The Einstein Archives of Ludwik Silberstein

The 30 Minute Rule begins May 20 7:00 PM EDT (Auction Details)
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- RR Auction is proud to present the Einstein Archives of Ludwik Silberstein—a remarkable collection of correspondence focused on the theory of relativity. The sale is highlighted by a rare letter in which Einstein writes his famous equation, "E = mc2," the only known example in private hands. In Einstein''s other letters, he examines a spacetime metric, writes out his gravitational field equations, and comments on the rise of Hitler and Nazism in 1934. Other featured items include many letters by Max Planck—often defending Einstein''s theory of relativity —and other Nobel Prize winners, including Thomson, Bragg, Michelson, and Lorentz.

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TLS in German, signed “A. Einstein,” one page both sides, 8.5 x 11, December 17, 1933. Letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, looking at a particular example of a spacetime (metric) provided by Silberstein. Writing out several mathematical equations, Einstein attempts to show that the metric has a line of singularities, and it therefore cannot represent a spacetime with unsupported static p…

Sold For: $66,899 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

Important ALS in German, signed “A. Einstein,” four pages, 7 x 9, December 24, 1933. Lengthy handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, opening with an apology for the mistake in his last letter before offering thoughts on field theories, his ideas of how matter must be represented in them, and how the matter equations of motion must follow from the field equations. Most importantly…

Sold For: $152,920 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

ALS in German, signed “A. Einstein,” one page, 8.5 x 11, blindstamped personal Princeton letterhead, October 26, 1946. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, with his most famous equation, "E = mc2," penned in the first line in his own hand. In full (translated): "Your question can be answered from the E = mc2 formula, without any erudition. If E is the energy of your system consisting of t…

Sold For: $1,243,708 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

Offprint booklet of Silberstein's paper 'On Einstein's Gravitational Field Equations,' from the Philosophical Magazine (November 1937), 5.5 x 8.5, ten pages, signed and inscribed on the front wrapper in fountain pen to his son, "To dear George, in remembrance of the snowstormy night of Valentine, 14 Feb. 1938, from Ludwik." The paper begins: "The purpose of Part I. o…

Sold For: $1,059 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

TLS in German, signed “A. Einstein,” one page both sides, 8.5 x 11, September 20, 1934. Letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, on the subject of Hitler and Jewish refugees in America. In full (translated): "The rumor about Planck is entirely inaccurate. He has made an effort to soften things where he could, and he has made no compromises of any kind in his actions and words. Laue and N…

Sold For: $36,603 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

ALS in German, signed “M. Planck,” one page, 5.5 x 8.75, June 12, 1896. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, in full (translated): "I have received your friendly letter of the 3rd of this month. However, I ask your forgiveness if it is not possible for me to fulfill your wish and suggest several topics for your friend to work on. The main reason is that I do not know the …

Sold For: $1,411 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

ALS in German, signed “M. Planck,” one page both sides, 5.5 x 8.75, October 5, 1897. Handwritten mathematical letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, discussing the full solution (the "general integral") of a particular differential equation. Well known for his mathematical prowess, Planck obtains the solution, both in general, and in a particular “limiting case” of int…

Sold For: $3,735 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

ALS in German, signed “M. Planck,” four pages on two adjoining sheets, 5.5 x 8.5, July 27, 1901. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein discussing a potential submission to Annalen der Physik, the premier physics journal of the era; at this time, Planck was a member of the journal’s five-person editorial board. In part (translated): "I have read through your treatment …

Sold For: $2,653 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

Important ALS in German, signed “M. Planck,” four pages on two adjoining sheets, 5.5 x 8.5, July 20, 1906. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein on electron theory, controversial at the time as a microscopic theory of electricity. Silberstein does not believe in electron theory and produces an equation that seems to show that the fundamental physical principle of conservation of…

