The letter, written to radar researcher Glyn Davys in 1949, was released by the latter’s wife.
The letter also proves Einstein met with Nobel laurate Karl von Frisch, who was a leading bee and animal sensory researcher.
In April 1949, von Frisch presented his research on how honeybees navigate more effectively using the polarization patterns of light scattered from the sky.
The day after Einstein attended von Frisch’s lecture, the two researchers shared a private meeting.
Although this meeting wasn’t formally documented, the recently discovered letter from Einstein provides insight into what they might have talked about.
“It is thinkable that the investigation of the behavior of migratory birds and carrier pigeons may someday lead to the understanding of some physical process which is not yet known,” Einstein wrote.RMIT University, “Previously unknown letter reveals Einstein’s thinking on bees, birds and physics” at Phys.org (May 13, 2021)
Would Einstein count birds’ use of magnetic sensing for migration?
The paper is open access. ‘Einstein, von Frisch and the honeybee: a historical letter comes to light’, with Adrian Dyer, Andrew Greentree, Jair Garcia, Elinya Dyer, Scarlett Howard and Fredrich Barth, is published in the Journal of Comparative Physiology A (DOI: 10.1007/s00359-021-01490-6).