D O C U M E N T 5 4 F E B R U A R Y 1 9 2 2 7 5
Because I have to write an annual progress report that contains as its essential core
the fact of your (twice yearly) presence in Leyden.—Your presence here, even if
you “do absolutely nothing,” means for all of us (especially also for Onnes and me
and our older students) enormously much. More than you can fathom, because each
time, your presence here triggers a long-lasting series of discussions [e.g., if you
come in April, then I’ll tell you about what I learned at
Bohr’s[3]
—you’ll respond—
this again provides a lot of inspiration to all of us—and this is just one of 5–6 topics
that are waiting for
you].[4]
So if you do come (twice a year) I can bona fide and happily recount all that
came out of it in my progress report.—And nobody then mindlessly asks, “What
did he do?”—If you don’t come, however, then it would put me in a pickle. Quite
apart from how sorry I would feel not to see you.
Understand me correctly: Neither Lorentz nor Onnes nor anyone else here
would permit themselves to say such a thing to you—indeed, I think they are so
very Dutch that they even understand the art of not just not saying it, but even ban-
ishing it from their thoughts.—And everyone here loves you so much and values
the benefits of your presence here so highly (it really is very high!—Plain fact.) that
one would rather have you here 1/2 the time than not at all. But I am allowed to tell
you that it would put me in a pickle to have to explain an absence during spring
1922 in my next report, as I already had to do so for spring 1921 (with your Amer-
ica trip).
Oh, please, please, Einstein, come to Leyden, for ex. for the second half of April,
let me tell you about what Bohr taught me, have a look at what Onnes is doing, lis-
ten to what Lorentz is bringing home from America—[Onnes probably wrote you
that
indicates no resistance].[5]
In truth, you will not regret it and no one wants more from you! Also, at the !end
of April! you certainly won’t have the feeling that momentarily confuses you: “But
I was in Leyden just recently!”
Every time that you are here, you don’t find it that bad at all!
Greetings to all of you, yours,
P. Ehrenfest
+ -
lead tin
lead
(helium temperature)
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