Sold For: $2,505 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

ALS in German, signed “M. Planck,” four pages on two adjoining sheets, 5.5 x 8.5, October 22, 1906. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein on electron theory, touching on the yet new and hardly generally accepted theory of special relativity. In part: "You ask me much more than I will probably ever be able to answer you. The problem that you mention of the two electrons flyi…

Sold For: $3,033 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

ALS in German, signed “M. Planck,” four pages on two adjoining sheets, 4.5 x 7, February 14, 1912. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, discussing his former Ph.D. student Max Abraham’s 1912 theory of gravitation—a precursor to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, the theory of gravity as spacetime geometry. In part (translated): "I would rather answ…

Sold For: $3,670 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

ALS in German, signed “M. Planck,” four pages on two adjoining sheets, 4.5 x 7, August 4, 1919. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein. In full (translated): "Your friendly letter, which I received so unexpectedly a few days ago, was a great, heartfelt double joy to me: for one thing, to see that you and yours are well, and then that you have evidently remained entirely as o…

Sold For: $2,276 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

ALS in German, signed “Planck,” four pages on two adjoining sheets, 5.5 x 8.5, October 19, 1919. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, commenting on the plausibility of Einstein's theory of gravitation. Planck opens by congratulating Silberstein for his work towards renewing "international scientific exchange," the backbone of scientific progress stymied by World …

Sold For: $10,100 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

ALS in German, signed “M. Planck,” four pages on two adjoining sheets, 5.5 x 8.5, November 30, 1919. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein. In full (translated): "You will have been waiting a long time already for my thanks for your detailed letter of the 7th, as well as for the work on vector algebra, very interesting and valuable to me, and yet I am only getting to writin…

Sold For: $2,756 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

ALS in German, signed “M. Planck,” three pages on two adjoining sheets, 5.5 x 8.5, January 25, 1920. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, following up on the missing platinum standard and once again defending Einstein's theory. In full (translated): "It is high time that I report to you about the inquiries conducted here on my initiative in search of the location of t…

Sold For: $23,305 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

ALS in German, signed “M. Planck,” four pages on two adjoining sheets, 4.5 x 7, March 21, 1920. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein. In full (translated): "Receive my best thanks for your valued letter of the 10th of this month and the offprint you sent of your interesting essay in the Philosophical Magazine on the compressible light ether. To be sure, there is something …

Sold For: $20,425 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

ALS in German, signed “M. Planck,” four pages on two adjoining sheets, 4.5 x 7, April 17, 1920. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, who clings to the ether theory in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Planck responds to his continued claim that Einstein’s gravitational red shift—the changing of frequency of 'falling' light—does not exist, and …

Sold For: $6,731 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

Unsigned offprint booklet of Silberstein's translation of Planck's Nobel Prize lecture: The Origin and Development of the Quantum Theory by Max Planck, translated by H. T. Clarke and L. Silberstein, being the Nobel Prize Address delivered before the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences at Stockholm, 2 June, 1920. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1922. Bound in original wrappers, 6.5 x 9.5, 24 pa…

Sold For: $795 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

Important English physicist (1856-1940) who received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1906 for his discovery and identification of the electron. Rare ALS, one page both sides, 4.5 x 7, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge letterhead, October 3, 1911. Handwritten letter to "Worthington," in full: "I think if Silberstein got sufficiently good testimonials it might be possible to get a course of lectures by…

Sold For: $2,805 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

British physicist, chemist, and mathematician (1862-1942) who shared the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics with his son Lawrence Bragg, for 'their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-rays.' TLS signed “W. H. Bragg,” one page, 5 x 7, University of London letterhead, January 25, 1919. Letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, in full: "I am puzzling over a point which i…

Sold For: $1,880 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

Original vintage semi-glossy 4 x 5.5 silver gelatin photograph of Niels Bohr and Ludwik Silberstein side-by-side, annotated on the reverse in Silberstein's hand, "December 5, 1923, Niels Bohr and L.S." Includes a hardcover first edition of Report on the Quantum Theory of Spectra by Dr. Silberstein, published in London by Adam Hilger, Ltd., 1920, 5.75 x 8.75, 42 pages; in the preface, Silberst…

