A letter from Einstein to a physics teacher written in 1953 fetched $53,503.75 at an auction last week.
The letter was to an Arthur L. Converse, from Malcom, Iowa, and was sold by Nate D. Sanders Auctions. Bidding started at $15,000 on March 30, according to a statement from the auction house. A spokesman for the Sanders auctions, Sam Heller, said the letter had been in the Converse family's possession for many years. The auction house did not reveal the buyer's identity.
The letter — whose envelope indicated it was sent from ''Room 115'' of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, on Sept. 7 — seems to answer questions about Einstein's theory of relativity and how to reconcile the theory with experiments. Converse was a science teacher and sent Einstein a questionnaire regarding experiments with electroscopes, which are charge-measuring instruments.
It isn't entirely clear what experiments Converse was referring to. But the letter does offer a little insight into Einstein's thinking and has some of his handwritten diagrams. [8 Ways You Can See Einstein's Theory of Relativity in Real Life]