The first joint EPS-APS Historic Site: the Einstein House in Bern
From left to right: H.R. Ott, President of the Albert Einstein Society, C. Rossel, President of EPS, Q.M. Tran, President of the Swiss Physical Society (SPS), A. Tschäppät, the Mayor of Bern and S. Aronson, President of the APS on the occasion of the inauguration of the Einstein House as first joint EPS-APS Historic Site.
Walking through the historic centre of Bern, the curious traveller comes across a sign at Kramgasse 49 indicating the "Einsteinhaus". Walking up the steep, narrow staircase, it is possible to visit the apartment where A. Einstein lived from 1903 to 1905.
During his time in Bern, A. Einstein lived with his wife and baby while working a 48 hour week as a clerk in the Patent Office. Despite a busy family and professional life, A. Einstein also published the 4 papers that revolutionised physics at the beginning of the 20th century.
The European Physical Society (EPS) and the American Physical Society (APS) inaugurated the Einstein House as the first joint EPS-APS Historic site on 14 September 2015. The plaque was unveiled in the presence of H.R. Ott, President of the Albert Einstein Society, C. Rossel, President of EPS, Q.M. Tran, President of the Swiss Physical Society (SPS), A. Tschäppät, the Mayor of Bern and S. Aronson, President of the APS. Many other dignitaries were present including L. Cifarelli, President of the Italian Physical Society (SIF) and E. Krubasik, President of the German Physical Society (DPG).
Emeritus Professor from the University of Zurich, Norbert Straumann gave an enlightening talk on the historical context and scientific impact of A. Einstein's work in 1905, his "annus mirabilis". This was followed by a guided tour of the apartment cum museum by HR. Ott who described the turbulent family life of A. Einstein. Finally, the Mayor of Bern, A. Tschäppät spoke on the importance of scientific culture for the city of Bern, and the need to enhance Bern’s historical and contemporary contributions to scientific research.
The EPS and the APS would like to thank the Swiss Physical Society, the Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences (SCNAT) and the Albert Einstein Society for their support in declaring the Einstein House as an EPS-APS joint Historic Site and for the organisation of a memorable event.