Student unearths Einstein paper


21 August 2005

An original Albert Einstein manuscript has been unearthed at a university in the Netherlands by a student.

Rowdy Boeyink stumbled on the document while he was researching papers belonging to an old friend of Einstein.

"It was quite exciting," said Professor Carlo Beenakker, of the University of Leiden. "You can even see Einstein's fingerprints in some places."

The 16-page manuscript, dated 1924, shows the German-born genius working on his last major theory.

It took scientists until 1995 to finally prove Einstein right.

Einstein's paper laboured under the title "Quantentheorie des einatomigen idealen Gases" (Quantum theory of the monatomic ideal gas).

Albert Einstein
It took scientists 70 years to prove Einstein's theory
It examines how atoms of a gas behave at extremely low temperatures, in a theory developed in collaboration with Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose.

The theory stated that at temperatures near absolute zero, the atoms could reach a state of such low energy that they collapsed into a new state where it was no longer possible to distinguish between them - a state now referred to as Einstein-Bose condensation.

The university, near The Hague, says the newly unearthed paper will be kept in its Lorentz Institute for Theoretical Physics.

Einstein had strong ties with the university and was a regular guest-lecturer there.

The manuscript was with papers belonging to a friend of Einstein, Paul Ehrenfest, who was a professor at Leiden.