2 1 6 D O C U M E N T 8 5 J U L Y 1 9 2 0
definiteness of atomic radii and frequencies. I was convinced of the inaccuracy
(that is, the inapplicability) of Weyl’s theory from the very start. Actually, there are
almost exclusively factual reasons against it, but not for
But as long as you
believe in Guillaume
it would be unfair to complain about Weyl, because these
are so completely different orders of magnitude of sins; Weyl is always a profound,
clear mind, sheer bliss to read, the other, however, is slovenly.–
That you take so much pleasure in [Hans] Albert warms my fatherly heart very
much. I am going to see him and Tete in October over the fall vacation. I am having
them come into the little land of Swabia, to Benzingen near
A joint
stay in Switzerland would be too expensive. You really are right with your remark
about the tractability of people; there actually isn’t any superior guidance, though.
All are puppets, moved by God knows what, but not by judicious people free from
selfish motives. Only rarely is such a stroke of luck materialized in an enlightened
despot (Marc Aurel or some
if good intentions are also prudence and
action). Your self-characterization is priceless, exaggerated, but not completely un-
fitting. If you had as much will and persuasive power as intelligence, you would
have become a great leader of people.
My work is currently not up to much either. I split up my energy, have to deal
with immense amounts of correspondence, evaluate, advise, act as protector, but
make no progress on the larger questions. Planck has now accepted my derivation
of his formula—are you familiar with it? (Quantum-like emission and absorption
according to a statistical law, Boltzmann’s distribution
The comment about Weyl’s book relates to his theory of electricity. I do under-
stand your view. You think: constancy in the relative extension of bodies does not
need to be found in the theory’s fundamentals; it would be nicer still if it resulted
as a consequence, or were acceptable by finding a place in the theory as a special
hypothesis. But don’t forget, the theory is based on the geometry of measuring
rods. Then it is assumed that the relative lengths of the measuring rods were a func-
tion of their prehistories. Then real measuring rods should come out as relatively
invariant. That is why the measuring rods used as grounds for the theory would
have to be just theoretical measuring rods, which behave differently from real ones.
This is horrible. Added to that, the theory’s previous accomplishments are lost. One
has to take tensors of 4th rank instead of only of second rank, which carries with it
a far-reaching vagueness in the theory: first, because considerably more equations
come into consideration; second, because the solutions contain more arbitrary con-
You yourself indicate another argument, the planetary system inside the pea. Ig-
nore molecules for a while and assume that water has the same density throughout.
Then one can introduce density, instead of mass, as the fundamental unit:
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