# Physics and Geometry

# Physics and Geometry

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

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