COLLECTIBLES: A Glimpse of Genius at Work

A Glimpse of Genius at Work

Can a price be put on the secrets of the universe? Sure, if the setting is Sotheby's Manhattan auction block. Last week a handwritten manuscript in which Albert Einstein laid out his "special" theory of relativity was sold to an unidentified bidder for $1.16 million -- a record for a manuscript at a U.S. auction.

Done in black ink and pencil around 1912, the 72-page document has notes and corrections. In one spot Einstein wrote EL=mc 2 (L was a value that turned out to be 1) and then changed it to his famous E=mc 2 (energy equals mass times the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!