A Lost Page of Notes on Einstein's 'Theory of Everything' Has Turned Up in Jerusalem

einstein unified field note
A lost page of Albert Einstein’s handwritten notes and equations has turned up. The page, part of the appendix to a scientific journal article published in 1930, shows one of Einstein’s attempts to unite all the fundamental forces into a single set of equations, or a "theory of everything." (Image credit: Copyright The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

A never-before-seen page of Albert Einstein's handwritten notes and equations on the unified theory of physics has been discovered in an archive of Einstein manuscripts recently acquired by The Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

According to a statement from the university, the newfound page was part of an appendix that Einstein included with a scientific article on unified field theory — the long-sought theory that unites all the fundamental forces of nature into a single set of equations — which Einstein submitted to the Prussian Academy of Science in 1930.

Previously thought lost, the page of elegantly written notes has never been seen or studied since its original submission, according to the statement. [8 Ways You Can See Einstein's Theory of Relativity in Real Life]

The long-lost note turned up in an archive of 110 manuscript pages that The Hebrew University recently acquired from a private collector in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Many of the new pages have never been displayed to the public before, including 84 pages of mathematical calculations written from 1944-48, plus a number of letters to Einstein's friends and family.

In one letter, written to Einstein's son Hans Albert in 1935, the physicist expresses his worries about rising Nazi sentiments across Europe. "I read with some apprehension that there is quite a movement in Switzerland, instigated by the German bandits," Einstein wrote. "But I believe that even in Germany things are slowly starting to change. Let's just hope we won't have a Europe war first."

Einstein was one of the founders of the university, which was established in 1918. Upon his death in 1955, he bequeathed his personal and scientific writings to the university archive, which today boasts more than 80,000 Einstein artifacts.

Originally published on Live Science.

Brandon Specktor

Brandon is the space/physics editor at Live Science. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Reader's Digest, CBS.com, the Richard Dawkins Foundation website and other outlets. He holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing from the University of Arizona, with minors in journalism and media arts. He enjoys writing most about space, geoscience and the mysteries of the universe.