D O C U M E N T 1 0 5 M A R C H 1 9 2 1 8 5
centrally symmetric electric
The field of a real electron cannot look like
that, of course, and it is clear that the theory is not yet finished
I would oth-
erwise like to add on this occasion that from a physical standpoint I absolutely do
not agree with Weyl’s extension of the general theory of relativity, which is
grounded on a generalization of Riemannian geometry.
I unfortunately cannot share your optimism regarding the solution to the quan-
tum problem. I believe that the theory of relativity does not bring us a step closer,
at least in its current form. I am convinced that the two-body problem will not lead
to a discrete manifold of paths but to a continuous one.
It is a highly welcome fact that a considerable portion of England’s learned
world upholds the pacifistic
In view of the prominent power England
enjoys in the world today, it will not fail to have a gradual curative influence on the
intelligentsia in other countries. Our scholars here are, alas, to an overwhelming
majority locked in traditional prejudices, which is only being strengthened by the
strong pressure that the country is presently experiencing.
105. To Franz Rusch
Berlin, 18 March 1921
Dear Mr. Rusch,
If good intentions had ruled, I would have written you long ago. But I live an
agitated, hurried life that hardly lets one stop and think. So many things have hap-
pened in this world since we last saw each
I shudder at the thought of it.
And what else does the foreseeable future still hold! It is almost a consolation that
there will eventually be an end to oneself and to all these other goings on. The finest
thing is and remains science, which has meanwhile blossomed so wonderfully. I
had the good fortune of being able to think the idea of the relativity of motion com-
pletely through and to witness its verification, and also to find a satisfactory quan-
tum theory for Planck’s formula. The quantum problem itself is still just as obscure
as ever, of course. There seems to be a failure in our theoretical foundations here,
which exceeds the powers of all those alive to overcome. But the Rutherford-Bohr
insights into the structure of the atom really are a wonderful success. Recently,
Rutherford demonstrated the radioactive decay of many lighter atoms (e.g., alumi-
num) through -rays.
It is a pity that you feel so lonely. I imagine life among the Chinese as actually
quite fine and attractive. I found the few specimens I met extraordinarily appealing.
From the human point of view these people with their finely balanced forms actu-
ally seem to be far superior to us, so they could well lose more than they gain