Thursday, July 20, 2006


DQ reader Ken Andert sent me a fascinating photograph, which you can see below. Here's his description:

I went to the city of Bern [Switzerland] and visited the the Bern Historical Museum, where there is currently a huge exhibition on the life and work of Albert Einstein. In order to give appropriate context to the Einstein artifacts there, the exhibition discusses in detail many historical events that were happening at points in Einstein's life; at one point I found this display on hyperinflation, exactly as you had described it in the blog. Though I'm not sure if pictures were supposed to be allowed, I knew I had to take one and send it to you. So here it is.

The display traces the course of deflation for the German mark, and it's staggering. By November 20, 1923, one trillion marks had the same value as one mark in 1914. And in ONE MONTH (from October 3, 1923, to November 3, 1923) the currency was devalued by a factor of ONE THOUSAND (I hope I said that right).

It took 100 million marks on October 3, 1923 to equal the value of one mark in 1914. On November 3, 1923, it took 100 BILLION.

Just over two weeks later, it took a trillion.

Ken is in QuarkNET and is spending his summer working on the CMS detector at CERN. Not that that's incredibly cool or anything.

Site Meter