This article will be permanently flagged as inappropriate and made unaccessible to everyone. Are you certain this article is inappropriate? Excessive Violence Sexual Content Political / Social
Email Address:
Article Id: WHEBN0004022767 Reproduction Date:
Albert Einstein presented the theories of Special Relativity and General Relativity in groundbreaking publications that either contained no formal references to previous literature, or referred only to a small number of his predecessors for fundamental results on which he based his theories, most notably to the work of Hendrik Lorentz for special relativity, and to the work of Gauss, Riemann, and Mach for general relativity. Subsequently claims have been put forward about both theories, asserting that they were formulated, either wholly or in part, by others before Einstein. At issue is the extent to which Einstein and various other individuals should be credited for the formulation of these theories, based on priority considerations.
The general history of the development of these theories, including the contributions made by many other scientists, is found at History of special relativity and History of general relativity.
Concerning special relativity, the most important names that are mentioned in discussions about the distribution of credit are Albert Einstein, Hendrik Lorentz, Henri Poincaré, and Hermann Minkowski. Consideration is also given to numerous other scientists for either anticipations of some aspects of the theory, or else for contributions to the development or elaboration of the theory. These include Woldemar Voigt, August Föppl, Joseph Larmor, Emil Cohn, Friedrich Hasenöhrl, Max Planck, Max von Laue, Gilbert Newton Lewis and Richard Chase Tolman, and others. In addition, polemics exist about alleged contributions of others such as Olinto De Pretto, and Einstein's first wife Mileva Marić, although these are not considered to have any foundation by serious scholars.^{[1]}
Concerning general relativity, there is a controversy about the amount of credit that should go to Einstein, Grossmann, and David Hilbert. Many others (such as Gauss, Riemann, William Kingdon Clifford, Ricci, and Levi-Civita) contributed to the development of the mathematical tools and geometrical ideas underlying the theory. Also polemics exist about alleged contributions of others such as Paul Gerber.
The following facts are undisputed and generally accepted as true:
The following things seem to be unclear, unknown or disputed:,
There are a large number of opinions related to these involving questions of "who should get the credit" - these are not enumerated here.,
In his History of the theories of ether and electricity from 1953, E. T. Whittaker claimed that relativity is the creation of Lorentz and Poincaré and attributed to Einstein's papers only little importance.^{[11]} However, most historians of science, like Gerald Holton, Arthur I. Miller, Abraham Pais, John Stachel, or Olivier Darrigol have other points of view. They admit that Lorentz and Poincaré developed the mathematics of special relativity, and many scientists originally spoke about the "Lorentz-Einstein theory". But they argue that it was Einstein who completely eliminated the classical ether and demonstrated the relativity of space and time. They also argue that Poincaré demonstrated the relativity of space and time only in his philosophical writings, but in his physical papers he maintained the ether as a privileged frame of reference that is perfectly undetectable, and continued (like Lorentz) to distinguish between "real" lengths and times measured by observers at rest within the aether, and "apparent" lengths and times measured by observers in motion within the aether.^{[B 2]}^{[B 3]}^{[B 4]}^{[B 5]}^{[B 6]} Darrigol summarizes:
Most of the components of Einstein's paper appeared in others' anterior works on the electrodynamics of moving bodies. Poincaré and Alfred Bucherer had the relativity principle. Lorentz and Larmor had most of the Lorentz transformations, Poincaré had them all. Cohn and Bucherer rejected the ether. Poincaré, Cohn, and Abraham had a physical interpretation of Lorentz's local time. Larmor and Cohn alluded to the dilation of time. Lorentz and Poincaré had the relativistic dynamics of the electron. None of these authors, however, dared to reform the concepts of space and time. None of them imagined a new kinematics based on two postulates. None of them derived the Lorentz transformations on this basis. None of them fully understood the physical implications of these transformations. It all was Einstein's unique feat.^{[B 7]}
In a paper that was written in 1914 and published in 1921,^{[12]} Lorentz appreciated Poincaré's Palermo paper (1906)^{[13]} on relativity. Lorentz stated:
I did not indicate the transformation which suits best. That was done by Poincaré and then by Mr. Einstein and Minkowski. [..] Because I had not thought of the direct way which led there, and because I had the idea that there is an essential difference between systems x, y, z, t and x',y',z',t'. In one we use - such was my thought - coordinate axes which have a fixed position in the aether and which we can call "true" time; in the other system, on the contrary, we would deal with simple auxiliary quantities whose introduction is only a mathematical artifice. [..] I did not establish the principle of relativity as rigorously and universally true. Poincaré, on the contrary, obtained a perfect invariance of the equations of electrodynamics, and he formulated the "postulate of relativity", terms which he was the first to employ. [..] Let us add that by correcting the imperfections of my work he never reproached me for them.
