Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein, one of the Institute’s first Professors, serving from 1933 until his death in 1955, played a significant part in the Institute's early development. While at IAS, Einstein pursued the goal of a unified field theory, at a time when the idea had been set aside by the majority of working physicists. In recent years, this has again become a central goal of physicists, and string theory has become the favored candidate for a unified understanding of the basic laws of the physical universe.

I gave a copy of the preprint of my paper to Robert Oppenheimer, who, as Director of the Institute for Advanced Study, was my host. A week later I met him at an Eastern Physics Meeting at the University of Maryland, my home institution. When I asked him if he had read my paper, he replied, “Greenberg, it’s beautiful!” I was elated. After a pause, he completed his assessment of my paper by saying, “But I don’t believe a word of it!”