Einstein handwritten letter with equation fetches $1.2m

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A letter written by Albert Einstein containing his E=mc² equation has sold at auction in the US for more than $1.2m (£850,000) – three times more than had been expected.

Experts say there are only three other known examples of the equation in the physicist’s handwriting.

The equation was first published in a scientific paper by Einstein in 1905.

It explains the interchangeability of energy and mass.

The equation – energy equals mass times the speed of light squared – is a fundamental concept in modern physics.

This was the only example of the equation in a private collection and only became public recently, said Boston-based RR Auction, which sold the letter.

“[It’s] an important letter from both a holographic and a physics point of view,” RR Auction said in a statement, calling it “the most well-known equation ever set forth”.

The one-page letter in German is dated 26 October 1946 and addressed to Polish-American physicist Ludwik Silberstein, who challenged some of Einstein’s theories.

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