Herbert Salzer - The scientist who proved Albert Einstein wrong
Washington: A scientist from US was one of the very few people on Earth who could say that he corrected Albert Einstein`s math - and got him to admit as much.
"Therefore your transformation equation is correct, mine wrong," wrote Einstein in a candid letter to Herbert Salzer in 1938, admitting that his number crunching didn`t measure up to that of the 23-year-old Crown Heights native.
That letter - the equivalent of Mozart praising a young pianist - along with another Einstein wrote Salzer are up for auction on November 7 at Guernsey`s Auction House on the Upper East Side and could fetch close to 400,000 dollars.
While working on his thesis for a master`s degree in math and applied sciences at Columbia University, Salzer wrote Einstein about an error in his distant parallelism field theory.
Einstein wrote back, "I don`t have my earlier work available. But it sure seems that I have made the same mistake there." Einstein signed that letter, "With the highest esteem."
"I had written to him questioning a point about the first approximation equation," Salzer once wrote.
Einstein, after laying out a series of brain-busting equations, concluded that Salzer had been mistaken.
"Yours respectfully, A. Einstein," the brain behind the theory of relativity signed the Aug. 29, 1938 letter in his native German.
But less than a month later, Einstein reconsidered.
"Shortly after I wrote you, I noticed that the error was on my side," Einstein wrote Salzer on Sept. 13, 1938.
Salzer`s bold correction is credited with helping Einstein revive and re-examine his unified field theory, according to Guernsey`s president Arlan Ettinger.