Albert Einstein's notes on theory of relativity sold for record $13 million at Paris auction

The 54-page manuscript with calculations made by the renowned scientist broke the record for an autographed scientific document

FP Staff November 24, 2021 12:48:56 IST
A rare manuscript featuring early calculations that led to Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity sold for just over $13 million (€11.6 million) at an auction in Paris on Tuesday, becoming the most expensive manuscript by the famed scientist. The 54-page paper, which is half-filled with the physicist's handwriting, is only one of two working documents known in which he approaches his famous theory of relativity. AFP
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A rare manuscript featuring early calculations that led to Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity sold for just over $13 million (€11.6 million) at an auction in Paris on Tuesday, becoming the most expensive manuscript by the famed scientist. The 54-page paper, which is half-filled with the physicist's handwriting, is only one of two working documents known in which he approaches his famous theory of relativity. AFP
Auction house Christie's had valued the manuscript at about a quarter of the final sum. The 54-page document was handwritten in 1913 and 1914 in Zurich, Switzerland, by Einstein and his colleague and confidant Michele Besso, a Swiss engineer. Christie's auction house praised Besso for his forward thinking in saving the manuscript. "Einstein is someone who kept very few notes, so the mere fact the manuscript survived and made its way to us already makes it extraordinary," Vincent Belloy, an expert at the auction house was quoted as saying. AFP
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Auction house Christie's had valued the manuscript at about a quarter of the final sum. The 54-page document was handwritten in 1913 and 1914 in Zurich, Switzerland, by Einstein and his colleague and confidant Michele Besso, a Swiss engineer. Christie's auction house praised Besso for his forward thinking in saving the manuscript. "Einstein is someone who kept very few notes, so the mere fact the manuscript survived and made its way to us already makes it extraordinary," Vincent Belloy, an expert at the auction house was quoted as saying. AFP
Einstein's theory of relativity lays the the groundwork for modern cosmology and technology such as GPS navigation. Christie's described the pages as "one of the most important scientific documents of the 20th century". AFP
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Einstein's theory of relativity lays the the groundwork for modern cosmology and technology such as GPS navigation. Christie's described the pages as "one of the most important scientific documents of the 20th century". AFP
The papers written in black ink show a number of errors in the journey to formulate the theory. According to Belloy, the manuscript isn’t bound, and there are many different types of loose paper, giving the impression that it was a working document — full of energy. AFP
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The papers written in black ink show a number of errors in the journey to formulate the theory. According to Belloy, the manuscript isn’t bound, and there are many different types of loose paper, giving the impression that it was a working document — full of energy. AFP
In May, a handwritten letter in which Einstein mentioned his famous E=mc² equation was sold for roughly £837,000 ($1.12 million) in the United States, more than three times its estimated price. Einstein died in 1955 aged 76, lauded as one of the greatest theoretical physicists of all time. AFP
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In May, a handwritten letter in which Einstein mentioned his famous E=mc² equation was sold for roughly £837,000 ($1.12 million) in the United States, more than three times its estimated price. Einstein died in 1955 aged 76, lauded as one of the greatest theoretical physicists of all time. AFP