The foundations of General Relativity on display

For the next three weeks in a dimly lit room in the Isreal Academy of Sciences and the Humanities, the manuscript pages on which Albert Einstein wrote the General Theory of relativity will be on display.

They are there as part of the academy’s celebration of fifty years since its inception and the shortness of the display time is intended to lessen the damage due to exposure of the manuscripts.

The importance of this particular manuscript isn’t just the mathematics on it, but that this is Einstein’s notebook on which he jotted down some indication of his thoughts and feelings as he developed the fledgling expansion of special relativity. Other personal writings can be seen in his papers outside the room holding the main exhibit, including a postcard he sent to his mother in the excitement after being told by Lorentz of the success of Eddingtons 1919 eclipse trip, which saw the gravitational lensing effect happening around the Sun in the way predicted by this theory.

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