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Did Einstein's first wife secretly compose the 1905 paper on relativity together with him?

Dr. Gali Weinstein, visiting researcher at the Einstein Center at Boston University, claims in the historical research she conducted that Mileva Marich could not make a significant contribution because her level in physics was not high

Albert Einstein and his first wife Mileva Marich. Photo from 1912. From Wikipedia
Albert Einstein and his first wife Mileva Marich. Photo from 1912. From Wikipedia

Did Einstein's first wife secretly compose the 1905 paper on relativity together with him?

Various historians have concluded that Einstein's first wife Mila may have secretly contributed to his work. Now a new study aims to settle the issue.

In the late 1980s, the American physicist Evan Wacker Harris published an article in Physics Today in which he said that Einstein's first wife, Milva Maric, was an uncredited co-author of his 1905 special relativity paper.

The idea created great controversy at the time even though most physicists and historians of science rejected it.

Today, Gali Weinstein, a visiting researcher at the Einstein Center at Boston University, hopes to settle the issue through new research.

The story begins after Einstein's death in 1955, when Soviet physicist Abram Fedorovich Yufa described in an article published in Russian some correspondence he had with Einstein early in their careers.

Joffe asked Einstein for copies of his articles and wrote: "The author of these articles - an unknown person at the time, was a bureaucrat in the patent office in Bern, Einstein-Meriti (Meriti is his wife's maiden name, which, according to Swiss custom, is added to the husband's surname)." (Meriti is a Hungarian version of Maric).

The conspiracy theories start from this reference to Einstein as Einstein-Meriti, says Weinstein. The result is a complicated cocoon of accidental or intentional misunderstandings.
The problem seems to have started with the Russian popular science writer Daniil Semanevich Danin who interpreted Joppa's explanation to mean that Einstein and Marich collaborated on the work together. Danin changed the explanation to say that Marich was a co-author of the 1905 paper on relativity but her name was omitted from the final published version. This is a misinterpretation, says Weinstein.

Wacker reignited the debate in his Physics Today article saying that Einstein stole his ideas from his wife.

There is another argument for conspiracy theories. Historians have translated the letters between Einstein and Marich into English, allowing them to explore in detail the relationship between the two. However, one of these letters included the sentence: "To bring our work in relative motion to a successful conclusion!" This seems to support the idea that the pair should have collaborated.

However, Weinstein examined the letters in detail and she says that two facts indicate that this is unlikely. First, Einstein's letters are full of his ideas about physics while Maric's letters contain no such ideas at all, which means that he used her as a sounding board rather than a partner.

Second, Maric was not a talented physicist or mathematician. She failed the final exams and never received a diploma.

Weinstein claims that Maric could therefore not have made a significant contribution and she quotes another historian on the subject as saying that while there is no evidence that Maric was mathematically gifted, there is some evidence that she was not.

Elia and Kotz Ba, Maritz and Einstein divorced in 1919, but as part of the divorce settlement Einstein agreed to pay his ex-wife every krone from the future Nobel Prize that might be awarded to him.

Weinstein says that everyone knew that Einstein was going to win the prize and that in the postwar atmosphere of Germany, it was a natural demand from a woman who did not want a divorce and was suffering from depression.

Wacker, on the other hand, says: "I find it difficult not to accept the conclusion that Mileva, rightly or wrongly, saw this as the reward for the part she had in the development of the theory of relativity."

Without further evidence, it is difficult to know one way or the other. But surely there is enough uncertainty about what really happened to keep the flames of the conspiracy burning for much longer.

The report:

15 תגובות

  1. Really the commenters here surprise me. I would expect them to read the article before they question the objectivity of the researcher... funny that the article turns around towards the end... a twist that reveals lazy people???

