LAUE, MAX VON. 1879-1960. Collection of letters, as follows:

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Lot 263
LAUE, MAX VON. 1879-1960.
Collection of letters, as follows:

US$ 4,000 - 6,000
£ 2,800 - 4,200

History of Science

22 Oct 2014, 13:00 EDT

New York

LAUE, MAX VON. 1879-1960.
Collection of letters, as follows:
1. 2 Typed letters signed ("M. v. Laue") in German on letterhead of the Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, 1 p recto, and 1 p recto and verso, folio, Berlin, 12.6.54; 19.7.54, being to his assistant Rolf Hosemann, the first commenting on a paper submitted for review.
2. Typed letter signed ("M.L.") in German, 3 pp recto and verso, folio. Berlin, n.d., being a draft of a letter to the Stiftenverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft regarding Hosemann's research.
3. Document signed ("M.v.Laue") in German on letterhead of the Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, 1 p, folio, Berlin, 3.5.1952, being a circular letter concerning an agreement between the Institut and the Deutschen Forschungshochschule Berlin-Dahlem.
4. Card signed ("Dr. M.v.Laue"), 1 p, 8vo with integral leaf, Berlin, 9. Oktober 1953, being a printed thank you card with photograph of Laue tipped in.

Max von Laue received the Nobel Prize for physics in 1914 for his discovery of the diffraction of x-rays in crystals, a discovery that Einstein called one of the most beautiful in physics. In April 1951, at the age of 71, Laue took over the directorship of the Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, a post he occupied until his death nine years later. Two letters are from Laue to Rolf Hosemann, his chief assistant at the Fritz-Haber-Institut. Hosemann had submitted a paper to Laue for review, and in the first of his letters to Hosemann, von Laue critiques it thoroughly. In part:
"I have gone to a lot of trouble with the second section of your work, "Lorentz-invariant deduction of Hamiltonian mechanics, Maxwellian electrodynamics and Schrödinger wave mechanics from the so-called general wave equation. Clarification of the wave-particle dualism." I have objections in many places. . . .
What do you want to do in this second section? The fact that you present the reader the mechanics of the mass point, which are well known to him, in a peculiar and most unpleasant notation, in my opinion, is rather superfluous. You want to begin with Equations (36) and (28), which are known to lead to the Hamiltonian equations of mechanics. What is the rest for?...
?"
Weber, Pioneers of Science, pp. 49-50
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