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The Genesis of General Relativity: Sources and Interpretations

Series: Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science Volume: 250

Edited By: Jürgen Renn

2090 pages, 4-volume set


Hardback | Feb 2007 | #165859 | ISBN-13: 9781402039997
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £699.99 $921/€796 approx

About this book

This four-volume work represents the most comprehensive documentation and study of the creation of general relativity. Einstein's 1912 Zurich notebook is published for the first time in facsimile and transcript and commented on by today's major historians of science.

Additional sources from Einstein and others, who from the late 19th to the early 20th century contributed to this monumental development, are presented here in translation for the first time. The volumes offer detailed commentaries and analyses of these sources that are based on a close reading of these documents supplemented by interpretations by the leading historians of relativity.

From the reviews:

These volumes prove that to Wittgensteina (TM)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 Einsteina (TM)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 Einsteina (TM)s General Relativity Theory a ] . 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. a ] At the center of this reconstruction, is a commentary of Einsteina (TM)s unpublished research notes, so-called a #Zurich Notebooka (TM), presented in their entirety for the first time." (Renn JA1/4rgen,, February, 2007)

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Vol. 1: Einstein's Zurich Notebook, Introduction and Source.- Vol. 2: Einstein's Zurich Notebook, Commentary and Essays.- Vol. 3: Gravitation in the Twilight of Classical Physics, Between Mechanices, Field Theory and Astronomy.- Vol. 4: Gravitation in the Twilight of Classical Physics, The Promise of Mathematics.

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