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On Friday, Princeton University Press published on-line “The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein”, a body of more than 5.000 letters, scientific papers and personal diaries written by Einstein before becoming famous in 1921. The papers are available in full searchable format, have both German and English versions and they are available to anyone for free.
Diana Kormos-Buchwald, chief of the Einstein Papers Project, said that the publisher wanted to make all of Einstein’s personal documents accessible to a much wider audience than just scholars, historians, physicists and philosophers. Kormoso-Buchwald added that it had been a real challenge to get all the material on-line, but now she’s extremely thrilled that her team was able to get in done. Also, the publisher says that more material would be published in the near future.
“This is Einstein before he was famous. This material has been carefully selected and annotated over the last 25 years,”
Additionally, the Princeton researchers said that their intent was to show the world that Einstein wasn’t an isolated genius living in an attic with a pen and paper like we usually portray him. On the contrary, he had a large network of friends, family members and scientists.
Dr Kormos-Buchwald said she was also impressed by how hard working Einstein was.
“Inspiration is a very small component. He works very hard all day and every day,”
From the letters we find more details about Einstein’s carrier and how he couldn’t pursue his dream of teaching physics in a University because he lacked recommendations. Instead a friend got him a job as a clerk at the Swiss Patent Office. Prof Matt Stanley says Einstein was disrespectful during college and skipped classes because he knew he could pass without attending courses. But this took its toll on his academic career.
But this seemingly unimportant job of analyzing and approving new inventions helped him in his scientific work about light’s speed, atomic behavior and his famous formula E = mc² that in 1921 granted him the Nobel Prize in Physics.
From postcard that Einstein wrote to one of his friends in 1915 we learn that both him and his wife, Mileva Maric, managed to get “dead drunk under the table” in a drinking club in Switzerland.
Prof Stanley says that young Einstein was not an ordinary scientist, but he was rather Bohemian and passed his time drinking beer and arguing about the nature of space and time. Einstein later confessed that the drinking club boosted helped him a lot in his scientific career.