A handwritten letter by Albert Einstein which is rare for containing his famous E=mc² mass–energy equivalence formula has gone on sale for the sum of GBP 282,000 (approx. Rs 2,91,94,106). The letter, dated October 26, 1946, is one of only four known examples of the formula having been written by Einstein and is part of correspondence to a fellow researcher, telling him a question could 'be answered’ using the formula.
According to the details provided by Boston-based RR Auction, the one-page letter, blind-stamped on a personal Princeton letterhead will be auctioned in a time sale which will end on May 20. The letter will be accompanied by a minted Non-fungible Token (NFT) and a 5D Biometric Art Passport powered by ARTMYN, which ensures that the original manuscript is unforgeable while allowing the owner to monitor the evolution of its condition over time. It also serves as a ‘digital portfolio’ preserving all associated documentation, the auction site further cited.
The German-born theoretical physicist composed the correspondence on a Princeton University letterhead in German and was written to Polish-American physicist Ludwik Silberstein, who had previously disputed part of Einstein's theory of general relativity.In response to Silberstein’s query, translated into English, Einstein's response read: “Your question can be answered from the E = mc² formula, without any erudition.” He further calculates the mass difference between a system of two equal masses ‘m’ an infinite distance from one another, and the same two masses a distance r apart, orbiting about their common center of mass. “If E is the energy of your system consisting of the two masses, E₀ the energy of the masses when they approach infinite distance, then the system's mass defect is E₀ - E / c2,” he continued.
While the duo had their intellectual differences, Silberstein had reportedly come around to Einstein's way of thinking after this correspondence. In fact, Silberstein is best known today for his work in introducing both Einstein's general and special relativity into university courses. The letter he received from Einstein has been put up for auction now by Dr Silberstein's great-great-grandchildren, the Daily Mail reported.
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