x l v i i i I N T R O D U C T I O N T O V O L U M E 9
in Calendar), and a second on 15 March 1919
Incoming grant ap-
plications were submitted to the board of directors—in effect to Einstein—and
then, if accepted, forwarded by him to the board of trustees for final approval.
As of 31 March 1919, the KWIP disposed of more than 150,000 marks available
from the previous and current fiscal year, compared to a budgeted allocation of
60,000 marks for 1919 for “scientific staff and equipment.” Between 15 March
1919 and 17 April 1920, Einstein received a total of forty-one applications. Four
requests had been submitted during 1918 and early 1919, prior to the most recent
announcement, and of these 16,030 marks were awarded to Peter Debye in Septem-
ber 1918 toward the purchase of X-ray instrumentation. From among the recent ap-
plications, twenty-eight requests were approved. The awards, ranging from 500 M
(for cathode tubes to Walter Steubing) to 12,800 M (for spectroscopic instruments
to Peter P. Koch), totaled 101,000 marks. While in 1918 Einstein had rejected Gino
Mettler’s application because the KWIP pursued exclusively theoretical research at
the time (see Vol. 8, entry of 3 September 1918 in Calendar), in this period the ma-
jority of approved requests, including the ten awards of 5,000 marks or more, were
allocated for the purchase of instruments and apparatus.
A preference for granting awards to larger projects can be noted after the direc-
tors’ meeting of 25 April 1919. One trustee suggested that, in the future, priority
should be given to more comprehensive projects that would place German science
in a more favorable light on the international stage (see entry of 16 June 1919 in
Calendar). Einstein did not, as a rule, comment on how decisions were made or pri-
orities set. Spectroscopy in its widest sense outweighed other proposals, but per-
haps only because the applicants themselves gave increasing attention to molecular
and atomic structure.
The one and a half years covered by the present volume fall within a five-year
during which Einstein did not address quantum theory in his publica-
tions. This silence, however, does not attest to a loss of interest. On the contrary,
this was a period of struggle with quantum theoretical problems for Einstein.
In 1916, Einstein had looked upon Bohr’s theory with sympathy: he thought that
its basic idea must be maintained because of its great
By the summer
of 1919, when Walter Dällenbach invited him to lecture on quantum theory, he de-
clined, writing that “I don’t feel like lecturing on quantum theory. [M]uch as I have
labored over it, as little have I succeeded in gaining real insight into it. Besides, I
have not sufficiently devoted myself to assembling the many details and tricks of
which quantum theory is provisionally composed to enable me to give you all an
exhaustive overview” (Doc. 66). Or, as he wrote to Max Born, “One actually ought
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