Cover image for Dear Professor Einstein : Albert Einstein's letters to and from children
Dear Professor Einstein : Albert Einstein's letters to and from children
Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955.
Publication Information:
Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 2002.
Physical Description:
232 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QC16.E5 A4 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This enchanting book displays a small sampling of the amusing, touching, and sometimes precocious letters sent to Albert Einstein by children from around the world, and his often witty and very considerate responses. Alice Calaprice has compiled a delightful and charming collection of more than 60 letters, most never published before, from children to perhaps the greatest scientist of all time. Enhancing this correspondence are numerous photographs showing Einstein amid children, wearing an Indian headdress, carrying a puppet of himself, donning furry slippers, among many other wonderful pictures. They reveal the intimate human side of the great public persona, a man who, though he spent his days contemplating the impersonal abstractions of mathematics and physics, was very fond of children and enjoyed being in their company.

Obviously, Einstein led a busy life, and so he could not answer every letter sent to him. Nonetheless, he made time to respond to those that touched him in some way. To Monique from New York, who asked about the age of the Earth and when it will come to an end, he patiently responded that it is a little more than a billion years old, and, "As for the question of the end of it I advise: Wait and see!" To "six little scientists" from Morgan City, Louisiana, who despite the skepticism of their classmates maintained that life would survive even if the sun burned out, he wrote, "The minority is sometimes right--but not in your case."

Complete with a foreword by Einstein's granddaughter Evelyn, a biography and chronology of Einstein's life, and an introduction by Einstein scholar Robert Schulmann on the great scientist's educational philosophy, this wonderful compilation will be welcomed by teachers, parents, and all the young, budding scientists in their lives.

Author Notes

Alice Calaprice was formerly a senior editor at Princeton University Press

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Scientific Thoughts "I have started to write before many times, only to tear the letter into bits. For you are such a brillant [sic] person... I am just an average twelve year old girl in the 7A at Eliot Junior High School... You and my uncle, who is in the Coast Guard, are my heroes." So begins one of the many touching missives on everything from the theory of relativity to a comic book about atoms in Dear Professor Einstein: Albert Einstein's Letters to and from Children, edited by Alice Calaprice (The Quotable Einstein). Includes a thumbnail biography, an introduction by Einstein scholar Robert Schulmann and a foreword by the physicist's granddaughter, Evelyn Einstein. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Evelyn EinsteinRobert Schulmann
Forewordp. 9
Prefacep. 15
A Note to the Childrenp. 21
Chronology of Einstein's Lifep. 23
"I Am Merely Curious": A Short Biographyp. 33
Einstein's Educationp. 71
An Einstein Picture Galleryp. 83
The Lettersp. 111
Afterwordp. 221
Additional Readingp. 225
Indexp. 229