DOC.
354
FEBRUARY
1912 257
354. To
Michele
Besso
Prague,
4 February
1912
Dear
Michele,
Your
feelings
on
the
day
before
your
lecture,
which
you
described
so
nicely,
coincide
exactly
with
the
feelings
that
come over me
in
analogous
situations.
This
is
why
I
give
all
of them
a
wide berth;
only
recently I
declined twice
to
go
to
Vienna and
once
to
go
to New
York.[1]
But
surely you
recovered
quickly
&
anyway
the
audience
was
not at all
harmed
by
it.
Please
write
me now
about
how
you
felt afterwards,
so
that
I
can
share
in
your
entire
experience.
Did
you
also
take Vero
along?
If
I
only
had
a
student
like
Vero
here,
but
the students'
lack
of interest
in
my
beautiful
field
is
distressing.[2]
I have
one
decent male
in
the seminar
and,
in addition,
only
two
halfway
worthwhile female
students[3]
with whom I have to be
happy
under the
given
circumstances. I
must
take
issue with
your
remark
regarding
the
influence
of refraction
on
the
value
of the earth's
radius
as
derived
from
the
size
of
the horizontal
radius.
One obtains
values
that
must
be too
high.[4]
R
=
s2
2
h
Due
to refraction,
one
obtains
s1
s,
so
that
s'2
R'
=
S'2 2
h
R
The
same
happens
if
one uses a
and
h,
because
R
=
2
h
/
77
\
a
\ /
77
Because of
refraction,
one
determines
too small
a
value for
 2

a,
and hence
R will
2
also be too
large.
Otherwise,
one
must
obtain
by
this
method
quite
decent
values
for
R,
or
for
the refraction
index
of air
if R
is
known.
I
was
not
quite right
about the infrared
proper
frequency,
because both reflection
maxima
are
real,
the
way
Rubens
asserts.[5]
However,
this does
not
prove
that there
really are
two
proper
frequencies.
It
is
more or
less like this: