D O C . 1 9 A P R I L 1 9 1 9 1 7
19. From Arnold Berliner[1]
Berlin W9, 23/24 Link St., 9 April 1919
Dear Mr. Einstein,
To the delight of Anglophagists like Lenard,
Stark,[2]
etc., I am publishing in the
first May issue, among notices from various fields, the appended report from
Nature,[3]
which pleased me as greatly as Nutting’s slander against German schol-
ars in Science scandalized
me.[4]
Despite all the effort I took with the translation, I
did not find the exact German expression for every English idiom, even insofar as
the purely factual is concerned. That is why I would like to submit the original to
you and request your opinion about the translation of any of the other idioms. A
morning walk may perhaps take you once into the neighborhood of Link Street,
provided you do not take fright at the four flights of stairs (I now live in the front
building, by the way).
Furthermore, you will obviously be interested that the Nature issue of 6 Febru-
ary writes in an article about the solar eclipse occurring on May
29:[5]
“Besides the
long totality, this eclipse is also noteworthy for the rich field of stars round the sun;
the Astronomer Royal gave a diagram of their configuration in the Monthly Notices
for March, 1917, and directed attention to the very favourable opportunity that
would be presented for testing Einstein’s theory of relativity, according to which a
ray tangential to the sun from a star would be deflected through
1.74″.[6]
Prof. Ed-
dington has directed attention to the deduction that, since a ray of light carries en-
ergy, even apart from Einstein’s theory, we should expect the same shift as would
be produced by the sun’s gravitation on a particle passing close to its surface with
the speed of
light;[7]
it is easy to show that this shift would be exactly half that pre-
dicted by
Einstein.[8]
There are thus three possibilities: no shift, the half shift, or
the full Einstein shift. The definite establishment of any one of the three as the truth
would be an important addition to our knowledge of physics. Should the decision
be in favour of the Einstein shift, it would, in combination with the success of the
latter in explaining the motion of the perihelion of Mercury, suffice to lead to its
acceptance as the actual system of the universe. Its definite disproof would also be
of service, since it would avoid the dissipation of further energy in its elaboration,
though it would still deserve our admiration as an ingenious system of ideal
geometry.”[9]
The report continues on a bit further; I shall be glad to translate it over here when
you come and then also show you a longer article published in the same issue of
Nature that is based on Nutting’s abusive
article.[10]
It is really a mixed pleasure to
have to read English and American periodicals now. To be sure, I honestly am
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