However, a 1916 reprint of his main work "The theory of electrons" contains notes (written in 1909 and 1915) in which Lorentz sketched the differences between his results and that of Einstein as follows:^{[14]}
[p. 230]: the chief difference [is] that Einstein simply postulates what we have deduced, with some difficulty and not altogether satisfactorily, from the fundamental equations of the electromagnetic field. [p. 321]: The chief cause of my failure was my clinging to the idea that the variable t only can be considered as the true time and that my local time t' must be regarded as no more than an auxiliary mathematical quantity. In Einstein's theory, on the contrary, t' plays the same part as t; if we want to describe phenomena in terms of x', y', z', t' we must work with these variables exactly as we could do with x, y, z, t.
Regarding the fact, that in this book Lorentz only mentioned Einstein and not Poincaré in connection with a) the synchronisation by light signals, b) the reciprocity of the Lorentz transformation, and c) the relativistic transformation law for charge density, Janssen comments:^{[B 8]}
[p.90]: My guess is that it has to do with the fact that Einstein made the physical interpretation of the Lorentz transformation the basis for a remarkably clear and simple discussion of the electrodynamics of moving bodies, whereas Poincaré's remarks on the physical interpretation of Lorentz transformed quantities may have struck Lorentz as inconsequential philosophical asides in expositions that otherwise closely followed his own. I also have a sense that Lorentz found Einstein's physically very intuitive approach more appealing than Poincaré's rather abstract but mathematically more elegant approach.
And at a conference on the Michelson–Morley experiment in 1927 at which Lorentz and Michelson were present, Michelson suggested that Lorentz was the initiator of the theory of relativity. Lorentz then replied:^{[15]}
I considered my time transformation only as a heuristic working hypothesis. So the theory of relativity is really solely Einstein's work. And there can be no doubt that he would have conceived it even if the work of all his predecessors in the theory of this field had not been done at all. His work is in this respect independent of the previous theories.
Poincaré attributed the development of the new mechanics almost entirely to Lorentz. He only mentioned Einstein in connection with the photoelectric effect,^{[16]} but not in connection with special relativity. For example, in 1912 Poincaré raises the question whether "the mechanics of Lorentz" will still exist after the development of the quantum theory. He wrote:^{[16]}
It is now known that Einstein was well aware of the scientific research of his time. The well known historian of science, Jürgen Renn, Director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science wrote on Einstein's contributions to the Annalen der Physik:^{[17]}
Einstein wrote in 1907^{[19]} that one needed only to realize that an auxiliary quantity that was introduced by Lorentz and that he called "local time" can simply be defined as "time." In 1909^{[20]} and 1912^{[21]} Einstein explained:^{[B 9]}
...it is impossible to base a theory of the transformation laws of space and time on the principle of relativity alone. As we know, this is connected with the relativity of the concepts of "simultaneity" and "shape of moving bodies." To fill this gap, I introduced the principle of the constancy of the velocity of light, which I borrowed from H. A. Lorentz's theory of the stationary luminiferous ether, and which, like the principle of relativity, contains a physical assumption that seemed to be justified only by the relevant experiments (experiments by Fizeau, Rowland, etc.)^{[21]} —Albert Einstein (1912), translated by Anna Beck (1996).
