Einstein's diploma to be auctioned

The doctorate diploma that Albert Einstein obtained in 1906 from Zurich University could be yours in June.

This content was published on March 6, 2009 - 15:45

The Fischer Gallery art house in Lucerne, which also has works by Picasso and Renoir for sale, announced on Friday it would auction Einstein's diploma on behalf of a private collector.

The early 1900s were particularly fruitful years for the illustrious German-born genius who became a Swiss citizen in 1901. It was at Zurich University in 1905 that Einstein wrote a thesis called "A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions" that tackled ways to find the size of atomic compounds.

The same year, while working at a patent office in Bern, Einstein authored three more papers in his spare time. It was during this "Wonder Year" that he developed his famous equation about matter and energy, E=mc2.

Another paper on the photoelectric effect, also written in 1905, won him the Nobel Prize in 1921.

The diploma, dated January 15, 1906, was issued by Zurich University's school of mathematics and natural sciences.

The auction house said the starting bid for a package of documents, including an honorary degree Einstein received from Geneva University in 1909, would start at SFr20,000-SFr30,000 ($17,340-$26,000).

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