2 3 4 D O C . 2 8 1 J A N U A R Y 1 9 2 0 teaching assignment roughly of the same scope as an E[xtraordinary] Professor- ship.[4] This idea came to me also without considering Ratnowsky’s personal situation, from the following arguments. If Debye comes to the Poly[technic]—he has in the meantime accepted, you know—we would have very stiff competition here, of course.[5] But if both Epstein and Ratnowsky lectured at the university, then we could offer the students very much more and in greater variety than the Poly. For ex. I am seriously thinking of having the 6-semester-long main lecture on the- oretical physics[6] possibly read by both of them, with a phase shift, because it is otherwise very often impossible for a student to attend the entire theoretical physics course during his brief period of studies. Now, however, I have another very big favor to ask of you. At the direction of the search committee I would earnestly like to ask you to be so kind as to give us your opinion on the scientific qualifications of the following candidates: Epstein, Ratnowsky, Tank, Scherrer. For these are the candidates who have been under discussion up to now. At the same time, however, I would also like to ask you please to mention any other names you might consider suitable. Among the 4 gentlemen above, the choice shouldn’t be so difficult, also because Scherrer is supposed to receive a professorship at the Poly under Debye.[7] Likewise Tank at the Poly for applied physics (specifically on wireless telegraphy).[8] In your letter you also think that “practically it would not be so easy” to find “anything better” than Epstein together with Ratnowsky. But my colleagues on the committee, who incidentally know nothing about physics,[9] have all sorts of different points of view (although not overly nationalistic ones). But I did say, and I believe that I am right in doing so, that I would never say yes to Scher- rer’s candidacy. For Scherrer certainly is mainly an experimental physicist—a good one, certainly but he does not fit as a pure theoretician, and that’s what I need here. His two theoretical papers, which were, moreover, inspired by Debye, both misfired.[10] The first has been corrected by Pauli,[11] the second had already been done better by Planck shortly before.[12] Please do me the kindness and let me know your assessment on these matters so that I can then present your letter to the committee. Hopefully then the professor- ship will finally be well occupied. That this hasn’t happened until now is through no fault of my own I had exerted myself to the utmost 3 years ago already, as I told you.[13] Now, dear Mr. Einstein, I say fare very well, and above all, do come and see us soon with your wife and your daughter.[14] We shall do our utmost, so that you feel comfortable in Zurich. With most cordial greetings to you and your dear wife, also from my wife, I am yours, Edgar Meyer.
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