Three letters written by Albert Einstein in 1945 are up for auction and offer an intriguing glimpse into the renowned physicist’s criticisms of how scientists were interpreting physics at the quantum level.
By Mindy Weisberger | SPACE.com
The letters, which were addressed to Caltech theoretical physicist Paul Epstein, describe Einstein’s qualms about quantum theory, which he called „incomplete“ in one letter.
Another letter details the thought experiment that led to a quantum concept known as „spooky action at a distance“ — when separated particles behave as if they were linked. [Gallery: See Photos of Einstein’s Brain]
The letters — eight pages of German writing and hand-drawn diagrams — will hit the auction block at Christie’s in New York today (June 12) at 2 p.m. ET, as part of the „Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana“ auction.
Einstein’s words in the letters demonstrate his fraught relationship with quantum physics, or the theories that describe the world of the very small (atoms and the subatomic particles inside them). For decades, he famously clashed with physicist Niels Bohr, whose views on the workings of the quantum world stated that particles behave differently when they are observed.