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I Think Einstein Had a Crush on Marie Curie

  1. Dec 7, 2014 #1
    Among the new Einstein papers that are online now, there is this letter from Einstein to M. Curie:


    The link spins it as advice about trolls, but it is clear to me from Einstein's exceptionally deferential and complimentary tone, his exceptionally protective attitude, and the generally high state of emotion from which he writes, that had a crush on her. He even tries, in a very geeky way, to amuse her in the post script.

    What do you think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2014 #2

    Doug Huffman

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    You must understand hermeneutic analysis. Those attributes were universally expected of a gentleman in civil interaction with a lady.
  4. Dec 7, 2014 #3


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    I think we'd need to compare this with his letters to a lady he almost certainly didn't like.
    Was there any correspondence with his mother-in-law from either marriage?
  5. Dec 7, 2014 #4
    Consider, though, this letter was unsolicited, and emerged from an "outrage" he felt compelled to "vent." It strikes me as clearly over-the-top, even considering men's then attitude toward women as "the weaker sex." There's a more than courteous amount of concern shown by him calling her detractors "rabble" and "reptiles." He's worked up in a way I've never seen in his other non-scientific writing.
  6. Dec 7, 2014 #5


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    I don't find anything peculiar with that letter. Einstein simply wished to give his personal support to Curie. And, in order to correctly understand its tone, it should be read in German, and taking into account the customs and the world view of cultivated people of pre-Great War Europe.
  7. Dec 7, 2014 #6
    Here's Einstein's birthday note to Tesla, as translated from the German by me:

    "Very honored Mr. Tesla,

    It is with pleasure I learn that you are celebrating your 75th birthday, and that you, as the successful pioneer of the field of high frequency current, have been able to live to see the wonderful developments of this field . I congratulate you on the great success of your life's work.

    Albert Einstein"

    It's warm, courteous, cultivated. By comparison you should be able to see his letter to M. Curie goes far beyond the pro-forma tone and style of the day and culture.
  8. Dec 7, 2014 #7
    That makes me think then whether amusing someone means falling for him/her too especially among Westerners ?
    I don't actually feel a thing if someone out there accidentally writes me a letter that way. Einstein was being so much polite to her.
  9. Dec 9, 2014 #8
    Lol that's cute... But if I knew that the person I have a crush on is married and having an extra-marital affair with yet another man, I would be quite upset at my situation (that is, obsessing over a woman I don't have much of a chance with, as well as involving myself with such emotionally destructive predicaments) though outwardly, I may probably still display positivity for the one I have a crush on. But that's just me, and plus I'm a nobody, unlike Einstein.
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