Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Albert Einstein Typed Letter Signed "A. Einstein." One page, 8" x 10.5" (sight), Princeton, New Jersey; January 2, 1954. On Einstein's personal embossed letterhead. In a short letter to Donald S. Johnson, Einstein answers an inquiry about gravitational fields in contrast to electric fields. He writes in full: "It is impossible to screen off the gravitational field. That the gravitational field differs in this respect from the electric field is due to the fact that there exist electric masses of both (positive and negative) signs, while there exist no negative gravitating masses." Framed to the overall size of 9" x 11.5".

    The letter likely addresses a question that Johnson had about Einstein's famous general theory of relativity, which involves the interactions between gravity and electromagnetic fields. The theory, of course, was difficult for laymen to grasp. Einstein's theory upended Isaac Newton's long accepted hypothesis that space and time were fixed entities by demonstrating that neither were absolute. Einstein's earliest ideas about his theory were first published in 1905 as his Special Theory of Relativity. His ideas, though, continued to develop, finally coalescing in his grand General Theory of Relativity, which was published in 1915. His theory of special relativity demonstrates that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers, and showed that the speed of light within a vacuum is the same no matter the speed at which an observer travels. The second component to Einstein's overall theory, that of general relativity, postulates that what we perceive as the force of gravity in fact arises from the curvature of space and time.

    Condition: Lightly toned with flattened folds. Two spots of soiling, along with a small pencil mark at the right edge. Overall very good.

    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    23rd Wednesday 12:50 pm CT
    Auction Dates
    23rd Wednesday
    Proxy Bidding Time Remaining
    6 Days 7h 49m 35s
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: 50
    Page Views: 491

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    This lot is in: 2 - Signature® Floor Session (Live Floor, Live Phone, Mail, Fax, Internet, and Heritage Live):
    (Lots 47113-47333) - 1:00 PM Central Time, Wednesday, October 23, 2019.
    (Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 24 hours before the live session begins and continues through the session.)

    Show All Session Information

    Show Auction Type Info

    Exhibition Viewing Times, Title Page, Floor Session and License Information

    Additional Location Info:
    Heritage Auctions - Dallas
    3500 Maple Ave
    17th Floor
    Dallas, TX 75219

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    ** Lots bearing estimates and without Consignor Reserve shall open at Heritage Auctions' discretion (usually 25% to 60% of the low estimate).

    Opening Bid:
    Bid Protection
    w/ Buyer's Premium (BP) : $4,375.00 Minimum Next Bid: $3,500 ($4,375.00 w/ BP)
    Track Item