On Friday Digital Einstein went live, bringing with it a treasure trove of Einstein letters, correspondences, postcards, and notes detailing the life of one of the world’s greatest thinkers. As The New York Times reports, these are The Dead Sea Scrolls of physics and you can read them today for free.
Of course, many of these early letters leading up to 1923 were originally written in Einstein’s native German tongue, but Princeton’s archives allows users to toggle between English-translated versions and the original text. These letters also aren’t just a bunch of super dense chicken scratch that would go over your head unless you were armed with a physics doctorate (though that would help), these missives contain divorce files, personal letters, and one awesome note to Marie Curie denouncing science trolls, as detailed by Vox.
This invaluable look into the life of one of physics’ super geniuses is part of a totally excellent trend of amazing moments in science making their way to the web — for the low, low cost of free. In September, the California Institute of Technology published all of Richard Feynman’s iconic lectures online, for example.
The most exciting part of all of this is that these 5,000 documents only make up a fraction of Einstein’s written work. The archive is a digitized version of Caltech’s Einstein Papers Project, currently on its 13th volume of the series (there will eventually be 30). All digital version of these volumes will be published online two years after the print publication. So for years to come, this new digital archive of Einstein knowledge will only grow. [Einstein Papers via The New York Times]