First offprint of Einstein’s paper on the subject of intermolecular forces, 1920


Albert Einstein: Schallausbreitung in teilweise dissoziierten Gasen. [Propagation of Sound in Partly Dissociated Gases.] Sonderabdruck [Offprint]). Berlin: 1920.

Albert Einstein: Schallausbreitung in teilweise dissoziierten Gasen. [Propagation of Sound in Partly Dissociated Gases.] Sitzungsberichte der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, XVIII (1920). Sitzung der physikalisch-mathematischen Klasse vom 8. April. Sonderabdruck [Offprint]). Berlin: Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften (in commission at Walter de Gruyter [Reichsdruckerei]), 29th April 1920.

Imperial 8vo (25,4:18,2 cm). 6 pages, numbered 380-385. Letterpress on machine paper, in original publisher’s brochure on cream stock with black title printing.

First offprint in the original wrappers, of Einstein's paper on the subject of intermolecular forces.

Edition: In this work Einstein calculated the rate of chemical reactions in a gas by means of observations on the propagation of sound, and hence delivered an important contribution to modern acoustics (see Mason, »Physical Acoustics«, p. 13).

Condition: Very fine indeed.

Rarity: According to Weil early offprints of Einstein’s papers may also be qualified as original and also highly collectable editions, however they were printed in a certain, but still small print run for commercial use (mainly to sell them to fellow natural scientists): „No doubt, the first appearance in a periodical is the „original edition“, but I have to leave it open for collectors, librarians and others to decide whether these offprints in wrappers, mostly with a printed title on them (especially in the »Sitzungsberichte der Königlich Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften«) are also „original editions“. These offprints are printed from the same setting as the text, but often with new pagination.“ (p. 4). As of February 2024 RBH records 5 complete copies of present offprint sold at auction, 1 of them are additionally marked as author's presentation copies with „Überreicht vom Verfasser“ (2022, 2006, 2002, 1999, 1978).

Reference: Boni, N.: A bibliographical checklist and index to the published writings of Albert Einstein, 119; The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein. Volume 7, 39; Shields, M. C.: Bibliographie der Schriften Einsteins. In: Schilpp, P. A.: Albert Einstein als Philosoph und Naturforscher, 130; Weil, E.: Albert Einstein. A bibliography of his scientific papers, 1901-1930, 110.

Additional information

Weight 1 kg