8 4 D O C U M E N T 1 0 4 M A R C H 1 9 2 1
him many contributions and various initiatives. The major administrative duties,
particularly now, exacting the highest demands of a director’s working energy,
would be safe in the hands of Ludendorff.–
Doubts could be raised about preferring a scientist like von Laue, who has hith-
erto been far removed from astronomy, as director of the Astrophysical Observa-
tory, especially when, according to the general professional view, we have
Ludendorff, who although not a towering figure is nevertheless a competent repre-
sentative of astrophysics; thus objections from astronomical quarters will have to
be anticipated. If the Academy disregards these objections in placing him first in
its recommendation, it does so for the following two reasons. First, it unfortunately
cannot be denied that astronomy in Germany at the present time has fallen some-
what behind in the area of experimental and physico-mathematical method. Sec-
ond, most recently in particular, experimental and theoretical research reliant on
physics—we consider particularly the researches by Einstein, Hale, Michelson,
—has led to important new advances. Evidently, in Germany there
is a lack of sufficient contact between astronomy and physics; to motivate this
interaction we believe we cannot make a more effective recommendation than the
one we originally made.
If Professor von Laue would head the Astrophysical Observatory, it would per-
haps be advisable, so that continuity in astrophysical research does not suffer, to
promote an observer’s position—at the present time the relevant institute has two
outstanding observers in the persons of Ludendorff and Eberhard[6] —in some suit-
able form, perhaps through the creation of a position for a vice-director; but such a
conciliatory and perspicacious personality as Professor von Laue would naturally
fully guarantee that the projects underway at the observatory continue to find the
support of the new director.
A. Einstein.
W. Nernst.
104. To George B. Jeffery
Berlin, 18 March 1921
Highly esteemed Colleague,
To my great shock I just noticed that I forgot to answer your kind and interesting
and that my secretary inadvertently sent you the old edition of the relativity
article which does not yet contain anything about general
You will be
receiving the new edition of the book at the same time as this
I draw your attention to the book that appeared with Springer Publishers (Berlin)
by H. Weyl, Space Time Matter, which also contains your exact formula on the
Previous Page Next Page