The Road to Relativity: The History and Meaning of Einstein's "The Foundation of General Relativity", Featuring the Original Manuscript of Einstein's Masterpiece

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Princeton University Press, Jun 2, 2015 - Science - 264 pages
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This richly annotated facsimile edition of "The Foundation of General Relativity" introduces a new generation of readers to Albert Einstein's theory of gravitation. Written in 1915, this remarkable document is a watershed in the history of physics and an enduring testament to the elegance and precision of Einstein's thought. Presented here is a beautiful facsimile of Einstein's original handwritten manuscript, along with its English translation and an insightful page-by-page commentary that places the work in historical and scientific context. Hanoch Gutfreund and Jürgen Renn's concise introduction traces Einstein's intellectual odyssey from special to general relativity, and their essay "The Charm of a Manuscript" provides a delightful meditation on the varied afterlife of Einstein's text. Featuring a foreword by John Stachel, this handsome edition also includes a biographical glossary of the figures discussed in the book, a comprehensive bibliography, suggestions for further reading, and numerous photos and illustrations throughout.

 

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Contents

THE CHARM OF A MANUSCRIPT
1
EINSTEINS INTELLECTUAL ODYSSEY TO GENERAL RELATIVITY
7
THE ANNOTATED MANUSCRIPT
37
NOTES ON THE ANNOTATION PAGES
141
THE DRAMA CONTINUES
149
A Chronology of the Genesis of General Relativity and Its Formative Years
159
Physicists Mathematicians and Philosophers Relevant to Einsteins Thinking
165
Further Reading
179
English Translation of The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity
183
English Translation of Hamiltons Principle and the General Theory of Relativity
227
Index
233
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About the author (2015)

Hanoch Gutfreund is professor emeritus of theoretical physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is also the academic director of the Albert Einstein Archives. Jürgen Renn is a director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.

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