  2. To all the commenters here:
    Tell me, are you normal? Did you even read the article or just the title?!?

    Dr. Gali Weinstein tries to disprove the conspiracies, and claims that with a very high probability, Mileva Marich was not a partner in the composition of the theory of relativity, at least not in a significant way. And the chances are that her mathematical skills were not particularly high (although higher than the average in the population, otherwise how did she get accepted to a mathematics degree at the university - and did not graduate).
    You accuse the article of exactly the opposite of what it describes. Actually the research agrees with your point of view.
    I don't know Dr. Weinstein and I have no idea why you are so willing to criticize her, but clearly it is not because of the article here. I remember seeing criticisms of her in an article she wrote here once. But I really don't remember what the topic was about.
    By the way, read the article before you are willing to criticize its content.

  3. And I wonder why
    No one ever thought
    Give credit to Schrödinger's Cat.

    Cats are known experts in quantum theory
    Especially for salmon quanta.

  4. Doubt: the truth is, I'm jealous. I also have ideas for research on Einstein and the reasons for his genius work:
    A. The influence of the Zurich clock and its contribution to Einstein's work. B. The effect of elevators and their contribution to general relativity. third. The effect of Elsa's pies on his work [in my opinion the most important study of all]. And more as pleasure.
    Unfortunately, to this day no entity is willing to finance the aforementioned research. But don't worry, the association of chefs specializing in pies has expressed interest and enthusiasm, and I'm optimistic.

    And more seriously: Israel Shapira, I agree with your words. And even adds: quite a few anti-Semites argued, and some still argue, that the mathematician Hilbert, who was extremely gifted, arrived at/formulated the equations of general relativity, which was true [even if he had a slight error]. But he was honest enough to admit that the idea and the whole basis for it was Einstein.
    And there is no disputing Tesla's contribution.

  5. Ami.

    The theory is not new, and was raised many years ago mainly by Serbian elements trying to show that there is a conspiracy to downplay the part of the Serbs in the contribution to science, especially Tesla's. Gagel Mileva and Einstein.

    You cannot ignore the testimony of a scientist of the caliber of Abram Fedorovich Yufa, who was asked by Stalin to head the Soviet atomic bomb program in 1942 (he turned down the request because of his age). However, Milba's lack of any scientific record, and on the other hand Einstein's rich record in so many fields, suggests that there is probably no truth in the rumors, and it would be nice to make waves if you help set things straight.

    Good night.

  6. Isn't Einstein also solely responsible for the theory of general relativity???

    A new study reveals that in 1907, a few months before the discovery of the principle of equivalence, Einstein adopted a dog which, according to witnesses who knew him, was particularly intelligent - the dog's name was "Homi". It seems that Homi, who lived with Einstein throughout all the years of his work on general relativity, was in fact the real thinker of general relativity and he actually arrived at Einstein's field equations.
    Homi died in 1918 in what were defined as "mysterious circumstances", just a little after the theory of relativity was verified and Einstein won fame, it seems that "someone" had an interest in eliminating other competitors for fame...
    By the way, Einstein's withdrawal from the idea of ​​the cosmological constant (which was finally verified in 1998) is not surprising - because Einstein never understood the need for the cosmological constant that Homi insisted on inserting into the equations.

  7. Tell me, are you really bored and have already exhausted all the research topics?

    Even Mileva never claimed to compose any article.

    Milba helped Einstein with some of the mathematics he needed and was definitely a help against him. [As his friends were also receptive to his ideas], but from here to attributing any idea to her is a long way.

    She has a place of honor in history as someone who helped him and above all as someone who tolerated his presence, which was not always easy.

    Leave her in her rightful place and stop all the attempts that stink of feminism.

  8. Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz, of course, at a Shas election rally, raised his hands to the sky and shouted: 'A Spanish woman kissing a Torah scroll surpasses forty professors who teach that man is descended from monkeys!'

  9. Milba is the real genius in the Einstein family, the secret discoverer of the theory of relativity, the explanation for the photoelectric effect, the Brownian motion, Bose-Milba condensation, the principle of equivalence, Idush, the MPR paradox, and many other inventions.

    Sometimes I think she's even more of a genius than Walker.

    (who invented Milva).

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