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Calgarian’s exchanges with Einstein surface at University of Calgary
Published Tuesday, June 12, 2018 8:56PM MDT
A student has discovered letters sent from Albert Einstein to Calgarian Harold ‘Tim’ Horne from the 1940’s within the University of Calgary’s archives.
The three letters were donated to the University of Calgary in 1972 by Horne who believed the exchanges with the creator of the theory of relativity should remain with the institution for safekeeping.
“They weren’t lost, they had just never come up for staff who are here presently,” explained Allison Wagner, a rare books and manuscripts advisor with the University of Calgary.
Horne was not an academic scientist but developed a theory regarding the impact lunar rhythms have on the oxygenation of water while fishing near the Ghost River dam. The Calgarian sent a letter to Einstein in 1943 outlining his hypothesis after other academics failed to respond to his correspondence or dismissed his theory.
Wagner says much can be garnered from Einstein’s messages that include handmade drawings and handwritten notes in the margins of the typed letters.
“(It) tells us quite a bit about Einstein and how his nature was not to dismiss somebody like this,” said Einstein. “I imagine he was sympathetic to people who couldn’t get people to listen to their ideas.”
Einstein’s letters, which were sent while he was employed as a professor at Princeton University, appear critical of Horney’s theory but not condescending.
David Daley, a University of Calgary conservation advisor, expects the letters will live indefinitely due to the methods of preservation they’ve undergone.
With files from CTV’s Alesia Fieldberg