Letters to the Editors; January 2005; Scientific American Magazine; by Staff Editor; 2 Page(s)
The responses to the September single-topic issue on Albert Einstein were philosophical, thoughtful, contentious and abundant. Comments about the SA Perspectives, "Einstein = Man of Conscience2," suggest that E = mc2 could also stand for Einstein commentaries = much controversy2.
Less disputatious were recollections of Einstein the person. Ralph Townsend of Oxford, England, related an encounter with the great physicist that shows it is the little things that demonstrate character: A friend of his who worked in Princeton, N.J., "had a young daughter who had difficulty understanding math problems, which he would try to elucidate, but with little success. When she asked him, 'Who could explain this to me?' he replied, 'I'm afraid it would take Einstein.' The resourceful child found Einstein's address and, on the way to school, visited him, saying, 'My father says that only Einstein could explain this problem.' She was invited in, and Einstein enlightened her. When her parents discovered, after she had become habitually late for school, that these meetings had become routine, they apologized to the Einsteins, who replied that they enjoyed seeing her and continued to let her visit."