JERUSALEM, Israel - To mark its 50th anniversary and the 131st birthday of Albert Einstein, the Israel Academy of Sciences is hosting the first-ever public exhibition of the physicist's original General Theory of Relativity manuscript.
Each page of the handwritten document is displayed in individual glass-covered boxes, with the complete text, written in German, displayed around the room. In an adjacent room, visitors can listen to explanations of the text.
"This exhibit represents Einstein's strong links with the university," former Hebrew University President Prof. Hanoch Gutfreund told Jerusalem Post correspondent Judy Siegel.
Gutfreund referred to the Theory of Relativity as "the Magna Carta of physics - and a work of art."
"In 1919, when it became clear to him that the Jews of the world were in a terrible situation and anti-Semitism was rampant, he joined the Zionist movement and devoted much of his time to the establishment of Hebrew University," the professor explained.
"The manuscript expresses one of the most important phases in modern science. It changed our understanding of space, time, gravitation and really the entire universe and cosmology. It is the basis for modern technologies, such as satellites and global positioning systems, that were developed much later," he said.
In 1925, Einstein bestowed some 70,000 items, representing his life's work, to Hebrew University, which co-organized the 50th anniversary exhibition.
The collection, referred to as the Einstein archives, is stored in the basement of the university's Givat Ram campus, in temperature and humidity controlled rooms.
The manuscripts will on display through March 25 at the Academy of Sciences' headquarters next door the president's Jerusalem residence.
Source: The Jerusalem Post
*Originally published March 8, 2010.