1 2 4 D O C U M E N T 1 2 4 M A R C H 1 9 2 2 kindly Alsatian woman cooks for me and Langevin, who comes here daily to eat with me Solovine,[3] who is helping me very much as the strain is huge, is usually also here. But my being here is very useful and I am getting to know the most inter- esting people. Tomorrow I’ll be visiting Barclay.[4] There’s no real socializing. All scrapped. My reception among fellow professionals is extremely cordial. It’s mid- night, and I’m too tired to report more. God knows when I’ll have some time again! Warm regards to all of you, Albert. I hope you’re keeping your friend[5] at arm’s length and you’re feeling well. On Tuesday evening I’ll be with Aunt Mathilde.[6] 124. From Peter Debye Zurich 7, 36 Gloria Street, 31 March 1922 Dear Mr. Einstein, About my paper, Nernst published a remark on the attractive power of polarization and the Van der Waals forces[1] in his book.[2] He rejects the matter on the justification that I arrived at forces that are independent of temperature, which was supposedly unacceptable.[3] In a notice I composed, after entirely perchance seeing Nernst’s remark in his book, I summarized the foregoing development of the subject and contended that Nernst’s remark was completely erroneous. The notice has not yet been printed I initially sent it to Nernst in manuscript so that he could express his opinion on it. Today, now, I received an answer from him, from which I gather that he has not understood me at all. In particular, it is evidently unclear to him that whenever attractive forces exist between molecules, in the equation of state an increasing term for the attraction must appear with decreasing temperature therefore the grounds for his rejection cannot hold. I would not bother you at all with this matter if Nernst had not himself named you as a witness. He writes: “Perhaps the following fact also interests you. A few days ago I asked Einstein whether he had read my remarks about your theory. He immediately answered that he knew these remarks very well and subscribed to every word of it. Perhaps you will doubly reconsider whether you really want to pick an entirely unmotivated fight.” I cannot imagine that you would want to back Nernst’s assertion about a pur- ported temperature independence of the attraction term following from the theory.
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