INTRODUCTION TO VOLUME 1 xxxix tion papers support her claim. His first scientific essay in 1895 demonstrates his independent study of physics and his considerable facility at assimilating and reworking the material he studied. It establishes Einstein's early interest in the nature of the ether and in the propagation of electromagnetic waves (see Doc. 5 and the editorial note that precedes it). Einstein's notes on the introductory physics course at the ETH, taught by Weber, provide a unique view of Einstein's formal education as a physicist. At least this once, he followed enthusiastically and recorded a course of physics lectures. Through them he was exposed to many current ideas on the nature of thermal and electrical phenomena, including their atomistic explanation (see Doc. 37 and the editorial note that precedes it). No discussion of Maxwell's electromagnetic theory seems to have been included in any of his courses at the ETH, however, and Einstein began to study it on his own. The most fascinating evidence of Einstein's readings and scientific interests between 1899 and 1902 is found in his letters to Maric. As noted earlier, both were students of physics, and Einstein undertook his independent study of physics together with her. They read and discussed books by Boltzmann, Drude, Helmholtz, Hertz, Kirchhoff, Mach, Ostwald, and Planck. Einstein continued to discuss physics in their letters, written during summers and other periods of separation. When one reads these letters, fascination is often mixed with frustration. Einstein breaks off an explanation in the middle of a key thought, which he presumably completed when they met or he begins to discuss a topic by pre- supposing previous conversations about it. In addition, there are clear indica- tions of many letters that are now missing. Forty-one of Einstein's letters to Maric from the period covered by this volume have survived, but there are only ten of Maric's letters to him. Other letters, particularly those to the Winteler family, to Marcel Grossmann, and to Helene Savic (Kaufler), fill some of the gaps in their correspondence, but they tend to include very few scientific comments. The letters in this volume provide few indications of Maric's part in this ongoing scientific dialogue. Aside from a brief description of a lecture by Philipp Lenard, there is no discussion of physics in her letters to Einstein. Her letters to their friend Savic twice discuss works by Einstein, which Maric attributes exclusively to him. Einstein's letters to Maric mention joint work on capillarity and relative motion but besides references to their study of books and requests for her help in obtaining data on several topics, the letters fail to clarify Maric's role in such joint work. Although the possibility that she played a more significant part cannot be excluded, the available evidence suggests that her role was that of a sounding board for Einstein's ideas, a
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