Golden Oldies

Republications of important historic papers in general relativity

The Golden Oldies series of the journal General Relativity and Gravitation reprints important papers in general relativity theory that were published 30 or more years ago and are either hard to get hold of, or were originally printed in a language other than English. They play a key part in making these important papers readily accessible today, in the language that has now become the lingua franca of scientific publication. The value of this reprinting is enhanced by an accompanying editorial note for each paper, which briefly explains the significance of the work and where it has subsequently led to, together with a biographical note about the author or authors.

Thanks to Charles Hellaby, Andrzej Krasiński, and Hans-Jürgen Schmidt for compiling this list.

Golden Oldies Criteria & Procedures: 
Ashtekar, A., Maartens, R. & MacCallum, M.A.H. Gen Relativ Gravit (2017) 49: 36.

Golden Oldies Series Editor:
Malcolm MacCallum

Golden Oldies Advisory Board (2020):
Malcolm MacCallum, Pablo Laguna (EiC), Emanuele Berti, Thibault Damour, Pedro G. Ferreira, Gary W. Gibbons, Roberto Lalli, and Susan Scott


Purely infinitesimal geometry (Reine Infinitesimalgeometrie) 
by Hermann Weyl (1918) 

• Editorial note by Graham S. Hall

On the transition from wave optics to geometric optics in general relativity (Zum Übergang von der Wellenoptik zur geometrischen Optik in der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie) 
by Jürgen Ehlers (1967) 

• Editorial note by Volker Perlick 

Existence theorem for the Einsteinian gravitational field equations in the non-analytic case (Théorème d’existence pour les équations de la gravitation einsteinienne dans le cas non analytique) 
by Yvonne Fourès-Bruhat (1950) 

• Editorial note by Demetrios Christodoulou & Richard Kerner 


A threedimensional formulation of the Bianchi identities for vacuum gravitational fields 
by Manfred Trümper (1964) 

• Editorial note by George F.R. Ellis & Malcolm A. H. MacCallum


Dirac electron in the gravitational field I (Diracsches Elektron im Schwerefeld I) 
by Erwin Schrödinger (1932) 

• Editorial note by Bernard S. Kay

On the Newtonian limit of Einstein’s theory of gravitation (Über den Newtonschen Grenzwert der Einsteinschen Gravitationstheorie) 
by Jürgen Ehlers (1981) 

• Editorial note by Thomas Buchert & Thomas Mädler

The theoretical significance of experimental relativity
by Robert H. Dicke (1964) 

• Editorial note by P. J. E. Peebles


Propagators, commutators and anti-commutators in general relativity (Propagateurs, commutateurs et anticommutateurs en relativité générale)
by André Lichnerowicz (1964) 

• Editorial note by Giampiero Esposito

Mean density of radiation in the Metagalaxy and certain problems in relativistic cosmology (Средняя плотность излучения в Метагалактике и некоторые вопросы релятивистской космологии)
by Andrei G. Doroshkevich and Igor D. Novikov (1964) 

• Editorial note by Ruth Durrer


On the Gravitational Stability of the Expanding Universe (О гравитационной устойчивости расширяющегося мира)
by E. Lifshitz (1946) 

• Editorial note by George F. R. Ellis


Contributions to the Theory of Gravitational Radiation Fields. Exact Solutions of the Field Equations of the General Theory of Relativity V (Beiträge zur Theorie der Gravitations-Strahlungsfelder. Strenge Lösungen der Feldgleichungen der Allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie V)
by Wolfgang Kundt and Manfred Trümper (1962) 

• Editorial note by Malcolm A. H. MacCallum


Contributions to Einstein's Theory of Gravitation (Beiträge zur Einsteinschen Gravitationstheorie)
by Ludwig Flamm (1916) 

