6
DOCUMENT
5
SUMMER 1895
science.[9]
Einstein recalls that
he
studied
some
theoretical
physics
before
entering
the
ETH.[10]
According
to his
sister,
while
preparing
for
the ETH
entrance
examination
in
1895
he
studied
Violle 1892-1893.[11]
This treatise includes
an
extensive
discussion
of
wave
propagation
in
elastic
media,
and
markings
in
Einstein's
copy
indicate that
he
read
this
section.[12]
Mention in this
essay
of
topics
such
as
double
refraction,
the
mysterious
nature
of
electric current,
and Hertz's
experiments
indicate that Einstein
must
have consulted
other
sources
of information
on
electricity, magnetism,
and
optics.
Hertz's
experi-
ments
on
electrodynamic
waves
stimulated
a
great
deal of
public
interest
in
Germany.
Starting
with
his
talk
in
1889,[13]
a
number of
popular
and
semi-popular
accounts
of
his results,
and of the
new
views
of
electromagnetism they supported,
were
published.
It
seems likely
that
Einstein read
some
of these
before
writing
this
essay.[14]
[9]
Talmey states
that
he
gave
Bernstein
1853-1857
and
Büchner 1855 to
Einstein
(see Talmey 1932,
pp.
162,
163),
books
which
espouse
a
mechanistic outlook. Winteler-
Einstein alludes
to
Talmey
and mentions
Humboldt
1845-1862
among
the books
re-
commended
to
Einstein
(see
MWE,
this
vol-
ume,
p.
lxii).
[10]
See
Einstein
1979,
p.
14.
The
Luitpold-
Gymnasium
did
not offer
physics
until the
seventh
year
(see
Appendix
B),
in
the middle
of
which
Einstein
left
the school.
[11]
See MWE,
this
volume,
p.
lxiv.
Perhaps
Einstein knew that the
required topics
for
the ETH
entrance
examination
in
physics
included "Die Elemente der Lehre
von
den
Aetherschwingungen"
(see Appendix C).
[12]
A
copy
of
Violle 1892-1893,
with
a
sticker
indicating
that it
was
purchased
from
a
book dealer
in
Milan, is
still in
Einstein's
library.
It
contains
some underlinings
and
marginal
annotations. This textbook
covers
mechanics,
including
solids,
liquids,
and
gases,
in
some
detail.
[13] Uber
die
Beziehungen
zwischen
Licht
und
Elektricität
(Hertz
1889b)
went
through
nine editions
by
1895.
[14] There
are
striking parallels,
for
example,
between elements of Einstein's
essay
and
cer-
tain
passages
in Sohncke 1891.
5.
On the
Investigation
of the
State of
the
Ether
in
a Magnetic
Field
[Summer?
1895][1]
Uber
die
Untersuchung
des
Aetherzustandes
im magnetischen
Felde.
Nachfolgende
Zeilen
sind der
erste
bescheidene Ausdruck
einiger
einfacher
Gedanken
über
dies
schwierige
Thema. Mit schwerem Herzen
dränge
ich
dieselben
in
einen Aufsatz
zusammen,
der eher
wie ein
Programm
als
wie
eine
Abhandlung
aussieht.
Weil
es
mir aber
vollständig
an
Material
fehlte, um
AD
(Mme.
Suzanne
Koch,
Brussels).
Enclosed
in
the
following
letter.
[1] Dated
by
the
fact
of
its
enclosure
in
the
following
letter,
on
the
assumption
that it
was
written
shortly
before the latter.
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