was discovered among the 110-page trove the university's Albert Einstein archives received some two weeks ago.
Hebrew University unveiled the collection to coincide what would have been Einstein's 140th birthday on March 14.
The dramatically changing historical circumstances under which these papers were written may also serve as a reminder of the fragility of the scientific enterprise and the need both to reflect on its contexts and to strengthen it by civil courage, just as Einstein has taught us.
The Annalen der Physik, one of the most influential journals in the history of physics, was founded in 1790 by Friedrich Albert Carl Gren, a professor of physics and chemistry at Halle University.Einstein, a theoretical physicist whose opinions on current-day affairs were at times controversial during his lifetime, has evolved into a consensual figure in popular culture, Grosz said, predicting his popularity would continue to grow."Einstein is the go-to guy that everybody wants to identify with, and that's not going to change," he told AFP.Einstein was forced to emigrate from Germany in 1933 and was never to return again.This volume, published in the centenary of Einstein's annus mirabilis, offers the reader a comprehensive overview of the breathtaking scope and depth of the investigations of the towering figure of 20-century physics, focusing on his most productive years.These papers document Einstein's further exploration of the quantum hypothesis and the triumphs of statistical physics as well as various stages of Einstein's journey from special to general relativity.General relativity is the subject of the fourth historical essay, by Michel Janssen.Most of the documents constitute handwritten mathematical calculations behind Einstein's scientific writings in the late 1940s.There are also letters that Einstein, born in Germany in 1879, wrote to collaborators that deal with a range of scientific and personal issues, including one to his son, Hans Albert."If they would have come down hard a year and a half ago, it would have been better and easier." This document is subject to copyright.Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission.