Princeton (1933–1955)

The Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton ( New Jersey) gave Einstein 1933 a post. This newly-founded research organisation saw as its role the promotion of further education by young university graduates, by facilitating unconventional contact with top scientists. Already in 1932, Einstein had assured the head, Abraham Flexner, that he wished to be involved in the project.

He liked the life there, as there too he was free of any teaching- and research obligations. In the mornings he was mostly to be found at the institute. In the afternoons he preferred to be at home, where he met friends and personalities from science and politics.

In 1939 Einstein pointed out the possibility of constructing an atomic bomb to President Roosevelt, and mentioned his fears that Germany, with its aggressive government, could achieve this before the rest of the world. However, his ideas did not have much of an effect. Only in 1941 was the Manhattan Engineering District founded, where the atomic bomb was eventually developed.

Otherwise, he continued work on the generalisation of the theory of gravitation, on which he had been working constantly since 1916. In 1946 he presented his first draft of the field equation for a general field theory and from then on adhered to this basic concept.

In the 1950s he corresponded actively with his first biographer, Carl Seelig, whose private collection of documents from and about Einstein is to be found in the ETH-Bibliothek (Archives and Private Collections).

Einstein died in Princeton on April 18th 1955.

Documents to the time in Princeton (German)

Correspondence with Carl Seelig

Additional correspondence