Unknown Einstein letters discovered


This video from Canada says about itself:

Jos Uffink: Tatiana Ehrenfest-Afanassjewa & the foundations of thermodynamics

I will consider Afanassjewa’s work on the foundations of thermodynamics. In particular I consider her response to Caratkhédory’s (1909) axiomatization, her view on the definition of a “reversible process” in the context of Norton’s recent claim that this notion is paradoxical, her discussion of negative absolute temperatures, 30 years before Ramsey introduced this notion into statistical mechanics, her view on the question whether thermodynamics is a dynamical theory at all, and, if time permits, on the distinction between thermal contact and “pressure contact” (as mediated, say, by a piston) between thermodynamical systems.

Annual UWO Philosophy of Physics Conference Thermodynamics as a Resource Theory: Foundational and Philosophical Implications

June 20-22, 2018

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Three unknown letters by Albert Einstein have been found in the archive of Rijksmuseum Boerhaave in Leiden. The famous physicist wrote it to his Russian colleague Tatyana Afanasyeva. According to NRC Handelsblad daily, the letters were found by science journalist Margriet van der Heijden. She is working on a double biography of the Russian physicist and her husband, the Austrian-Dutch physicist Paul Ehrenfest.

The couple lived in Leiden at the beginning of the twentieth century. Ehrenfest succeeded Hendrik Lorentz in 1912 as a professor at the university in the city. Einstein regularly stayed with the couple at the Witte Rozenstraat. In the 1960s, the widow Tatyana Ehrenfest-Afanasyeva donated her husband’s archive to the museum.

‘Too detailed’

According to the newspaper, Afanasyeva in 1947 sent her manuscript Die Grundlagen der Thermodynamik [The foundations of thermodynamics] to Einstein. The letters show that he has read it with great interest. He wrote he sent back the manuscript “from which I have learned a great deal” with respect. He did, however, think the work was too detailed.

Einstein lived and worked in the USA at the famous Princeton University when he wrote the letters. “Such discoveries shed new light on Einstein and his contacts, on the history of science”, says Anne Kox, emeritus professor of the History of Physics to the NRC.

In California, the Caltech technical university is taking stock of Einstein’s work. The Einstein Papers Project has now cataloged some 30,000 letters and other documents. The three letters will be added to it.

2 thoughts on “Unknown Einstein letters discovered

  1. Pingback: Top 10 science anniversaries of 2019 | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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