“Einstein’s Wife” documentary: list of errors

Below is a list of errors, misrepresentations, and contentions lacking substantive evidence, in the “Einstein’s Wife” film.

Note: For a full critique of the film, including the detailed documenting of the errors, see Einstein’s Wife: Mileva Marić 1

1. Marić was not a “brilliant mathematician”.

2. There is no evidence that Marić “collaborated with Einstein on his 1905 papers on Brownian Motion, Special Relativity and the photoelectric effect.

3. The account of the discovery of the Einstein/Marić letters is “Totally and unequivocally false” [Robert Schulmann].

4. The publication of the Einstein/Marić letters did not “rock the international scientific community”.

5. Marić did not “specialise in theoretical physics”.

6. Lenard was not “one of the great pioneers of quantum physics”.

7. Marić did not keep Einstein “abreast of” the “brave new world” of the photoelectric effect, etc.

8. There is no evidence that Marić “cut classes” at Zurich Polytechnic.

9. Marić was not, with Einstein, “trying to solve the puzzles of the universe in mathematical form…”.

10. Einstein did not “fail [his] final exams”.

11. The board of examiners did not “round Albert’s mark to a pass”.

12. Troemel-Ploetz’s “explanation” for Marić’s failure that “Einstein already has his diploma and she doesn’t need one, one is enough in one family” is absurd, as they didn’t marry until nearly three years later.

13. Einstein’s personal research on physics did not depend on “Mileva’s access and good standing with their professor [Weber] to keep their private research alive”.

14. There are very many more instances of Einstein using “I” and “my” in relation to his extracurricular work in letters when they were students than of his use of “we” and “our”. The relatively rare use of “our” sometimes referred to their co-operative study on their diploma dissertations, not Einstein’s personal work on physics. Also, the Special Relativity theory was only arrived at by Einstein several years later.

15. Marić was not with Einstein when he inaugurated the Olympia Academy” in 1902.

16. Solovine did not say of Marić that “She occasionally joined in”. He said the opposite, that she listened but never contributed to the discussions. Solovine did not say of Marić that she was “clearly more interested in physics than housework”.

17. The evidence that “Mileva’s father visits them shortly after the birth and offers Einstein a handsome dowry” is based on dubious third-hand reminiscences obtained decades later.

18. There is no serious evidence that Einstein told Marić’s father “I didn’t marry her for money. I married her because I love her, because we are one. She is my guardian angel against the sins of life and especially so in the sciences.” It is a fourth-hand report of reminiscences by an interested party obtained decades later.

18. The “Einsteins” did not submit five papers for publication in 1905. Einstein alone did that.

19. Marić did not “review scientific papers”.

20. There is no serious evidence that Marić told Einstein in private conversation: “This is a great achievement, a beautiful achievement.”

21. Marić did not work with Einstein on the E=mc2 1905 paper.

22. Abraham Joffe did not “cite both Albert’s and Mileva’s names on the original manuscripts” of 1905.

23. The fragment of a page shown on the screen is not from the work the narrator claims.

24. There is no serious evidence “they debated, calculated and read and write about science problems” at this time.

25. There is no evidence that Mileva Marić’s “name was removed” as co-author from the 1905 papers, since it wasn’t there in the first place.

26. There is not a scrap of  evidence that Marić “actually prepares some of Einstein’s [public] lectures”.

27. The statement in the voice of “Einstein” at the end of the documentary, “Without her I would never have started my work, and certainly not finished it”, is without foundation. It is also absurd, because at that time (1904 according to the narrator earlier in the film) Einstein had scarcely begun his work, and it is inconceivable that he would have said he’d “finished it”.


See also: http://www.esterson.org/Einsteins_Wife_PBS_Errors_List.htm