Einstein letters on God, Israel and physics fetch $210,000

June 20, 2017
Israeli illusionist and magician Uri Geller shows a letter from Nobel Prize-winning physicist Albert Einstein he bought at a Jerusalem auction on June 20, 2017

Letters written by Albert Einstein about God, Israel and physics fetched nearly $210,000 at a Jerusalem auction Tuesday, with the highest bid going to a missive about God's creation of the world.

Eight letters, written in English between 1951 and 1954 and signed by Einstein, were sold by Winners house which had initially estimated their combined value at between $31,000 and $46,000.

The highest bid of $84,000 was for a to eminent physicist David Bohm.

In it Einstein wrote: "If God has created the world his primary worry was certainly not to make its understanding easy for us".

In another missive to Bohm, which sold for $50,400, Einstein discussed the link his colleague made between quantum theory and "relativistic field theory".

"I must confess that I am not able to guess how such unification could be achieved," Einstein wrote.

The typewritten letter includes an equation added in neat handwriting and the writer's signature.

Bohm, born in the United States to Jewish immigrant parents, had worked with Einstein at Princeton University before fleeing to Brazil after losing his post in Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist witch-hunts.

Israeli illusionist and magician Uri Geller bought a 1954 letter in which Einstein discusses the possibility of Bohm moving to Israel.

"Israel is intellectually alive and interesting but has very narrow possibilities and to go there with the intention to leave on the first occasion would be regrettable," wrote Einstein.

Bohm took up a visiting professorship at Israel's renowned Technion technological institute in 1955 and moved to England two years later.

The auction house said the letters came from the estate of Bohm's late widow.

Explore further: Einstein letters on quantum theory and God to be auctioned

Related Stories

Israel university upgrades Einstein archive

March 19, 2012

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Monday launched an updated version of its online Einstein Archives website, providing access to more than 80,000 documents connected to the seminal physicist.

27 of Einstein's personal letters going on auction block

June 11, 2015

When he wasn't busy scribbling out the theory of relativity, Albert Einstein seems to have spent a fair amount of time writing letters involving topics such as God, his son's geometry studies, even a little toy steam engine ...

Recommended for you

Integrating optical components into existing chip designs

April 19, 2018

Two and a half years ago, a team of researchers led by groups at MIT, the University of California at Berkeley, and Boston University announced a milestone: the fabrication of a working microprocessor, built using only existing ...

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

April 19, 2018

Researchers playing with a cloud of ultracold atoms uncovered behavior that bears a striking resemblance to the universe in microcosm. Their work, which forges new connections between atomic physics and the sudden expansion ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.