A manuscript by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Albert Einstein has fetched 11.7 million euros at auction in Paris. Auction house Christie’s had considered an amount of between 2 and 3 million euros up front.
The book includes 54 pages of notes from 1913 to 1914 on general relativity that Einstein will publish in 1915. Nearly half of the document was written by Swiss engineer Michel Besso, with whom Einstein worked on the theory.
The document up for auction is one of only two surviving documents that contain notes on the world-famous theory, which describes gravity as a geometric property of space and time. Thanks to Biso, the manuscript has been preserved.
“Einstein documents dating back to pre-1919 are very rare, which is what makes them special,” says Vincent Belloy, auctioneer at Christie’s. “Einstein kept very few notes, so the mere survival of this manuscript makes it exceptional.”
Einstein (1879-1955) was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics, not for his theory of relativity but for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. He is considered the founder of modern physics.
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