D O C . 3 4 7 M A R C H 1 9 2 0 2 8 9 all and, in fact, without a single formula. (First evening: Lorentz 1904. Second evening: spec. rel. 1905. Third evening: “elevator.”[4] ) Much can indeed be grasped entirely without formulas (bending of light rays, redshift), but quite a few absolute- ly not: gravitational field equations perihelion motion of Mercury. Well, people asked me so many questions during the breaks and by letter that now I have to go to Amsterdam for the 4th time to answer questions and add a few afterthoughts. What a monstrous torture you subjected me to with the “etherlessness” of the special theory of rel. Your inaugural address will sell like hotcakes![5] Make sure to have a large enough print run!! Your nomination decree is still crawling along in the governmental offices, even though very fine people are working toward speeding it up. But—as I am told—it is just dawdling, nothing more serious. As soon as the nomination has happened, you will, of course, receive a report from us.[6] For safety’s sake, try to have the printing of the speech completed by the middle of April and be prepared to come here in the third quarter of April. Directly after your nomination I will immediately start to organize all the details for you here (“entry permit,” exact fixing of the day of your speech, and the like.)– Provisionally!!!! It seems to me that you will hold your talk on 5 May (Wed.), 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Possibly even earlier, however, if you wish.– But since the nomination is not here yet, everything is up in the air. For the time being, the following advice—but you are absolutely at liberty—and all I want is just to make you aware of a few traditional or local circumstances, which, however, you can deviate from completely. (It would simply give them a kick the moment they all notice that you bothered about this or that customary little nicety—it means no more than that.) 1. You have no board or any other demonstration tool at your disposal: just your voice and your hands (insofar as they aren’t staying hidden inside the toga!) 2. One speaks for 45–50 minutes.– But, in the printed speech, you can print more than you actually relate!!! Even much more! 3. The traditional address can be approximated in German in the following way, for inst.: “Esteemed Curators of . . . , esteemed Professors, Readers, Private Lecturers, Ladies and Gentlemen among the Students of this university and everyone else honoring this ceremony with their presence!” After the scientific talk is finished there’s a pause [~] 10–15 seconds (glass of water!) (then all the old gents in the auditorium wake up) and you then address the
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