• Editorial note by Gary W. Gibbons


Geometrodynamics in the Null Case. Exact Solutions of the Field Equations of the General Theory of Relativity III (Geometrodynamik im Nullfall, Strenge Lösungen der Feldgleichungen der Allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie III)
by Pascual Jordan and Wolfgang Kundt (1961) 

• Editorial note by Charles W. Misner


Contributions to the Theory of Pure Gravitational Radiation. Exact Solutions of the Field Equations of the General Theory of Relativity II (Beiträge zur Theorie der reinen Gravitationsstrahlung, Strenge Lösungen der Feldgleichungen der Allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie II)
by Pascual Jordan, Jürgen Ehlers and Rainer K. Sachs (1961) 

• Editorial note by Malcolm A. H. MacCallum & Wolfgang Kundt

A Homogeneous Universe of Constant Mass and Increasing Radius Accounting for the Radial Velocity of Extra-Galactic Nebulae (Un univers homogène de masse constante et de rayon croissant, rendant compte de la vitesse radiale des nébuleuses extra-galactiques)
by Georges Lemaître (1927) 

• Editorial note by Jean-Pierre Luminet


On the Formal Analogy between the Basic Electromagnetic Equations and Einstein's Gravity Equations in First Approximation (Über die Formale Analogie zwischen den Elektromagnetischen Grundgleichungen und den Einsteinschen Gravitationsgleichungen Erster Näherung)
by Hans Thirring (1918) 

• Editorial note by Herbert Pfister

Relativistic Cosmology
by H. P. Robertson (1933) 

• Editorial note by George Ellis

The Geometry of Free Fall and Light Propagation
by Jürgen Ehlers, Felix A. E. Pirani and Alfred Schild (1972) 

• Editorial note by Andrzej Trautman

New Solutions of the Einstein Field Equations. B. Explicit Determination of Static, Axially Symmetric Fields. With a Supplement on the Static Two-Body Problem (Neue Lösungen der Einsteinschen Gravitationsgleichungen. B. Explicite Aufstellung statischer axialsymmetrischer Felder. Mit einem Zusatz über das statische Zweikörperproblem)
by Rudolf Bach and Hermann Weyl (1922) 

5. Comment on the Axially Symmetric Solutions to Einstein's Equations of Gravitation (5. Bemerkung über die axialsymmetrischen Lösungen der Einsteinschen Gravitationsgleichungen)
by Herman Weyl (1919) 

3. On the Theory of Gravitation (3. Zur Gravitationstheorie)
by Herman Weyl (1917) 

• Editorial note by Gernot Neugebauer, David Petroff & Bahram Mashhoon


 Quantum Theory of Weak Gravitational Fields (Quantentheorie schwacher Gravitationsfelder)
by Matvei Bronstein (1936) 

• Editorial note by S. Deser & A. Starobinsky

Large Number Coincidences and the Anthropic Principle in Cosmology
by Brandon Carter (1974) 

• Editorial note by George F. R. Ellis

The Beginning of the World from the Point of View of Quantum Theory
by Georges Lemaître (1931) 

• Editorial note by Jean-Pierre Luminet

Einsteinian ds² in Newtonian Fields. IX: The Analog of the Logarithmic Potential (ds² einsteiniana in campi newtoniani. IX: l’analogo del potenziale logaritmico)
by Tullio Levi-Civita (1919)

The Physical Reality of Some Normal Spaces of Bianchi (Realtá fisica di alcuni spazi normali del Bianchi)
by Tullio Levi-Civita (1917) 

• Editorial note by Malcolm A. H. MacCallum


Conformal Treatment of Infinity
by Roger Penrose (1964)

Observations in Cosmology
by Jerome Kristian and Rainer K. Sachs (1966)

On Hamilton's Canonical Equations (Sur les équations canoniques de Hamilton)
by Władysław Ślebodziński (1931)

On the Initial Value Problem of the Equations of Gravitation
by Karl Stellmacher (1938)

New Mechanics of Material Systems (Neue Mechanik materieller Systeme)
by Myron Mathisson (1937)

