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The Formative Years of RelativityThe History and Meaning of Einstein's Princeton Lectures$
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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

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The First Solutions and the Challenge of Their Interpretation

The First Solutions and the Challenge of Their Interpretation

Chapter:
(p.46) 3 The First Solutions and the Challenge of Their Interpretation
Source:
The Formative Years of Relativity
Author(s):

Hanoch Gutfreund

Jürgen Renn

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691174631.003.0006

This chapter discusses the first wave of the exploration of exact solutions to Einstein's gravitational field equations. When Einstein published the final form of the field equations in 1915, only an approximate solution was known. Given the complicated nonlinear character of the field equations, he did not expect that exact solutions could easily be found. He was all the more surprised when the astronomer Karl Schwarzschild presented him with just such an exact solution. Thus, this chapter presents a series of these solutions, beginning with the work of Karl Schwarzschild, Johannes Droste, Willem de Sitter, Alexander Friedmann, Hans Reissner, Gunnar Nordström, and finally, Georges Lemaître.

Keywords:   gravitational field equations, field equations, Karl Schwarzschild, Johannes Droste, Willem de Sitter, Alexander Friedmann, Hans Reissner, Gunnar Nordström, Georges Lemaître, Albert Einstein

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