A manuscript by physicist and Nobel Prize laureate Albert Einstein has earned an amount of 11.7 million euros at an auction in Paris. Christies auction house had taken into account an amount of 2 to 3 million euros in advance.
It concerns 54 pages with notes from 1913 and 1914 on the general theory of relativity that Einstein would publish in 1915. About half of the document was written by Swiss engineer Michele Besso, with whom Einstein worked on the theory.
The auctioned document is one of only two preserved documents containing notes on world-renowned theory, describing gravity as a geometric property of space and time. Thanks to Besso, the manuscript has been preserved.
“Einsteins documents from before 1919 are very rare, that makes it special,” says auction expert Vincent Belloy from Christies. “Einstein kept few notes, so just that this manuscript survived makes it exceptional.”
Einstein (1879-1955) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921, not for his theory of relativity but for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. He is seen as the founder of modern physics.