An Einstein manuscript was auctioned at a record price of 11.6 million euros | On the theory of relativity

One of the handwritten drafts of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity was auctioned on Tuesday for 11.6 million euros (about $ 13 million) in Paris., as confirmed by the AFP agency.

Previously, $ 2.8 million had been paid in 2018 for a handwritten letter from the scientist, in which he theorized about God, and in 2017, $ 1.56 million was paid for a letter in which he reflected on happiness.

The document auctioned this Tuesday “It is, without a doubt, the most precious Einstein manuscript ever put up for auction”, the auction house Christie’s had previously pointed out in a statement.

The document is a 54-page manuscript written between 1913 and 1914, in Zurich (Switzerland) by the famous German physicist and his collaborator and confidant, Michele Besso.

From Christie’s they indicated “the manuscript has arrived, almost miraculously” and pointed out that “Einstein probably would not have bothered to preserve what could seem to him like a working document”.

Following his theory of special relativity in 1905, Einstein began work in 1912 on a theory of general relativity.

This theory of gravitation, finally published in November 1915, revolutionized the understanding of the universe. Einstein died in 1955 at the age of 76 and became a symbol of scientific genius.

At the beginning of 1913, both Einstein and Besso “began to work on one of the problems with which the scientific community has been colliding for decades: the anomaly of the orbit of the planet Mercury,” they recalled from Christie’s. Both scientists solved that riddle.

But they did not do so in the calculations for that manuscript, which include “various errors that went unnoticed.” When Einstein spotted them, he stopped worrying about the manuscript, which was left in the hands of Michele Besso.

“Einstein’s scientific handwritten documents from that period and, more generally from before 1919, are extremely rare“, highlighted the auction house.

He added: “As one of only two surviving working manuscripts documenting the genesis of the theory of general relativity, is an extraordinary record of Einstein’s work and provides a fascinating insight into the mind of the greatest scientist of the 20th century. “.

The other known document from that crucial period in physicist research, called the “Zurich notebook” (late 1912, early 1913) is in the Einstein archives of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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