But Einstein and his supporters took the position that this "light postulate" together with the principle of relativity renders the ether superfluous and leads directly to Einstein's version of relativity. It is also known^{[22]} that Einstein had been reading and studying Poincaré's 1902-book Science and hypothesis well before 1905, which included:
Kip Thorne concludes, based on Hilbert's 1924 paper, that Hilbert regarded the General Theory of relativity as Einstein's: "Quite naturally, and in accord with Hilbert's view of things, the resulting law of warpage was quickly given the name the Einstein field equation rather than being named after Hilbert. Hilbert had carried out the last few mathematical steps to its discovery independently and almost simultaneously with Einstein, but Einstein was responsible for essentially everything that preceded those steps...".^{[B 11]} However, Kip Thorne also stated, "Remarkably, Einstein was not the first to discover the correct form of the law of warpage [. . . .] Recognition for the first discovery must go to Hilbert."^{[B 11]}
Arguments have been made that Hilbert claimed priority for the field equations themselves; the sources cited for this are:
So far, there seems to be no consensus that these statements form a clear claim by Hilbert to have published the field equations first.
For a long time, it was believed that Einstein and Hilbert found the field equations of gravity independently. While Hilbert's paper was submitted somewhat earlier than Einstein's, it only appeared in 1916, after Einstein's field equations paper had appeared in print. For this reason there was no good reason to suspect plagiarism on either side. In 1978, a November 18, 1915 letter from Einstein to Hilbert resurfaced, in which Einstein thanked Hilbert for sending an explanation of Hilbert's work. This was not unexpected to most scholars, who were well aware of the correspondence between Hilbert and Einstein that November, and who continued to hold the view expressed by Albrecht Fölsing in his Einstein biography:
In the very next sentence, after asking the rhetorical question, Folsing answers it with "This is not really probable...", and then goes on to explain in detail why
In their 1997 Science paper,^{[B 16]} Corry, Renn and Stachel quote the above passage and comment that "the arguments by which Einstein is exculpated are rather weak, turning on his slowness in fully grasping Hilbert's mathematics", and so they attempted to find more definitive evidence of the relationship between the work of Hilbert and Einstein, basing their work largely on a recently discovered pre-print of Hilbert's paper. A discussion of the controversy around this paper is given below.
Those who contend that Einstein's paper was motivated by the information obtained from Hilbert have referred to the following sources:
Those who contend that Einstein's work takes priority over Hilbert's,^{[B 16]} or that both authors did their work independently^{[B 17]} have used the following arguments:
This section cites notable publications where people have expressed a view on the issues outlined above.
In 1954, Sir Edmund Taylor Whittaker, an English mathematician and historian of science, credited Poincaré with the equation E=mc^2, and he included a chapter entitled The Relativity Theory of Poincaré and Lorentz in his book A History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity.^{[B 20]} He credited Poincaré and Lorentz, and especially alluded to Lorentz's 1904 paper (dated by Whittaker as 1903), Poincaré's St. Louis speech (The Principles of Mathematical Physics) of September 1904, and Poincaré's June 1905 paper. Whittaker attributed to Einstein's relativity paper only little importance, i.e., the formulation of the Doppler and aberration formulas.
Whittaker's claims were criticized by Gerald Holton (1960, 1973).^{[B 2]} He argued that there are fundamental differences between the theories of Einstein on one hand, and Poincaré and Lorentz on the other hand. Einstein radically reformulated the concepts of space and time, and by that removed "absolute space" and thus the stationary luminiferous aether from physics. On the other hand, Holton argued that Poincaré and Lorentz still adhered to the stationary aether concept, and tried only to modify Newtonian dynamics, not to replace it. Holton argued, that "Poincaré's silence" (i.e., why Poincaré never mentioned Einstein's contributions to relativity) was due to their fundamental different conceptual viewpoints. Einstein's views on space and time and the abandonment of the aether were, according to Holton, not acceptable to Poincaré, therefore the latter only referred to Lorentz as the creator of the "new mechanics". Holton also pointed out that although Poincaré's 1904 St. Louis speech was "acute and penetrating" and contained a "principle of relativity" that is confirmed by experience and needs new development, it did not "enunciate a new relativity principle". He also alluded to mistakes of Whittaker, like predating Lorentz's 1904 paper (published April 1904) to 1903.
