D O C U M E N T 6 9 M A R C H 1 9 2 2 8 5
2) The pressure derivation does not take into account that N (= the number of
molecules in a
isn’t a constant but a function of
Particularly the first objection is, of course, very serious; and because—when
the pressure components calculated in this way are compared against some mea-
surement results by
you get no conformity between his measured pres-
sure and my calculated one—the theory is untenable in its present form.
Prof. Schrödinger was incredibly nice and gave much attention to the matter. He
also gave me instructions on how to posit a new theory and particularly on avoiding
the erroneous result (1). He hoped it might be avoidable if the α and β, which
were constants in the original theory, were regarded as functions of
Prof. Schrödinger unfortunately had to go on a trip for 6 weeks and is only com-
ing back in mid-April, i.e., [before?] my examination (beginning of May!).
So now I’m left godforsaken, a few weeks before the examination, with a doc-
toral thesis that doesn’t work! My situation is so dire because I definitely must (for
financial reasons) take my exam at the beginning of May and during the 7 weeks
that still separate me from the exam I just have enough time to prepare myself for
the oral exams and it’s impossible to find the time to rework this entire wretched
I tried to set up the new theory now by following the directions I got from Prof.
Schrödinger before he left. But who knows if it works!!
And now, Albert, you can guess what I’m asking of you: do take care of this
paper of mine. No one but you can help me . . .
Will you come to my rescue in this lamentable situation and check through the
“new” theory? I know, Albert, it is a lot of work . . . because you surely have little
time, and it’s not enough just to give me a couple of hints.
But I know that you’re a nice guy and that you’ll help me make this poor misfit—
which is your child a bit, too—viable again.
Warm regards to Elsa, also to the “girls.” All my love, your poor (nebbish) doc-
69. To Paul Langevin
[Berlin,] 6 March
Dear friend Langevin,
Further reflection and a fortuitous conversation with Rathenau led me to the per-
suasion that I should have accepted your invitation, despite all the reservations