The past decade has seen a considerable surge of interest in historical and philo sophical studies of gravitation and relativity, due not only to the tremendous amount of world-wide research in general relativity and its theoretical and observational consequences, but also to an increasing awareness that a collaboration between working scientists, historians and philosophers of science is, in this field, partic ularly promising for all participants. The expanding activity in this field is well documented by recent volumes in this Einstein Studies series on the History of General Relativity as well as by a series of international conferences on this topic at Osgood Hill (1986), Luminy (1988), and Pittsburgh (1991). The fourth of these conferences, hosted by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, was held in Berlin from 31 July to 3 August 1995, with a record attendance of some 80 historians and philosophers of science, physicists, mathematicians, and as tronomers. Based on presentations at the Berlin conference, this volume provides an overview of the present state of research in this field, documenting not only the increasing scope of recent investigations in the history of relativity and gravitation but also the emergence of several key issues that will probably remain at the focus of debate in the near future. RELATIVITY IN THE MAKING The papers of this section deal with the origins and genesis of relativity theory.
Content Level »Research
Keywords »General Special Relativity - History of Science
I Relativity in the Making.- The Search for Gravitational Absorption in the Early Twentieth Century.- Minkowski, Mathematicians, and the Mathematical Theory of Relativity.- Heuristics and Mathematical Representation in Einstein’s Search for a Gravitational Field Equation.- Rotation as the Nemesis of Einstein’s Entwurf Theory.- II Relativity at Work.- Einstein, Relativity and Gravitation Research in Vienna before 1938.- Controversies in the History of the Radiation Reaction Problem in General Relativity.- The Penrose-Hawking Singularity Theorems: History and Implications.- III Relativity at Large.- The Cosmological Woes of Newtonian Gravitation Theory.- Genesis and Evolution of Weyl’s Reflections on De Sitter’s Universe.- Milne, Bondi and the ‘Second Way’ to Cosmology.- Steady-State Cosmology and General Relativity: Reconciliation or Conflict?.- IV Relativity in Debate.- Larmor versus General Relativity.- Kretschmann’s Analysis of Covariance and Relativity Principles.- Point Coincidences and Pointer Coincidences: Einstein on the Invariant Content of Space-Time Theories.- Contributors.