Similar views as Holton's were later (1967, 1970) also expressed by his former student, Stanley Goldberg.^{[B 21]}
In a 1965 series of articles tracing the history of relativity,^{[B 22]} Keswani claimed that Poincaré and Lorentz should have the main credit for special relativity - claiming that Poincaré pointedly credited Lorentz multiple times, while Lorentz credited Poincaré and Einstein, refusing to take credit for himself. He also downplayed the theory of general relativity, saying "Einstein's general theory of relativity is only a theory of gravitation and of modifications in the laws of physics in gravitational fields".^{[B 22]} This would leave the special theory of relativity as the unique theory of relativity. Keswani cited also Vladimir Fock for this same opinion.
This series of articles prompted responses, among others from Herbert Dingle and Karl Popper.
Dingle said, among other things, ".. the 'principle of relativity' had various meanings, and the theories associated with it were quite distinct; they were not different forms of the same theory. Each of the three protagonists.... was very well aware of the others .... but each preferred his own views"^{[B 23]}
Karl Popper says "Though Einstein appears to have known Poincaré's Science and Hypothesis prior to 1905, there is no theory like Einstein's in this great book."^{[B 24]}
Keswani did not accept the criticism, and replied in two letters also published in the same journal (^{[B 25]} and ^{[B 26]} - in his reply to Dingle, he argues that the three relativity theories were at heart the same: ".. they meant much that was common. And that much mattered the most."^{[B 25]}
Dingle commented the year after on the history of crediting: "Until the first World War, Lorentz's and Einstein's theories were regarded as different forms of the same idea, but Lorentz, having priority and being a more established figure speaking a more familiar language, was credited with it." (Dingle 1967, Nature 216 p. 119-122).
Miller (1973, 1981)^{[B 3]} agreed with the analysis of Holton and Goldberg, and further argued that although the terminology (like the principle of relativity) used by Poincaré and Einstein were very similar, their content differs sharply. According to Miller, Poincaré used this principle to complete the aether based "electromagnetic world-view" of Lorentz and Abraham. He also argued that Poincaré distinguished (in his July 1905 paper) between "ideal" and "real" systems and electrons. That is, Lorentz's and Poincaré's usage of reference frames lacks an unambiguous physical interpretation, because in many cases they are only mathematical tools, while in Einstein's theory the processes in inertial frames are not only mathematically, but also physically equivalent. Miller wrote in 1981:
Miller (1996)^{[B 3]} argues that Poincaré was guided by empiricism, and was willing to admit that experiments might prove relativity wrong, and so Einstein is more deserving of credit, even though he might have been substantially influenced by Poincaré's papers. Miller also argues that "Emphasis on conventionalism ... led Poincaré and Lorentz to continue to believe in the mathematical and observational equivalence of special relativity and Lorentz's electron theory. This is incorrect." [p.96] Instead, Miller claims that the theories are mathematically equivalent but not physically equivalent. [p.91-92]
In his Einstein biography Subtle is the Lord (1982),^{[B 4]} Abraham Pais argued that Poincaré "comes near" to discover special relativity (in his St. Louis lecture of September 1904, and the June 1905 paper), but eventually he failed, because in 1904 and also later in 1909, Poincaré treated length contraction as a third independent hypothesis besides the relativity principle and the constancy of the speed of light. According to Pais, Poincaré thus never understood (or at least he never accepted) special relativity, in which the whole theory including length contraction can simply be derived from two postulates. Consequently, he sharply criticized Whittaker's chapter on the "Relativity theory of Poincaré and Lorentz", saying "how well the author's lack of physical insight matches his ignorance of the literature", although Pais admitted that the first book of Whittaker's History of Aether and Electricity is a masterpiece.
