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# The Genesis of General Relativity: Sources and Interpretations

## byJürgen RennEditorJohn D. Norton

### Book & Audio | February 16, 2007

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The transition from classical to modern physics in the ?rst half of the twentieth c- tury by quantum and relativity theories affected some of the most fundamental notions of physical thinking, such as matter, radiation, space, and time. This tran- tion thus represents a challenge for any attempt to understand the structures of a s- enti?c revolution. The present four-volume work aims at a comprehensive account of the way in which the work of Albert Einstein and his contemporaries changed our understanding of space, time, and gravitation. The conceptual framework of classical nineteenth-century physics had to be fundamentally restructured and reinterpreted in order to arrive at a theory of gravitation compatible with the new notions of space and time established in 1905 by Einstein's special theory of relativity. Whereas the classical theory of gravitation postulated an instantaneous action at a distance, Einstein's new relativistic kinematics rather suggested an analogy between the gravitational ?eld and the electromagnetic ?eld, propagating with a ?nite speed. It is therefore not surprising that Einstein was not alone in addressing the problem of formulating a theory of gravitation that complies with the kinematics of relativity t- ory. The analysis of these alternative approaches, as well as of earlier alternative approaches to gravitation within classical physics, turns out to be crucial for identi- ing the necessities and contingencies in the actual historical development.

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Title:The Genesis of General Relativity: Sources and InterpretationsFormat:Book & AudioDimensions:619 pagesPublished:February 16, 2007Publisher:Springer-Verlag/Sci-Tech/TradeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1402039999

ISBN - 13:9781402039997

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Table of Contents

Vol. 1. Einstein's Zurich Notebook, Introduction and Source Preface Introduction to Volumes 1 and 2 : The Zurich Notebook and the Genesis of General Relativity Michel Janssen, John Norton, Jürgen Renn, Tilman Sauer, and John Stachel Classical Physics in Disarray (Jürgen Renn) The First Two Acts (John Stachel) Pathways out of Classical Physics (Jürgen Renn, Tilman Sauer) Einstein's Zurich Notebook Vol. 2: Einstein's Zurich Notebook, Commentary and Essays Michel Janssen, John Norton, Jürgen Renn, Tilman Sauer, and John Stachel Commentary on the Notes on Gravity in the Zurich Notebook What was Einstein's 'Fateful Prejudice'? (John D..Norton) What Did Einstein Know and When Did He Know It? A Besso Memo Dated August 1913 (Michel Janssen) Untying the Knot: How Einstein Found His Way Back to Field Equations Discarded in the Zurich Notebook (Jürgen Renn and Michel Janssen) Index Vol. 3: Gravitation in the Twilight of Classical Physics, Between Mechanics, Field Theory, and Astronomy Jürgen Renn and Matthias Schemmel (eds.) The Gravitational Force between Mechanics, Electrodynamics and Astronomy The Third Way to General Relativity: Einstein and Mach in Context (Jürgen Renn) Gravitation (Jonathan Zenneck ) Considerations Concerning Gravitation (Hendrik A. Lorentz ) Absolute or Relative Motion? (Benedict and Immanuel Friedländer) On Absolute and Relative Motion (August Föppl ) An Astronomical Road to a New Theory of Gravitation The Continuity between Classical and Relativistic Cosmology in the Work of Karl Schwarzschild (Matthias Schemmel) Things at Rest in the Universe ( Karl Schwarzschild ) A New Law of Gravitation Enforced by Special Relativity Breaking in the 4-Vectors: The Four-Dimensional Movement in Gravitation1905-1910(Scott Walter) On the Dynamics of the Electron : Introduction (Henri Poincaré) Mechanics and the Relativity Postulate (Hermann Minkowski) Old and New Questions of Physics (Hendrik A. Lorentz) The Problem of Gravitation as a Challenge for the Minkowski Formalism The Summit Almost Scaled: Max Abraham as a Pioneer of a Relativistic Theory of Gravitation (Jürgen Renn) On the Theory of Gravitation (Max Abraham) The Free Fall (Max Abraham) A New Theory of Gravitation (Max Abraham) Recent Theories of Gravitation (Max Abraham) A Field Theory of Gravitation in the Framework of Special Relativity Einstein, Nordström and the Early Demise of Scalar, Lorentz Covariant Theories of Gravitation (John D. Norton) The Principle of Relativity and Gravitation (Gunnar Nordström) Inertial and Gravitational Mass in Relativistic Mechanics (Gunnar Nordström) On the Theory of Gravitation from the Standpoint of the Principle of Relativity (Gunnar Nordström) On the Present State of the Problem of Gravitation (Albert Einstein) From Heretical Mechanics to a New Theory of Relativity Einstein and Mach's Principle (Julian B.Barbour) On the Relativity Problem (Albert Einstein) Ether and the Theory of Relativity (Albert Einstein) Vol 4. Gravitation in the Twilight of Classical Physics : The Promise of Mathematics (Jürgen Renn and Matthias Schemmel (eds.) From an Electromagnetic Theory of Matter to a New Theory of Gravitation Mie's Theories of Matter and Gravitation (Christopher Smeenk, Christopher Martin, ) Foundations of a Theory of Matter (Gustav Mie) Remarks Concerning Einstein's Theory of Gravitation (Gustav Mie) The Principle about the Relativity of the Gravitational Potential (Gustav Mie) The Momentum-Energy-Law in the Electrodynamics of Gustav Mie (Max

Editorial Reviews

From the reviews:These volumes prove that to Wittgenstein's saying that "Genius is what makes us forget skill" ought to be added the statement "when viewing the finished product." Genius is also the ability to master the available resources and techniques and to synthesize them in a manner that overwhelms. The volumes are the product of a remarkable cooperative effort on the part of five of the most distinguished Einstein scholars. They deciphered and analyzed the extended research notes that Einstein made from 1912 to 1915 in his struggle to arrive at the final formulation of his theory of general relativity. In doing so they have given us deep new insights on Einstein's creativity and on creativity in general, on context, on the role of past resources and expertise, and on the function of analogies. Their researches, observations and commentary have also made us think anew of the concept of a scientific revolution. Their splendid work is surely one of the most important and seminal scholarly accomplishments of recent times. S.S. Schweber, Brandeis University, USA"The publication of The Genesis of General Relativity marks the outcome of 10 years of research into the origins of Einstein's General Relativity Theory . . It provides a comprehensive study and in-depth analysis of how the work of Albert Einstein and his contemporaries changes our understanding of space, time and gravitation. . At the center of this reconstruction, is a commentary of Einstein's unpublished research notes, so-called 'Zurich Notebook', presented in their entirety for the first time." (Renn Jürgen, www.physorg.com, February, 2007)These volumes are the result of over two decades of effort, by most of theleading scholars in the field, to understand the process that culminated in1915 and 1916 in Einstein's publication of the general theory of relativity.In addition to relativity physicists the project involved, both individuallyand more frequently collaboratively, historians and philosophers of science.The central objective was, through this richly documented case study, toidentify universal features of the epistemological transformation that theauthors have called a "Copernican process": How is it that heuristic guidescan render conceptual changes that invalidate their use? This dynamicaltransmutation is firmly rooted in received societal and disciplinary scientificknowledge. In the particular case under study here, most relativists willprobably have little trouble rejecting the mistaken popular notion that Einsteinwas an isolated genius, creating his new world through shear inspiredimagination... Donald Salisbury, July 2008To read more of this review - paste this link into your browser.http://arxiv1.library.cornell.edu/abs/0807.3706v1