D O C . 1 8 7 D E C E M B E R 1 9 1 9 1 5 9
reunion, but there is a big advance towards a more reasonable frame of mind among
scientific men, and that is even more important than the renewal of formal associa-
tions.[4]
I have been much interested in Prof. Weyl’s work, and it removes some of my
prejudices against your “cosmological views” of space-curvature. I have not got
hold of Weyl’s mathematics yet completely; but it seems to lead almost inevitably
to your cosmological
terms.[5]
I have been kept very busy lecturing and writing on your theory. My Report on
Relativity is sold out and is being
reprinted.[6]
That shows the zeal for knowledge
on the subject; because it is not an easy book to tackle. I had a huge audience at the
Cambridge Philosophical Society a few days ago, and hundreds were turned away
unable to get near the room.
Although it seems unfair that Dr. Freundlich, who was first in the field, should
not have the satisfaction of accomplishing the experimental test of your
theory,[7]
one feels that things have turned out very fortunately in giving this object-lesson of
the solidarity of 〈British〉 German and British science even in time of war.
I, likewise, am unable to write except in my own language.
Yours sincerely,
A. S. Eddington.
187. To Adriaan D. Fokker
[Berlin, after 1 December
1919][1]
Dear Mr. Fokker,
My time is so packed with reflex actions and trifles that you must forgive me for
sending you the papers and answering your nice letter only
now.[2]
My political op-
timism has also suffered a jolt. Everyone who has the opportunity seems to be de-
veloping into a “Prussian.” The large-scale mechanism gradually appears so hope-
less that I am beginning to feel that the political disinterestedness and international
mentality of intellectuals of former centuries is the only thing possible and worth
striving
for.[3]
It was very nice in Holland, and there we also often thought of you and de Sitter
having to stay up there so long in
isolation.[4]
If I make a comparison with my life
at present, though, I can console you with a good conscience. Winter sunshine and
tranquility, instead of fog, telegrams, ringing telephones, stacks of letters, review
manuscripts, etc. From de Sitter I hear with joy that you have got another little child
now from your wife; may God be with the child, and let the earlier misfortune be
forgotten.[5]
My mother will be brought over here soon to us. In a few months she
will have come to the end of her suffering.
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