D O C U M E N T 1 8 6 D E C E M B E R 1 9 1 9 2 6 3
tion; and although the popular interest will die down, there is no mistaking the gen-
uine enthusiasm in scientific circles and perhaps more particularly in this
It is the best possible thing that could have happened for scientific relations be-
tween England and Germany. I do not anticipate rapid progress towards official re-
union, 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-
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
I have been kept very busy lecturing and writing on your theory. My Report on
Relativity is sold out and is being
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 had the satisfaction of accomplishing the experimental test of your the-
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.
A. S. Eddington
ALS. [9 260].
Unknown letter. In his letter of 5 October 1919, inviting Einstein to Leyden (Doc. 123), Ehren-
fest indicated that he would also try to arrange for a meeting with Eddington, but already before Ein-
stein’s departure for Leyden it had become clear that these plans would not work out (see Doc. 134).
At a joint meeting of the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society in London (see
Doc. 164, note 1).
For a discussion of the reaction of leading Cambridge theorists to Eddington’s presentation of
the eclipse results, see Sponsel 2002.
Eddington had been an outspoken opponent of those who wished to sever scientific relations
between the formerly hostile powers. For a discussion, see Stanley 2003.
On Hermann Weyl’s theory yielding the cosmological term, see Weyl 1918a. For details, see
Hermann Weyl to Einstein, 18 September 1918 (Vol. 8, Doc. 619), and notes 11 and 12 to it. See
Kerszberg 1989, especially p. 289, for further discussion of Eddington’s reaction to Weyl’s theory and
its cosmological implications.
The publication is Eddington 1918a, which was reprinted in 1920.
On Erwin Freundlich’s participation in the 1914 German eclipse expedition to the Crimea, see
Einstein to Paul Ehrenfest, 19 August 1914 (Vol. 8, Doc. 34, note 4). For the historical setting of this
expedition, see Earman and Glymour 1980.