Fans of Albert Einstein, one of the world’s most renowned physicists, will be able to get closer to him even after his death. Though much of Einstein’s work has been kept in the dark, per copyright claims of the places who own his papers, these documents will now be spotlighted for the whole world to see on a new website dedicated just for Einstein’s work. These papers, known to many as the Dead Sea Scrolls of physics have now been released to the world, as the creative works of Albert Einstein went live online Friday.
A new website known as Digital Einstein will introduce thousands of documents created by the Einstein himself, to anyone with an internet connection. These papers were created during Einstein’s lifetime, during his work with Princeton University Press and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Over 80,000 papers have now become the Einstein Papers Project in which the editor in charge, California Institute of Technology professor of physics and science history, Diana Kormos-Buchwald was responsible for putting these works into a collection for the website for a projected 30 volumes. Currently only 13 have been finished. These works have now been published on the website which contains volumes of deciphered documents in the amount of 5000, so far covering the work of Albert Einstein up to 1923.
Work on the website will continue to be done, until most, if not all, of the copyright material from Albert Einstein’s work is released. According to Dr. Kormos-Buchwald visitors will be able to see the manuscripts in both English and German. The next manuscript, the 14th volume, is scheduled to be put up in January of 2015. With so many documents to decipher and gather, it is expected that it will take a while for all of the 30 volumes to be put up on the website.
It is amazing that in his time studying physics, creating inventions, and creating the theory of relativity, that Albert Einstein had so much time to write as many papers on the matters that he did. Some of the documents that can be seen are not directly written by Einstein but are still relevant to his life, such as a divorce file, educational transcripts, and other documentation. However, papers that were written by Einstein can also be seen such as love letters and letters to friends. Those more interested in Einstein’s intelligence can also find writings on his theory of relativity, electricity and other documents that pertained to his work.
Though many find the publishing of his documents for everyone on the internet to be a great step toward historical research, others are worried that the posting of the work of Albert Einstein in digital version will take away pieces of the work. For example, some scholars find that actually seeing the document and working to interpret one’s own meaning of the words can contribute to creativity in a unique way. With Einsteins documents already being translated and that translators meaning being posted the same results might not be met. Walter Isaacson of The Wall Street Journal posts the latter as his worry over the digitized versions of the documents stating that Dr. Kormos-Buchwald and the other colleagues who worked on the project spent much time debating over how to translate what Einstein meant with words such an quanta or spatial, or other ways that he used words to define something. He wrote that in the digitizing of the works some meaning might be lost.
However, with the work of Albert Einstein being put up on the internet anyone interested in his life and work can easily find information. With a search bar they can even more, easily find all of the information on a specific topic that Einstein worked on. With the ability to have access to all of the physicist’s creative works research can be taken to a whole other level. For anyone interested in viewing these manuscripts they are available at einstenpapers.press.princeton.edu.
By Crystal Boulware