6 2 D O C . 7 5 J U L Y 1 9 1 9
boys. It is to be hoped that your stay in Switzerland will be beneficial to your health
as well.
I wanted to write you recently already when I saw your name under an appeal to
the intellectual workers of all
nations.[3]
It is dreadfully difficult to do anything for
the sentiments of reconciliation. There are mostly Germans here at the sanatorium.
At first, of course, the great questions came under discussion. Then my
wife[4]
and
I always felt how wide a gap there is between everybody. The other people invari-
ably had heard other facts. So one does not know whether to point to the error on
one’s own side or to be silent about past events and try to talk about more positive
new matters. By its behavior in Paris, the Entente did not make pacification easier
either.[5]
And yet, as much as I detest Parisian intrigues, I could feel virtually no
sympathy for the others just because, with such a hue and cry and the slogan that
this dictated peace must lead to a new war, they are already starting again with their
asinine warmongering. It is sad, and it may possibly even get worse.—The coura-
geous statement by Smuts remains a glimmer of hope for
me.[6]
It doesn’t suit me at all that I became sick at the end of the war, just as I was in-
tending to travel abroad to visit you and Bohr. It may take until next spring before
I can get away from here again.
On the question of the relativity of inertia, I have not yet arrived at any conclu-
sion. At first I wanted to size it up as follows: in the absence of matter, or better, at
an infinite distance from other masses, a test body has an infinitesimal momentum,
that is, an infinitesimal inertial mass.[7] Hence, with finite dx and dt
diminishes to zero, in o[ther] w[ords], . However, the solution by
Schwarzschild and Droste for the spherically symmetric case, from which the other
cases that are an infinite distance away will surely hardly deviate, yields a finite
.[8] So I investigated whether one obtains anything else when, instead of taking
a permanent center of mass, one takes one that exists only for a split instant. I tried
to find the solution for the 4-dimensional pseudohyperspherically symmetric case.
(Sorry about the monstrous expression!) This furnishes constant ’s as the only
solution. (This solution actually does not belong to an instantaneous flare-up of a
center of mass; a large spherical shell would rather have to contract upon itself and
expand again, similar to a spherical wave of light shrinking into a point and then
expanding outward, to exhibit this 4-dim. symmetry.) When I again could find no
infinite velocity, I came to believe that the reason for continually finding a finite
inertia lay in the mere assumption of any . I saw in an article by Klein (“Über
die Integralform der Erh.sätze und die Th. d. räumlich-geschlossenen Welt” [On
the Integral Form of the Laws of Conservation and the Theory of a Spatially Closed
gabmdxb
ds
--------

g44 ∞→
g44
gab
ds2
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