He also argued that Lorentz never abandoned the stationary aether concept, either before or after 1905:
In several papers, Elie Zahar (1983, 2000)^{[B 27]} argued that both Einstein (in his June paper) and Poincaré (in his July paper) independently discovered special relativity. He said that "though Whittaker was unjust towards Einstein, his positive account of Poincaré's actual achievement contains much more than a simple grain of truth". According to him, it was Poincaré's unsystematic and sometimes erroneous statements regarding his philosophical papers (often connected with conventionalism), which hindered many to give him due credit. In his opinion, Poincaré was rather a "structural realist" and from that he concludes, that Poincaré actually adhered to the relativity of time and space, while his allusions to the aether are of secondary importance. He continues, that due to his treatment of gravitation and four-dimensional space, Poincaré's 1905/6-paper was superior to Einstein's 1905-paper. Yet Zahar gives also credit to Einstein, who introduced Mass–Energy equivalence, and also transcended special relativity by taking a path leading to the development of general relativity.
In his book Einstein's clocks, Poincaré's maps (2002),^{[B 6]}^{[B 29]} Peter Galison compared the approaches of both Poincaré and Einstein to reformulate the concepts of space and time. He wrote: "Did Einstein really discover relativity? Did Poincaré already have it? These old questions have grown as tedious as they are fruitless." This is because it depends on the question, which parts of relativity one considers as essential: the rejection of the aether, the Lorentz transformation, the connection with the nature of space and time, predictions of experimental results, or other parts. For Galison, it is more important to acknowledge that both thinkers were concerned with clock synchronization problems, and thus both developed the new operational meaning of simultaneity. However, while Poincaré followed a constructive approach and still adhered to the concepts of Lorentz's stationary aether and the distinction between "apparent" and "true" times, Einstein abandoned the aether and therefore all times in different inertial frames are equally valid. Galison argued that this does not mean that Poincaré was conservative, since Poincaré often alluded to the revolutionary character of the "new mechanics" of Lorentz.
This author has written several books and articles claiming that Einstein plagiarized the theories of relativity. Examples are "Anticipations of Einstein in the General Theory of Relativity" and "Albert Einstein: the incorrigible plagiarist".^{[B 30]}^{[B 13]}
In his 2004 article, "The Mystery of the Einstein-Poincaré Connection", Darrigol wrote:^{[B 7]}
In Anatoly Logunov's book^{[B 18]} about Poincaré's relativity theory, there is an English translation (on p. 113, using modern notations) of the part of Poincaré's 1900 article containing E=mc^{2}. Logunov states that Poincaré's two 1905 papers are superior to Einstein's 1905 paper. According to Logunov, Poincaré was the first scientist to recognize the importance of invariance under the Poincaré group as a guideline for developing new theories in physics. In chapter 9 of this book, Logunov points out that Poincaré's second paper was the first one to formulate a complete theory of relativistic dynamics, containing the correct relativistic analogue of Newton's F=ma.
On p. 142, Logunov points out that Einstein wrote reviews for the Beiblätter Annalen der Physik, writing 21 reviews in 1905. In his view, this contradicts the claims that Einstein worked in relative isolation and with limited access to the scientific literature. Among the papers reviewed in the Beiblätter in the fourth (of 24) issue of 1905, there is a review of Lorentz' 1904-paper by Richard Gans, which contains the Lorentz transformations. In Logunov's view, this supports the view that Einstein was familiar with the Lorentz' paper containing the correct relativistic transformation in early 1905, while his June 1905 paper does not mention Lorentz in connection with this result.
Harvey R. Brown (2005)^{[B 31]} (who favors a dynamical view of relativistic effects similar to Lorentz, but "without a hidden aether frame") wrote about the road to special relativity from Michelson to Einstein in section 4:
Regarding Lorentz's work before 1905, Brown wrote about the development of Lorentz's "theorem of corresponding states" and then continued:
Then the contribution Poincaré's to relativity:
However, Brown continued with the reasons which speak against Poincaré's co-discovery:
Brown denies the idea of other authors and historians, that the major difference between Einstein and his predecessors is Einstein's rejection of the aether, because, it is always possible to add for whatever reason the notion of a privileged frame to special relativity, as long as one accepts that it will remain unobservable, and also Poincaré argued that "some day, no doubt, the aether will thrown aside as useless". However, Brown gave some examples, what in his opinion were the new features in Einstein's work:
After that, Brown develops his own dynamical interpretation of special relativity as opposed to the kinematical approach of Einstein's 1905 paper (although he says that this dynamical view is already contained in Einstein's 1905-paper, "masqueraded in the language of kinematics", p. 82), and the modern understanding of space-time.
