The world’s most celebrated physicist, Albert Einstein, life-story and scientific developments is now captured for posterity on electronic media. The ambitious digitalization of the entire body of Einstein’s works, including 80,000 letters of correspondence, notebooks, personal diaries and thousands of other papers was the Einstein Papers Project website.
Collaborative work between Princeton University Press as well as Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Caltech includes documents which span 44 years of the scientist’s life.
The documents available as part of the project run up to the year 1923. Captured for digital consumption and free to access are documents of Einstein’s Nobel Prize for his seminal work in ‘photoelectric effect’ in 1921.
Providing deep insight into his successful Far East voyages in years after his Nobel Prize is also documented.
Most of the digitally capture texts belonged to the Caltech-housed curation home. Originally, the letters and other personal archives were found in attics and shoeboxes of Einstein and his family.
While the original text is in German language, the English version of the documents is available as well.
Einstein Papers Project for online consumption has now opened the world of Einstein’s work for the average reader. As one of the most inspiring personalities of the scientific community, his rare humor and ability to develop ‘spatial’ concepts for eternity will continue to provide insights for those with an interest in ‘abstract and mathematical thinking.’
Famously, his propensity to simplify complex mathematics and logic into common man’s terms are well illustrated in some of the digital content available at the website: “When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.”
However, there are several scholars who partly rue the conversion from creased and torn paper to the digital format. For the digital footprint of the famous scientist will now be available only on ‘clinical’ and laboratory-like platform of the digital library, missing out on the fifth dimension of ‘smell’ the personal artefacts had earlier allowed scholars to experience!
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