In the fall of 1922, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. When the
prize announcement finally came, after more than a decade of nominations,
Einstein was on a steamer headed for Japan. He never attended a formal Nobel
Prize awards ceremony, traditionally held on 10 December of every year.
Einstein’s departure from Berlin and his decision to forgo the Nobel ceremonies
constitute only two of the rich, fascinating, and at times tense events surrounding
his trip to the Far East. His Travel Diary (Doc. 379), recounting in detailed and at
times poetic prose the daily events and his impressions on this sea voyage, as well
as his musings on science, philosophy, and art, is published here in its entirety for
the first time. Together with the correspondence surrounding his travels, the diary
is central to understanding this period in Einstein’s life, heavily marked by the as-
sassination of Germany’s foreign minister, Walther Rathenau, a few months earlier.
As Einstein himself professed, the trip was both an escape from the tense atmo-
sphere in Berlin and rumored threats against his own life, as well as the fulfillment
of his long-held desire to visit Japan (see Doc. 402).
During the period of fifteen months covered by the present volume, from the be-
ginning of 1922 until the end of March 1923, Einstein was absent from Berlin for
almost seven months. In early April 1922 he traveled to Paris, and shortly after-
wards he undertook one of his regular visits to Leyden in the Netherlands. Then, in
early autumn, he departed on his longest voyage yet. He left Berlin for the Far East
at the beginning of October 1922 and did not return until late March 1923.
Yet despite it all, Einstein’s work and intense scientific exchanges during this pe-
riod resulted in remarkable publications and intellectual developments. Thus, from
among the thirty-six writings covering these fifteen months, most of which are pop-
ular lectures, discussions, and reports by others, some articles stand out for their
scientific significance, as discussed further below. The volume also presents ten
writings (and sixteen letters) that belong to an earlier period (1910–1921) and have
come to the editors’ attention only over the past few years.
Beginning with the current volume, we will present Einstein’s writings and cor-
respondence in a single series. Previously published as separate series, the Writings
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