Sold For: $1,283 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

Physicist known for his work on measuring the speed of light (1852-1931) who, in 1907, became the first American scientist to win a Nobel Prize. He played a crucial role in the history of relativity, having performed one of its most famous experiments in 1887. ALS signed “A. A. Michelson,” one page, 8.25 x 10.75, University of Chicago, Ryerson Physical Laboratory letterhead, December 2…

Sold For: $6,504 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

Dutch physicist (1853-1928) who shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery and theoretical explanation of the Zeeman effect. ALS signed “H. A. Lorentz,” three pages on two adjoining sheets, 4.5 x 7, March 19, 1925. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, in part: "I thank you very much for the second edition of your book on the theory of relativity, which I apprecia…

Sold For: $1,411 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

Dutch physicist (1853-1928) who shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery and theoretical explanation of the Zeeman effect. ALS signed “H. A. Lorentz,” one page both sides, 6 x 9.5, Hotel McAlpin letterhead, April 2, 1927. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, in full: "I have been so busy these last weeks, that I did not yet acknowledge the receipt (as I ought t…

Sold For: $1,553 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

ALS, one page, 5 x 8, The Manor House letterhead, March 12, 1918. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, in full: "First & foremost let me thank you most warmly for 'solutio problematis marmalator'—I was in town for the week-end & thoroughly enjoyed the 'solution'—I do hope it does not mean that you have used up your month's jam ration in obtaining i…

Sold For: $963 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

ALS, one page, 7.75 x 8.25, November 12, 1918. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, in full: "I have read your MS with the greatest interest. It is a real pleasure to know that there is a projection treatment of vectors. You do not, in the MS you send me, state the principle of your construction, which is simply to substitute an arbitrary line for the line at infinity. The treatment of s…

Sold For: $1,411 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

ALS, one page, 8.5 x 11, January 18, 1941. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, in part: "Your letter of Nov. 13 remained so long unanswered because my abode was still uncertain. Now it is as above, about 25 miles west of Philadelphia. I have a 5-years' job at The Barnes Foundation, of which the main purpose is to teach art, but Dr. Barnes has made a new department in my case. The wo…

Sold For: $875 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

Important English mathematician, logician, and philosopher (1861-1947) who co-authored the three-volume Principia Mathematica with Bertrand Russell. Rare ALS signed “A. N. Whitehead,” one page, 6.25 x 6.25, personal letterhead (struck through with his new address written in the upper right), June 13, 1918. Handwritten letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, in full: "I have been hoping to fi…

Sold For: $656 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

British astrophysicist (1882-1944) famous for his work regarding the theory of relativity, remembered for his observations of bending starlight during the 1919 total solar eclipse that offered experimental proof of Einstein's theory. TLS signed “A. S. Eddington,” one page, 8 x 13, Royal Astronomical Society letterhead, January 14, 1916. Standard form letter to Dr. Ludwik Silberstei…

Sold For: $656 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

English autodidactic electrical engineer, mathematician, and physicist (1850-1925) who brought complex numbers to circuit analysis, invented a new technique for solving differential equations, independently developed vector calculus, and rewrote Maxwell's equations in the form commonly used today. Reclusive and often at odds with the scientific establishment, Heaviside nevertheless changed the…

Sold For: $1,165 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

English autodidactic electrical engineer, mathematician, and physicist (1850-1925) who brought complex numbers to circuit analysis, invented a new technique for solving differential equations, independently developed vector calculus, and rewrote Maxwell's equations in the form commonly used today. Reclusive and often at odds with the scientific establishment, Heaviside nevertheless changed the…