The Mechanics of Matter Particles in General Relativity (Die Mechanik des Materieteilchens in der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie)
by Myron Mathisson (1931)

Black Hole Equilibrium States, Part II General Theory of Stationary Black Hole States
by Brandon Carter (1973)


Black Hole Equilibrium States, Part I Analytic and Geometric Properties of the Kerr Solutions
by Brandon Carter (1973)

A New Class of Vacuum Solutions of the Einstein Field Equations
by R. P. Kerr and A. Schild (1965)

Exact Solutions of the Field Equations of the General Theory of Relativity (Strenge Lösungen der Feldgleichungen der Allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie)
by Pascual Jordan, Jürgen Ehlers and Wolfgang Kundt (1960)

On the General Relativity Theory (Zur allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie)
by Hermann Weyl (1923)

On the Physical Significance of the Riemann Tensor
by Felix A. E. Pirani (1956)

On the Deviation of Geodesics and Null Geodesics, Particularly in Relation to the Properties of Spaces of Constant Curvature and Indefinite Line-Element
by John Lighton Synge (1934)

Relativistic Cosmology
by George F. R. Ellis (1971)

A Theorem on Petrov Types
by Joshua N. Goldberg and Rainer K. Sachs (1962)


The Redshift of Extragalactic Nebulae
by Fritz Zwicky (1933)

The Dynamics of General Relativity
by Richard Arnowitt, Stanley Deser and Charles W. Misner (1962)

The Cosmological Constant and the Theory of Elementary Particles (Космологическая постоянная и теория элементарных частиц) by Yakov Borisovich Zeldovich (1968)

Geometrical Theorems on Einstein's Cosmological Equations
by Edward Kasner (1921)


Perturbations of a Cosmological Model and Angular Variations of the Microwave Background
by R. K. Sachs and A. M. Wolfe (1967)

LX. On the Definition of Distance in General Relativity
by I. M. H. Etherington (1933)


On the General Spherically Symmetric Solutions of Einstein's Gravitational Equations in Vacuo (Über die allgemeinen kugelsymmetrischen Lösungen der Einsteinschen Gravitationsgleichungen im Vakuum)
by J. T. Jebsen (1921)


Empty Space-Times Admitting a Three Parameter Group of Motions
by A. H. Taub (1951)


On the Gravitational Field of a Mass Point According to Einstein's Theory (Über das Gravitationsfeld eines Massenpunktes nach der Einsteinschen Theorie)
by K. Schwarzschild (1916) 

• Editorial note by S. Antoci and D.-E. Liebscher

The Bianchi Classification in the Schücking-Behr Approach
Based on a seminar by
Engelbert Schücking (1957)
by Wolfgang Kundt


Relativistic Hydrodynamics
by John Lighton Synge (1937)

On the Singularities of a Riemannian Manifold
by György Szekeres (1960)

The Field of a Single Centre in Einstein's Theory of Gravitation, and the Motion of a Particle in that Field
by Johannes Droste (1917)

Gravitational Collapse: the Role of General Relativity
by Roger Penrose (1969)

Lectures on General Relativity
by Andrzej Trautman (1958)

Visual Horizons in World Models
by Wolfgang Rindler (1956)


R- and T-Regions in a Spacetime with a Spherically Symmetric Space
by Igor D. Novikov (1964)

On the Three-Dimensional Spaces which Admit a Continuous Group of Motions
by Luigi Bianchi (1898)

Spherically Symmetric T-Models in the General Theory of Relativity
by Vladimir Afanasjevich Ruban (1969)

T-Models of "Sphere" in General Relativity Theory
by Vladimir Afanasjevich Ruban (1968)


Radiation States and the Problem of Energy in General Relativity
by Louis Bel (1962)

Newtonian Universes and the Curvature of Space
by William Hunter McCrea and Edward Arthur Milne (1934)

