Based on an invited talk given at the conference “Cosmology Since Einstein”, Hong Kong, 30 May – 1 June 2011.
Einstein's ‘Zürich Notebook’ and his journey to general relativity†
Article first published online: 21 APR 2011
Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Annalen der Physik
Volume 523, Issue 6, pages 488–500, June 2011
How to Cite
Straumann, N. (2011), Einstein's ‘Zürich Notebook’ and his journey to general relativity. Ann. Phys., 523: 488–500. doi: 10.1002/andp.201110467
- Issue published online: 30 MAY 2011
- Article first published online: 21 APR 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 APR 2011
- Manuscript Received: 28 FEB 2011
- History of general relativity;
- Einstein-Grossmann theory;
- gravitational field equations;
- general covariance;
- Einstein-Fokker theory.
On the basis of his ‘Zürich Notebook’ I shall describe a particularly fruitful phase in Einstein's struggle on the way to general relativity. These research notes are an extremely illuminating source for understanding Einstein's main physical arguments and conceptual difficulties that delayed his discovery of general relativity by about three years. Together with the ‘Entwurf’ theory in collaboration with Marcel Grossmann, these notes also show that the final theory was missed late in 1912 within a hair's breadth. The Einstein-Grossmann theory, published almost exactly hundred years ago, contains, however, virtually all essential elements of Einstein's definite gravitation theory.