Roger Cerf (2006)^{[B 32]} gave priority to Einstein for developing special relativity, and criticized the assertions of Leveugle and others concerning the priority of Poincaré. While Cerf agreed that Poincaré made important contributions to relativity, he argued (following Pais) that Poincaré "stopped short before the crucial step" because he handled length contraction as a "third hypothesis", therefore Poincaré lacked a complete understanding of the basic principles of relativity. "Einstein's crucial step was that he abandoned the mechanistic ether in favor of a new kinematics." He also denies the idea, that Poincaré invented E=mc² in its modern relativistic sense, because he did not realize the implications of this relationship. Cerf considers Leveugle's Hilbert-Planck-Einstein connection an implausible conspiracy theory.
Katzir (2005)^{[B 33]} argued that "Poincaré's work should not be seen as an attempt to formulate special relativity, but as an independent attempt to resolve questions in electrodynamics." Contrary to Miller and others, Katzir thinks that Poincaré's development of electrodynamics led him to the rejection of the pure electromagnetic world-view (due to the non-electromagnetic Poincaré-Stresses introduced in 1905), and Poincaré's theory represents a "relativistic physics" which is guided by the relativity principle. In this physics, however, "Lorentz's theory and Newton's theory remained as the fundamental bases of electrodynamics and gravitation."
Walter (2005) argues that both Poincaré and Einstein put forward the theory of relativity in 1905. And in 2007 he wrote, that although Poincaré formally introduced four-dimensional spacetime in 1905/6, he was still clinging to the idea of "Galilei spacetime". That is, Poincaré preferred Lorentz covariance over Galilei covariance when it is about phenomena accessible to experimental tests; yet in terms of space and time, Poincaré preferred Galilei spacetime over Minkowski spacetime, and length contraction and time dilation "are merely apparent phenomena due to motion with respect to the ether". This is the fundamental difference in the two principal approaches to relativity theory, namely that of "Lorentz and Poincaré" on one side, and "Einstein and Minkowski" on the other side.^{[B 34]}
Whittaker (1954)^{[B 20]} stated that David Hilbert had derived the theory of General Relativity from an elegant variational principle almost simultaneously with Einstein's discovery of the theory.
From Fölsing's 1993 (English translation 1998)^{[B 15]} Einstein biography " Hilbert, like all his other colleagues, acknowledged Einstein as the sole creator of relativity theory."
In 1997, Cory, Renn and Stachel published a 3-page article in Science entitled "Belated Decision in the Hilbert-Einstein Priority Dispute" [2], concluding that Hilbert had not anticipated Einstein's equations.^{[B 16]}^{[B 35]}
Friedwardt Winterberg,^{[B 36]} a professor of physics at the University of Nevada, Reno, disputed [3] these conclusions, observing that the galley proofs of Hilbert's articles had been tampered with - part of one page had been cut off. He goes on to argue that the removed part of the article contained the equations that Einstein later published, and he wrote that the cut off part of the proofs suggests a crude attempt by someone to falsify the historical record. "Science" declined to publish this; it was printed in revised form in "Zeitschrift für Naturforschung", with a dateline of June 5, 2003. Winterberg criticized Corry Renn and Statchel for having omitted the fact that part of Hilbert's proofs were cut off. Winterberg wrote that the correct field equations are still present on the existing pages of the proofs in various equivalent forms. In this paper Winterberg asserted that Einstein sought the help of Hilbert and Klein to help him find the correct field equation, without mentioning the research of Fölsing (1997) and Sauer (1999) according to which Hilbert invited Einstein to Göttingen to give a week of lectures on general relativity in June 1915, which however does not necessarily contradict Winterberg. Hilbert at the time was looking for physics problems to solve.