A Newtonian Expanding Universe
by Edward Arthur Milne (1934)

The Classification of Spaces Defining Gravitational Fields
by Aleksey Zinovjevitch Petrov (1954)

Rotating Universes in General Relativity Theory
by Kurt Gödel (1952)

An Example of a New Type of Cosmological Solutions of Einstein's Field Equations of Gravitation 
by Kurt Gödel (1949)

Relativistic Cosmology. I
by Amalkumar Raychaudhuri (1955)

Vacuum Quantum Fluctuations in Curved Space and the Theory of Gravitation
by Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov (1967)


On the Possibility of a World with Constant Negative Curvature of Space (Über die Möglichkeit einer Welt mit konstanter negativer Krümmung des Raumes)
by Aleksandr Friedmann (1924)

On the Curvature of Space (Über die Krümmung des Raumes)
by Aleksandr Friedman (1922)

Spherically Symmetrical Models in General Relativity
by Hermann Bondi (1947)

On a Class of Solutions of the Gravitation Equations of Relativity (Über eine Klasse von Lösungen der Gravitationsgleichungen der Relativität)
by B. Datt (1938)

On a New Cosmological Solution of Einstein's Field Equations of Gravitation
by Hidekazu Nariai (1951)

On Some Static Solutions of Einstein's Gravitational Field Equations in a spherically symmetric case
by Hidekazu Nariai (1950)

'Newtonian' Time in General Relativity
by Prahalad Chunilal Vaidya (1953)

The Gravitational Field of a Radiating Star
by Prahalad Chunilal Vaidya (1951)

The External Field of a Radiating Star in General Relativity
by Prahalad Chunilal Vaidya (1943)


Some Relativistic Cosmological Models
by Ronald Kantowski (1966)

Isotropic Space with Discrete Gravitational-Field Sources. On the Theory of a Nonhomogeneous Isotropic Universe
by Mikhail Fedorovich Shirokov and Iosif Zalmanovich Fisher (1963)

The Formation of the Nebulae
by William B. Bonnor (1956)

A Note on Some General Solutions of the Einstein Field Equations in a Spherically Symmetric World
by Paul Kustaanheimo and Bertil Qvist (1948)

Observable Relations in Relativistic Cosmology. II
by William Hunter McCrea (1939)


On the Stability of Cosmological Models
by N. R. Sen (1934)

Effect of Inhomogeneity on Cosmological Models
by Richard C. Tolman (1934)

The Expanding Universe (L'Univers en expansion)
by the Abbé Georges Lemaître (1933)

On a Stationary Cosmology in the Sense of Einstein's Theory of Gravitation (Über eine stationäre Kosmologie im Sinne der Einsteinschen Gravitationstheorie)
by Kornel Lanczos (1924)


Contributions to the Relativistic Mechanics of Continuous Media (Beiträge zur relativistischen Mechanik kontinuierlicher Medien)
by Jürgen Ehlers (1961)


On the Influence of the Proper Rotation of Central Bodies on the Motions of Planets and Moons According to Einstein's Theory of Gravitation (Über den Einfluß der Eigenrotation der Zentralkörper auf die Bewegung der Planeten und Monde nach der Einsteinschen Gravitationstheorie)
by Josef Lense and Hans Thirring (1918)

Correction to My Paper: "On the Effect of Rotating Distant Masses in Einstein's Theory of Gravitation" (Berichtigung zu Meiner Arbeit: "Über die Wirkung Rotierender Massen in der Einsteinschen Gravitationstheorie")
by Hans Thirring (1921)

On the Effect of Rotating Distant Masses in Einstein's Theory of Gravitation (Über die Wirkung rotierender ferner Massen in der Einsteinschen Gravitationstheorie)
by Hans Thirring (1918)


Null Hypersurface Initial Data for Classical Fields of Arbitrary Spin and for General Relativity
by Roger Penrose (1963)