1 1 6 D O C . 1 3 7 O C T O B E R 1 9 1 9
to do so again personally. Once one has understood your theory, it is so convincing
that the astronomical result becomes a matter of course: it simply couldn’t have
come out otherwise. That is why I understand how you likewise looked upon the
measurement of the plates with imperturbable
certainty.[3]
Even so, the day on
which the deflection was experimentally demonstrated is a proud day for you, for
physics, indeed for the whole of science and philosophy, to celebrate.
In the meantime, I have exchanged a couple of letters with the Zionists. It seems
that prospects for a Jewish state are being viewed optimistically, and colonization
will make a powerful start with the end of the military
administration.[4]
The found-
ing of the university is being prepared in earnest because, on the one hand, there
are high school graduates in need of higher education in Palestine itself. On the oth-
er hand, higher education for Jews in Poland involves great difficulties due to anti-
Semitism and social boycott. I made it clear to my correspondents that the profes-
sorship, which in your hands would have acquired general philosophical signifi-
cance, will, with me, sink down to a standard specialty chair, the filling of which is
not urgent, since theoretical physics classes are attended only after a few semesters
of preliminary
studies.[5]
Nevertheless, it would be quite preferable to me to enter
into relations with the people of influence as early as possible in order, as the case
may be, to be able to acquire a good command of the language in the interim. As I
hear, Dr. Ruppin will be in Berlin in the next few weeks and contact you about the
university issues.[6]
Meanwhile, I have carried out the calculations I had once mentioned to you in
conversation regarding the dispersion theory from the point of view of quantum
theory. The definite outcome is that the Debye-Sommerfeld theory is only of ap-
proximative value and that the true theory must introduce the frequency condition
in its initial assumption.[7] It is consequently nothing unusual that Sommerfeld’s re-
sults are occasionally off.–
Last week Debye was here and delivered a fine talk at the Phys. Soc.[8] Please
convey my cordial greetings to Ehrenfest, likewise to his wife.[9]
With many thanks, I remain with sincere respect, yours truly,
Paul Epstein.
137. From Moritz Schlick
Rostock, 23 Orléans St., 15 October 1919
Highly esteemed Professor,
In the next day or so you will receive an invitation from Rostock University to
attend the Quincentennial Jubilee. You will note that the university has more than
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