Udayavni Special

Albert Einstein’s handwritten letter with E=mc2 sells for $1.2 million


Team Udayavani, May 23, 2021, 11:09 AM IST

A letter written by Albert Einstein where he writes out his famous E=mc2 equation has sold at an auction for more than $1.2 million, about three times more than it was expected to get.

Archivists at the Einstein Papers Project at the California Institute of Technology and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem claim that there are only three other known examples of Einstein writing the world-changing equation in his own hand.

According to RR Auction, this fourth example, the only one in a private collection, only became public recently, which had expected to sell for about $400,000.

Calling the equation the most famous in the world, Bobby Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auction said, “It’s an important letter from both a holographic and a physics point of view.”

The one-page handwritten letter is dated Oct.26, 1946, and is written in German to Polish American physicist Ludwik Silberstein.

Ludwik Silberstein was a well-known critic and challenger to some of Einstein’s theories.

According to the translation provided by RR Auction, Einstein wrote in the letter on Princeton University letterhead, “Your question can be answered from the E = mc2 formula, without any erudition.”

The letter was part of Silberstein’s personal archives sold by his descendants.

The buyer was identified only as an anonymous document collector.

Livingston said that five parties were bidding aggressively at first, but once the price reached about $700,000, it became a two-party contest.

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