Auction Date:2011 Sep 14 @ 18:00 (UTC-5 : EST/CDT)
Location:5 Rt 101A Suite 5, Amherst, New Hampshire, 03031, United States
TLS signed “A. Einstein,” one page, 8.5 x 11, Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists letterhead, April 29, 1947. Letter to Miss Fishel. In full: “I am glad to have the opportunity to send you the enclosed book, Explaining the Atom, by Selig Hecht, honorary vice-chairman of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists. Dr. Hecht has succeeded in giving, clearly and simply, an authoritative account of the scientific steps, both theoretical and experimental, that have lead to our present knowledge of nuclear fission. I believe also that from this book the discerning reader can gain the information necessary to form an independent opinion on the practical problems of atomic energy confronting the world today. Remembering your concern for these problems, and your interest in the work of our Committee, I hope that you may also share my admiration and respect for this distinguished book.” Simply framed to an overall size of 9.25 x 11.75. In fine condition, with intersecting folds, one through a single letter of signature, and a bit of trivial soiling.
Einstein personally established the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists to warn the public of the dangers associated with the development of nuclear weapons, promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and ultimately work towards world peace. Among the committee members was Hecht, who wrote the “authoritative account of the scientific steps, both theoretical and experimental, that have lead to our present knowledge of nuclear fission” that Einstein here states he was sending. At the time, the book had only recently been published and offered the reader a clear explanation of the atom—unique in that Hecht was the only member of the esteemed committee who was not a nuclear physicist, but rather a biophysicist. The work is still regarded as being unsurpassed as an exposition of the history and the theory of the atom. Einstein clearly admired his colleague and his contributions to help encourage and further the peaceful uses of atomic energy.