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Open Directory - Science: Physics: Relativity: History
Science: Physics: History
A Note on Relativity before Einstein
- The first presentation of the Lorentz transformations, including the crucial time dilation, belongs to Larmor (c. 1897). [PDF]
Einstein's Articles in "Annalen der Physik"
- Website by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin) presenting the seminal articles on relativity and other subjects that Einstein published in the physics journal "Annalen der Physik"; also includes four introductory essays based on recent historical studies.
Einstein's Discovery of Relativity
- Essay by John Stachel (Boston University) which gives a concise account of Einstein's biography at the turn of the century, and attempts to reconstruct how he developed the special theory of relativity.
- A discussion of the differences in perspective between Einstein and Poincaré between Peter Galison (Harvard) and Graham Burnett (Princeton); main focus are the notions of time and simultaneity.
Einstein, Nordström and the Early Demise of Scalar, Lorentz Covariant Theories of Gravitation
- About the development of general relativity, Einstein's early rejection of Lorentz-covariant theories of gravity, and Nordström's attempts at formulating just such a model. By J. D. Norton (University of Pittsburgh). [PDF]
Henri Poincaré and Relativity Theory
- Identifies the contributions made to the special theory of relativity by Poincaré and argues that the theory "has been created not by A. Einstein only but even to a greater extent by Poincaré." By A. A. Logunov. [PDF]
History Topic: General Relativity
- An outline of the development of the theory, including a summary of relevant earlier work (from Aristotle to Maxwell); from the MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive (University of St. Andrews).
History Topic: Special Relativity
- Concise summary of the history of special relativity, from Maxwell and Lorentz to Einstein; from the MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive (University of St. Andrews).
History of General Relativity
- Wikipedia article on the development of relativity. Includes sections about observational tests and alternative theories.
History of Special Relativity
- Wikipedia article on the genesis and development of special relativity and its precursors.
Olinto De Pretto
- Wikipedia article about the Italian industrialist and claims that he published the famous formula E=mc² two years before Einstein did.
Relativity Priority Dispute
- Wikipedia article about the various contributors to special and general relativity, and about the contentious questions of who has priority on the different ideas and concepts involved, and in how far Einstein was influenced by his contemporaries and predecessors.
Scott Walter's Homepage
- Contains articles of the historian of science Scott Walter (Université de Nancy 2), including those on the history of special relativity, with a special focus on contributors other than Einstein (such as Poincaré, and Minkowski). [PDF]
Lost in Einstein's Shadow
- American Scientist magazine article describes the people whose work paved the way for the special theory of relativity. By Tony Rothman; also includes link to PDF version. (March 01, 2006)
Einstein and Hilbert: The Creation of General Relativity
- Discusses the correspondence between the two, their priority dispute, and their amicable resolution of it. By Ivan T. Todorov. (April 25, 2005)
Eclipse Showed Gravity Vatiation
- New York Times article on the 1919 eclipse observations by two British expeditions, which confirmed the predictions of general relativity for light deflection near the sun. [PDF] (November 09, 1919)
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