On Tuesday, a rare manuscript by theoretical physicist Albert Einstein will be auctioned in Paris, with auctioneers looking for crazy prices.
The manuscript, which comprises preparatory work for Einstein’s fundamental discovery, the theory of relativity, is valued between two and three million euros (2.3-3.4 million), says Christie’s, which is organising the sale, making it the most costly piece of Einstein’s writing ever sold.
“This is without a doubt the most valuable Einstein manuscript ever to come to auction,” Christie’s stated.
Einstein and his colleague and confidant, Swiss engineer Michele Besso, handwrote the 54-page manuscript in Zurich, Switzerland, between 1913 and 1914. According to Christie’s, the text was saved for posterity because of Besso.
The manuscript includes 26 pages written by Einstein, 24 pages written in Besso’s handwriting, and three pages co-written by the two. The various notes show both scientists reflecting on each other’s findings. Although the equations devised led directly to Einstein’s equations of general relativity, which are still used to describe the links between objects in space, the duo failed to explain the gap in Mercury’s orbit in this article.
Einstein is widely recognised as one of the finest physicists of all time, having revolutionised physics and contributed significantly to the concept of quantum mechanics. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 and was later accepted as a genius scientist icon, aided by his signature untamed hair, moustache, and bushy brows.
His works have been sold for millions of dollars at various auctions. For instance, in May 2021, a letter from Albert Einstein to a fellow physicist containing his famous E=mc2 equation was auctioned for $1.2 million. In 2017, two short notes written by Einstein to a bellboy sold for $1.5 million, one of which explained his “formula” for happiness.