D O C . 1 7 5 N O V E M B E R 1 9 1 9 1 4 7 sequences shrivel up. Yesterday and the day before yesterday, there were two long articles by philosophers in the Times that treat our relative perception in space.[18] For, in the first announcement after the big meeting of the 6th, it was asserted in the Times that your theory destroyed Newton’s theory, & the world was no longer what we are accustomed to seeing it as, & virtually the whole of Euclidean geometry went to the devil, space was bent, etc., etc. This, naturally, wounded national feel- ings & greatly alarmed the world.[19] If I can oblige you in any way, it should be my pleasure & I remain yours sincerely, A. F. Lindemann. 175. From Paul Ehrenfest [Leyden,] 24 November 1919 Dear, dear Einstein, I agonized over my answer to your letters[1] and my thanks for your photo- graphs, which thrilled us enormously. But now I know that I am not going to answer your letter. In reply, you must sim- ply picture the children’s faces, for inst., to see for yourself how much they love you. All the newspapers are full of translations of agitated articles from the Times about the solar eclipse and your theory: “Einstein versus Newton! Natural Philos- ophy Revolutionized,” etc.,[2] —and the startled newspaper ducks flutter up in a hefty bout of quacking. Even Galinka has been swept up by this flurry and quickly laid an artistic egg that I am enclosing with this letter.[3] In commentary: In Africa an astronomer (thanks to Africa, the fantastic clothing—tiger skin?) is looking up at the stars and the Sun (see how they are dangling about on the bent light rays!). Why is he looking?—Because Einstein, “very far away (in Europe), has calculated “in his house how it has to be.—You are tossing calculations out of the window (“publication”?)—One calculation is floating in the air (that’s prob- ably your 1905 theory?)—“All the world” is tremendously excited. A few people are running to your house—but you say, “Oh, well—I know it—I did calculate it.”—But they are all terribly excited. They are all running (to Africa?) to look through the telescope as well—so hastily that they are tumbling over one another (see picture—perhaps a symbol for Freundlich??).[4] Even the little chicks in the
Previous Page Next Page