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[文化博览] 【整理】2012-04-13 阿尔伯特·爱因斯坦 Einstein—13

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Homework:

They said if we bring Einstein here, people will look at here and say Berlin is where the action is. It’s worth whatever it takes to get him here.

On 11th July, 1913, two men arrived at the Zurich train station, Max Planck and Walter Nernst, a renowned German chemist.  They are hoping that a personal little appeal with will persuade the rebellious young scientist to return to his German homeland.

Two men, middle aged guys, in dark clothes, left the train and they go find Einstein. They’re so different, Max Planck is very proper Prussian, always very well dressed in well groom and wearing the monocle, talking in very formal tongues, and there’s Einstein and he’s refusing even back then to comb his hair and dressed in you know, sort of old coats and however he feels like it, already starting not to wear socks, they make a great offer to him, he’ll be a professor at the University of Berlin, he’ll be a member of Prussian Academy.  He won’t really have to teach classes, he’ll have all the research help he need.

It was Max Planck, it was the Nernst, it was the Prussian Academy of Sciences, it was the entire world of physics that had said no, bearing down and saying, we want YOU. Einstein did not answer the offer.

Einstein says why don’t you just go and take a trip for the rest of the afternoon up the mountain. He said I’ll meet you at the train station when you come back. I’ll be caring a bunch of flowers, and if the flowers are red, I’m coming to Germany, and if the flowers are white, sorry, no go, thanks for coming. I’ve meet the argument that Einstein delayed his answer to this question in part because he sort of wanted to live with the pleasure of being so deeply sought after. But it‘s certainly true that this was not simply a snap decision.

As he often does when he has a difficult problem to solve, Einstein takes a long walk. Zurich was comfortable, there was a lot still up there, you know, you don’t just sort of walk away from that. His wife really wants to stay in Zurich, on the other hand, it will offer to him the greatest job imaginable.
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