Almost 20 years before the late Fred Hoyle and his colleagues devised the Steady State Theory , Albert Einstein toyed with a similar idea: that the universe was eternal, expanding outward with a consistent input of spontaneously generating matter. An Irish physicist came across the paper last year and could hardly believe it. According to this week’s article in
Nature , It had been stored in plain sight at the Albert Einstein Archives in Jerusalem — and is
freely available to view on its website — but had been mistakenly classified as a first draft of another Einstein paper. Cormac O’Raifeartaigh, a physicist at the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland, says that he “almost fell out of his chair” when he realized what the manuscript was about. He and his collaborators have posted their findings, together with an English translation of Einstein’s original German manuscript, on the arXiv preprint server and have submitted their paper to the
European Physical Journal .