Albert Einstein's Handwritten Notes on Relativity Sells for P657 Million
Albert Einstein’s handwritten notes on his Theory of Relativity shattered records at an auction held in Paris on November 23 as it sold for 11.6 million euros or P657 million, according to a report by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
According to the report, it is the highest sum ever paid for anything written by the famous astrophysicist.
“First of all, it is extraordinary because it is a working manuscript, and in Einstein’s case, a draft with erasures and corrections is very rare,” said Vincent Belloy, a rare books and manuscripts specialist.
According to Belloy, Einstein was the type of person who kept very few drafts, and the handwritten notes are an exceedingly rare artifact.
A Glimpse on the Birth of the Theory of Relativity
An intense auction battle ensued for the 54-page document at Christie's, a British auction house established in 1766. The documents give a glimpse on how Einsten conceptualized and birthed the Theory of Relativity, which, to this day, has immense significance not only in astronomy and theoretical physics, but also in everyday affairs such as in commercial flights and ocean navigation.
The documents were written from 1913 to 1914 in Switzerland, and built the foundations of the Theory of General Relativity, which eventually led to the famous equation E=mc2.
"Scientific documents by Einstein in this period, and before 1919 generally, are extremely rare," Christie's said in a statement.
"Being one of only two working manuscripts documenting the genesis of the theory of general relativity that we know about, it is an extraordinary witness to Einstein's work,” Chistie’s added.