A short reply to Winterberg's article could be found at [4]; the original long reply can be accessed via the Internet Archive at [5]. In this reply, Winterberg's hypothesis is called "paranoid" and "speculative". Cory et al. offer the following alternative speculation: "it is possible that Hilbert himself cropped off the top of p. 7 to include it with the three sheets he sent Klein, in order that they not end in mid-sentence."^{[B 37]}
As of September 2006, the Max Planck Institute of Berlin has replaced the short reply with a note [6] saying that the Max Planck Society "distances itself from statements published on this website [...] concerning Prof. Friedwart Winterberg" and stating that "the Max Planck Society will not take a position in [this] scientific dispute".
Ivan Todorov, in a paper published on ArXiv,^{[B 17]} says of the debate:
In the paper recommended by Todorov as calm and non-confrontational, Tilman Sauer^{[B 14]} concludes that the printer's proofs show conclusively that Einstein did not plagiarize Hilbert, stating
Max Born's letters to David Hilbert, quoted in Wuensch, is quoted by Todorov as evidence that Einstein's thinking towards general covariance was influenced by the competition with Hilbert.
Todorov ends his paper by stating:
Anatoly Logunov is a former Vice President of the Soviet Academy of Sciences and currently the Scientific advisor of the Institute for High Energy Physics.[7][8] Author of a book about Poincaré's relativity theory. Coauthor, with Mestvirishvili and Petrov, of an article rejecting the conclusions of the Corry/Renn/Stachel paper. They discuss both Einstein's and Hilbert's papers, claiming that Einstein and Hilbert arrived at the correct field equations independently. Specifically, they conclude that:
Daniela Wuensch,^{[B 1]} a historian of science and a Hilbert and Kaluza expert, responded to Bjerknes, Winterberg and Logunov's criticisms of the Corry/Renn/Stachel paper in a book which appeared in 2005, wherein she defends the view that the cut to Hilbert's printer proofs was made in recent times. Moreover, she presents a theory about what might have been on the missing part of the proofs, based upon her knowledge of Hilbert's papers and lectures.
She defends the view that knowledge of Hilbert's November 16, 1915 letter was crucial to Einstein's development of the field equations: Einstein arrived at the correct field equations only with Hilbert's help ("nach großer Anstrengung mit Hilfe Hilberts"), but nevertheless calls Einstein's reaction (his negative comments on Hilbert in the November 26 letter to Zangger) "understandable" ("Einsteins Reaktion ist verständlich") because Einstein had worked on the problem for a long time.
According to her publisher, Klaus Sommer, Wuensch concludes though that:
In 2006, Wuensch was invited to give a talk at the annual meeting of the German Physics Society (Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft) about her views about the priority issue for the field equations.[10]
Wuensch's publisher, Klaus Sommer, in an article in "Physik in unserer Zeit",^{[B 39]} supported Wuensch's view that Einstein obtained some results not independently but from the information obtained from Hilbert's November 16 letter and from the notes of Hilbert's talk. While he does not call Einstein a plagiarist, Sommer speculates that Einstein's conciliatory December 20 letter was motivated by the fear that Hilbert might comment on Einstein's behaviour in the final version of his paper. Sommer claimed that a scandal caused by Hilbert could have done more damage to Einstein than any scandal before ("Ein Skandal Hilberts hätte ihm mehr geschadet als jeder andere zuvor").
The contentions of Wuensch and Sommer have been strongly contested by the historian of mathematics and natural sciences David E. Rowe in a detailed review of Wuensch's book published in Historia Mathematica in 2006.^{[26]} Rowe argues that Wuensch's book offers nothing but tendentious, unsubstantiated, and in many cases highly implausible, speculations.
Philosophy of science, Quantum mechanics, Nobel Prize in Physics, Zürich, Isaac Newton
Mathematics, Mathematical logic, Germany, University of Königsberg, Hilbert space
Philosophy of science, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Logic, David Hume
Electromagnetism, Energy, Albert Einstein, ArXiv, Quantum gravity
Germany, Kingdom of Hanover, Statistics, Göttingen, Number theory
Spacetime, Time, Albert Einstein, Physics, Classical mechanics
Science, Nikola Tesla, Isaac Newton, Evolution, Mathematics
Electromagnetism, Energy, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, James Clerk Maxwell
Quantum gravity, General relativity, Tests of general relativity, Dark matter, Gravitation