1 5 8 D O C . 1 8 6 D E C E M B E R 1 9 1 9
“book” into English and asked me to provide a short accompanying popular text.
Evidently, they are of the opinion that you, like a diligent German, have written a
thick book about your theory. But perhaps it would be possible to publish your pop-
ular
account[2]
and perhaps also a selection of all your scientific notices as an om-
nibus volume and to have it translated. It is, in any case, very encouraging that an
English publisher is taking the initiative, and I hope that you can accept it. I recom-
mended Cunningham as
translator.[3]
As far as I am concerned, I said that I cannot
undertake such a thing right now.
I congratulate you heartily on the fine success of the English eclipse expeditions.
The agreement is really very good, much better than I had expected, and the whole
thing is very
convincing.[4]
What now remains is the redshift in the Sun. But I don’t have any hopes about
that. Vibrating atoms on the Sun are no astronomical clockwork—I mean, they are
probably subjected to many more disturbing influences of unknown origin than any
astron. clock. And yet, we do not even trust clocks, and when they sometimes in-
dicate the wrong time, we do not say that mechanics has to be rewritten. It is all the
less permissible for us to expect that atoms in the Sun will always indicate the cor-
rect (eigen) time. The same may also apply, more or less, to the comparison light
source on Earth.–
Fokker and I are trying to keep each other scientifically alert
here.[5]
Fokker is
longing very much for the papers you promised to send
him.[6]
You may know that Mrs. Fokker had a little girl?
With best regards, yours sincerely,
W. de Sitter.
186. From Arthur S. Eddington
[Cambridge,] 1 December 1919
Dear Professor Einstein,
It was a great pleasure to receive your letter from Holland, and to be in personal
communication with you. I was sorry not to be able to come over to meet
you.[1]
Our results were announced on Nov.
6;[2]
and you probably know that since then
all England has been talking about your theory. It has made a tremendous sensa-
tion; and although the popular interest will die down, there is no mistaking the gen-
uine enthusiasm in scientific circles and perhaps more particularly in this
university.[3]
It is the best possible thing that could have happened for scientific relations be-
tween England and Germany. I do not anticipate rapid progress towards official
Previous Page Next Page