Albert Einstein ALS Re: Unified Field Theory, Complete with 12 Formulas & Lines of Calculations in His Hand, & Unpublished!

A lengthy 2pp autograph letter in German signed by Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the acclaimed German theoretical physicist, with sensational scientific content, featuring over 30 written lines and 12 lines of mathematical notations in his hand. Einstein signed with his initials “A.E.” at the center verso. Addressed to Ernst Gabor Straus (1922-1983), Einstein's research assistant and collaborator. The date--May 2, 1950--is typed at top and appears in European notation. N.p. Inscribed in Einstein's spidery scrawl on both sides of a single leaf of watermarked paper. Expected light paper folds, and an extra wrinkle in the upper left corner recto mentioned just for accuracy. Else near fine. Unpublished.

The letter demonstrates that Albert Einstein was then actively at work in developing a "generalized theory of gravitation" as well as exploring the mathematics of a new Unified Field Theory. Einstein here considers the mathematical consequences of different types of asymmetry, seeking to extend the gravitation equations of General Relativity through the use of an asymmetric fundamental tensor. At the time this letter was written, Einstein was especially concerned with the compatibility of the field equations to the physical reality it was meant to explain. He particularly sought to avoid an over-determination of the field equations so as to enable the manifold of their solutions to be as extensive as empirically required.

In the letter, Einstein indicates that he has found an improved way of “accounting” ["Abzahlung-Betrachtung"] applicable to the problem of deducing the sought-after field equations. After discussing the case where the spacetime metric tensor supports the convergence of the Ricci tensor, Einstein charts a table of the field size, number of equations, and Bianchi identities for alternative types of spacetime metrics. In concluding the letter, Einstein draws out the implications of his work for the selection of functions satisfying the field equations.

Einstein’s article “On the Generalized Theory of Gravitation” (Weil 226), published in 1950, gives us insights into the underlying concerns of this letter. “All attempts to obtain a deeper knowledge of the foundation of physics seem doomed to me,” Einstein explains, “unless the basic concepts are in accordance with General Relativity from the beginning.” But because “The principle of General Relativity does not suffice to determine completely the field equations,” Unified Field Theory requires “free speculation to a much greater extent than is presently assumed by most physicists.” Einstein’s own “free speculation” led him to abandon the basic assumption of a strictly symmetric fundamental tensor and the subsequent breaking of the tensor into two distinct sub-components, one symmetric and one asymmetric. But, as Einstein saliently remarks, “the combination of the two parts of the field can only be shown to be a natural procedure if in the formalism of the theory only the total field plays a role, and not the symmetrical and anti-symmetrical parts separately.” “The problem,” Einstein states, “is to set up a relativistic theory for the total field.” And, “the most important clue to its solution” – as Einstein seems to be suggesting in this letter - “is that there exists already the solution for the special case of the pure gravitational field.” But “This pure mathematical problem is as yet unsolved,” Einstein acknowledges at the end of the article.

The work discussed in this letter seems to be discussed in Einstein’s final article on Unified Field Theory, “Algebraic Properties of the Field in the Relativistic Theory of the Asymmetric Field” (Weil 237), published in 1954. Unified Field Theory was Einstein’s primary interest for the last thirty years of his life; he even worked on it on his deathbed. The continuity of Einstein’s Unified Field Theory with General Relativity is evident in the equations and concerns of this very important and unpublished scientific letter.

Ernst Gabor Straus was Einstein’s assistant from 1944-1948. He co-authored, along with Einstein, the important Unified Field Theory paper “Generalization of the Relativistic Theory of Gravitation” (Weil 217), published in in 1946.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


Accepted Forms of Payment:

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Money Order / Cashiers Check, Paypal, Personal Check, Visa, Wire Transfer


We do our own in-house worldwide shipping!

Applicable shipping and handling charges will be added to the invoice. We offer several shipping options, and remain one of the few auction houses who proudly provides professional in-house shipping as an option to our clients. All items will ship with signature required, and full insurance. Most items are sent via Federal Express, with P. O. Box addresses being sent through USPS. We insure through Berkley Asset Protection with rates of $.70 per $100 of value, among the lowest insurance rates in the industry. Our shipping department cameras document every package, both outgoing and incoming, for maximum security. In addition, we compare our shipping and handling rates against those of other auction houses, to ensure that our charges are among the lowest in the trade.

Upon winning your item(s), you will receive an invoice with our in-house shipping and handling fees included. ***We will ship to the address as it appears on your invoice, unless you inform us otherwise, immediately upon your receipt of invoice***

International shipments: In order to comply with our insurance provider, all international shipments will be sent via Fed Ex and customs paperwork will show a value of $1.00. International buyers should contact our office directly with any questions regarding this policy.

Third Party Shipping Option: If a third party shipper is preferred, the buyer is responsible for contacting them directly to make shipping arrangements. For your convenience, we have provided some recommended shippers. For your protection, we will require a signed release from you, confirming your authorization for us to release your lots to your specified third party Please copy and paste this following link into your browser: At that point, our responsibility and insurance coverage for your item(s) ceases. Items picked up by third party shippers are required to pay Connecticut sales tax. Items requiring third party shipping due to being oversized, fragile or bulky will be denoted in the item description.

Please see our full terms and conditions for names of suggested third party shippers.

After payment has been made in full, University Archives will ship your purchase within 5 business days following receipt of full payment for item.

Please remember that the buyer is responsible for all shipping costs from University Archives' offices in Westport, CT to the buyer's door. Please see full Terms and Conditions of Sale.

September 30, 2020 10:30 AM EDT
Wilton, CT, US

University Archives

You agree to pay a buyer's premium of up to 25% and any applicable taxes and shipping.

View full terms and conditions

Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000