Sold For: $875 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

English autodidactic electrical engineer, mathematician, and physicist (1850-1925) who brought complex numbers to circuit analysis, invented a new technique for solving differential equations, independently developed vector calculus, and rewrote Maxwell's equations in the form commonly used today. Reclusive and often at odds with the scientific establishment, Heaviside nevertheless changed the…

Sold For: $963 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

English autodidactic electrical engineer, mathematician, and physicist (1850-1925) who brought complex numbers to circuit analysis, invented a new technique for solving differential equations, independently developed vector calculus, and rewrote Maxwell's equations in the form commonly used today. Reclusive and often at odds with the scientific establishment, Heaviside nevertheless changed the…

Sold For: $275 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

English autodidactic electrical engineer, mathematician, and physicist (1850-1925) who brought complex numbers to circuit analysis, invented a new technique for solving differential equations, independently developed vector calculus, and rewrote Maxwell's equations in the form commonly used today. Reclusive and often at odds with the scientific establishment, Heaviside nevertheless changed the…

Sold For: $875 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

Five items from Silberstein's homeland in Poland, spanning several decades: Original 8.75 x 6.5 mounted photograph of Silberstein (seated, second from the left) as part of a class in Krakow at about 18 years old, signed and dated on the reverse, "Krakow 1889, Ludwik Silberstein," with a caption written in Polish: "Uczniowie klasy ósmej Gimnazjum sw Jacka w Krakowie [Eighth grade stude…

Sold For: $250 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

Sharp original 2.5 x 4.25 carte-de-visite portrait of Silberstein at about age thirty, taken by Murillo of Warsaw, neatly signed in black ink, "Ludwik Silberstein," with the year "1902" penned in blue in an unknown hand. In fine condition.From the collection of physicist Ludwik Siberstein.

Sold For: $250 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

Signed book: Vectorial Mechanics. First edition. London: Macmillan and Co., 1913. Hardcover, 5.75 x 8.75, 197 pages. Signed on the first free end page by the author, "Ludwik Silberstein," who adds notes to the front pastedown: "Rcvd. from Macmillan & Co. Ltd., in six copies, September 3rd, 1913, London" and "Published at 7/6, 1913, Revised to 10/0 in 1918." On two blank pages in the rear, Sil…

Sold For: $250 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

Three items associated with Silberstein's lectures at the University of Toronto in the 1920s: Signed book: The Theory of General Relativity and Gravitation: Based on a course of lectures delivered at the Conference on Recent Advances in Physics held at the University of Toronto, in January, 1921. First edition. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1922. Hardcover, 5.75 x 8.25, 141 pages. Si…

Sold For: $368 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

Two items associated with Ludwik Silberstein's book Causality: A Law of Nature or a Maxim of the Naturalist?: Partly-printed document, signed "Harold Macmillan," three pages on two adjoining sheets, 8.5 x 13.5, July 26, 1932. Memorandum of agreement between "Dr. L. Silberstein…and Macmillan and Company, Limited," granting the right to "produce and publish the work Causality: A Law of Nature …

Sold For: $500 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

Very lengthy unsigned handwritten manuscript by Dr. Ludwik Silberstein entitled "A Treatise on Plane Geometry," numbered as 223 pages (pages 29-32 missing), 8.5 x 11, with chapter headings such as "Projectivities in One-Dimensional Forms, Conics," "Collineation, Correlation," "Polarity," "Elliptic Geometry," and "Affine Geometry." In the eloquent introduction, Dr. Silberstein outlines his objecti…

Sold For: $1,283 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details

AMS signed and dated one day before his death, "Ludwik Silberstein, Rochester, N.Y., January 16, 1948," eight pages on four sheets, headed: "The Effect of Clumping on the Size-Frequency Distribution and on the H. and D. Curve of an Emulsion." In this evidently unpublished handwritten technical manuscript, Silberstein discusses the clumping of grains in a photographic emulsion as it pertains to th…

Sold For: $745 (w/BP) Auction #609 - May 20, 2021 View Details