The missing 'puzzle' page of Einstein’s unified theory of everything found

Over 100 new pages of Einstein's writings, including long-lost calculations, have been made public.

The missing 'puzzle' page of Einstein’s unified theory of everything found
Albert Einsteins manuscript pages on display in the Givat Ram Hebrew University of Jerusalem. March 6, 2019. (Photo: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
  • The Hebrew University makes public 110 new pages of Einstein's writings.
  • Among the writings is a famously-missing page of calculations on the unified theory.
  • Other papers by Einstein talk of politics and personal observations.

It's easy to wonder what Einstein, one of the world's most brilliant minds ever, would have come up with had he lived longer. Maybe he would have figured out the still-elusive theory of everything — not an unlikely feat for the creator of such transformative ideas as the theory of relativity. This conjecture received a boost recently when the Hebrew University of Jerusalem released 110 new pages written by Einstein, some of them containing previously-missing calculations. These related to the famous scientist's 30 years worth of efforts to create one cogent explanation for how everything in the universe works.

A large portion of the unveiled papers is comprised of 84 sheets of Einstein's mathematical calculations from 1944 to 1948, showing insight into his work that is not yet fully apparent. They have been examined by Professor Tilman Sauer at the University of Mainz, but only preliminarily. One item of particular interest is the handwritten, never-published eight-page appendix to a scientific article on the Unified Theory, sent in by Einstein to the Prussian Academy of Science in 1930. While copies of the appendix were found by researchers previously, a key page of it was considered to be lost until now.

Hanoch Gutfreund, a physics professor and scientific advisor to the university's Einstein archives, explained that "in the copies we had, one page was missing, and that was a problem. That was a puzzle. And to our surprise, to our delight, that page is now here. It came with the new material."

Hebrew University, which acquired the new collection through a donation to the Crown-Goodman foundation in Chicago, called this discovered article "one of many in Einstein's attempts to unify the forces of nature into one, single theory and he devoted the last 30 years of his life to this effort."

A man checks one of Albert Einsteins manuscripts on display in the Givat Ram Hebrew University of Jerusalem on March 6, 2019. Photo credit: MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP / Getty Images

Other interesting information in the new treasure-trove of Einstein's writings includes his premonition that the Nazis are taking over Europe, as expressed in a letter to his son Hans Albert in 1935:

"I read with some apprehension that there is quite a movement in Switzerland, instigated by the German bandits," wrote Einstein. "But I believe that even in Germany, things are slowly starting to change. Let's just hope we won't have a Europe war first… the rest of Europe is now starting to finally take the thing seriously, especially the British. If they would have come down hard a year and a half ago, it would have been better and easier."

Among the papers are also letters from the scientist, whose 140th birthday was celebrated this year, to his friend Michele Besso, describing a "glorious" idea for the absorption and emission of light by atoms that was foundational in laser technology.

To further understand the context and application of Einstein's newly-found calculations, the Hebrew University's Einstein Archives, boasting the world's most extensive collection of Einstein-related materials, are collaborating with Professor Diana Kormos-Buchwald from Caltech's Einstein Papers Project.

The Theory of Everything

Discovering the Theory of Everything would be the crowning achievement of modern ...

U.S. Navy controls inventions that claim to change "fabric of reality"

Inventions with revolutionary potential made by a mysterious aerospace engineer for the U.S. Navy come to light.

U.S. Navy ships

Credit: Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • U.S. Navy holds patents for enigmatic inventions by aerospace engineer Dr. Salvatore Pais.
  • Pais came up with technology that can "engineer" reality, devising an ultrafast craft, a fusion reactor, and more.
  • While mostly theoretical at this point, the inventions could transform energy, space, and military sectors.
Keep reading Show less

The misguided history of female anatomy

From "mutilated males" to "wandering wombs," dodgy science affects how we view the female body still today.

Credit: Hà Nguyễn via Unsplash
Sex & Relationships
  • The history of medicine and biology often has been embarrassingly wrong when it comes to female anatomy and was surprisingly resistant to progress.
  • Aristotle and the ancient Greeks are much to blame for the mistaken notion of women as cold, passive, and little more than a "mutilated man."
  • Thanks to this dubious science, and the likes of Sigmund Freud, we live today with a legacy that judges women according to antiquated biology and psychology.
Keep reading Show less

Why do holidays feel like they're over before they even start?

People tend to reflexively assume that fun events – like vacations – will go by really quickly.

Mind & Brain

For many people, summer vacation can't come soon enough – especially for the half of Americans who canceled their summer plans last year due to the pandemic.

Keep reading Show less
Strange Maps

Android has won the phone world war

A global survey shows the majority of countries favor Android over iPhone.

Quantcast