D O C U M E N T 3 2 9 A U G U S T 1 9 2 2 2 6 3
329. To Paul Ehrenfest
[Berlin, on or after 21 August
1922][1]
Dear Ehrenfest,
The bad prognosis about little Wassi made me feel very
sorry.[2]
If it rests on a
sound basis, I thoroughly approve of your plan to hand the child over to impersonal
care. Valuable people should not be sacrificed for causes without any prospects, not
even in this case. In that event it is good if you act quickly. I am glad that you are
enjoying your
brother[3]
and his family so much and that this energetic man is a
support for you in your dire trouble.
I sent our note out to Mr.
Scheel.[4]
I left your last sentence standing unchanged
even though I did not understand the suggestion at all. I can’t understand why the
adjustment to the magnetic field should be more comprehensible by assuming in
principle that the quantization was imprecisely realized. It would be good if you
could elaborate on this to appease my literary
conscience.[5]
Dear Ehrenfest, I need your friendship as much, perhaps even more, than you do
mine; for my personal relationships are much feebler and sparser than yours and I
have difficulty finding human contacts that make me feel
good.[6]
I spent a happy
month with my boys in the
hut;[7]
it was a true camping experience [Indianerle-
ben]; I told them a lot about you. Albert is a strong, independent fellow, but has lit-
tle sense for the subtleties of human ways and little ability to empathize. The little
one, by contrast, is softer, comical, fine, flexibly-minded, and sensitive; he would
happily fit in well among you. I have to show him to all of you sometime when it’s
convenient.
There is a very intelligent paper by Tetrode in the Zeitschrift für Physik about the
quantum
problem.[8]
Maybe he’s right; either way, by this paper he demonstrates
that he is a first-ranking mind. Nothing has been as fundamentally gripping for me
in a long time. We, incidentally, also once discussed the possible importance of the
relativistic distance 0 (?) in solving the quantum problems. The weaknesses in his
approach seem to me to be:
1) The law of electrodynamics is blamed for everything whereas there surely
must be a formulation of the quantum laws in this subfield of mechanics.
2) In principle working with actions-at-a-distance is questionable, because it
certainly cannot be applied to the general theory of rel[ativity].
Heartfelt greetings to all of you from your
Einstein.
My tour starts at the beginning of
October.[9]
My wife was quite ill but is recov-
ered enough to probably be able to accompany
me.[10]
She sends her best regards.
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