Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Formative Years of RelativityThe History and Meaning of Einstein's Princeton Lectures$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jürgen Renn and Hanoch Gutfreund

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691174631

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691174631.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2022

Physics and Geometry

Physics and Geometry

(p.25) 1 Physics and Geometry
The Formative Years of Relativity

Hanoch Gutfreund

Jürgen Renn

Princeton University Press

This chapter concerns the ongoing debate about the meaning of Einstein's theory in the formative years, with particular attention to the relation between physics and geometry. It also compares Einstein's thinking on this issue with that of the French mathematician and philosopher Henri Poincaré and deals with the role of symmetry in the theory of relativity—one of Einstein's enduring legacies. The role of symmetry becomes evident, for instance, in the lecture on special relativity, in which it is shown how relativistic invariance, a symmetry property of the spacetime continuum, shapes Maxwell's equations and other laws of physics. In the period under consideration, the understanding of symmetry is deepened by the emergence of Emmy Noether's famous theorems, for which the theory of general relativity was an important source of inspiration.

Keywords:   physics, geometry, Henri Poincaré, symmetry, Emmy Noether, theory of relativity, special relativity, general relativity, relativistic invariance, Albert Einstein

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.