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Zum gegenwärtigen Stande des Gravitationsproblems [On the Present State of the Problem of Gravitation]
Hirzel, Leipzig 1913 - FIRST PRINTING IN EXTREMELY SCARCE ORIGINAL WRAPPERS of the report of Einstein's influential speech at the 85th Congress of German Natural Scientists and Physicians in Vienna, outlining his progress on the development of the general theory of relativity. "Altogether the sessions of the physics section at the 85th Naturforscherversammlung represented the high level of physics in German-speaking countries" and the most anticipated talk was to be delivered by Einstein. "In the second physics session on Tuesday, 23 September 1913, starting a 9am, Albert Einstein spoke first on the topic 'Zum gegenwärtigen Stande des Gravitationsproblems,' (On the Present Status of the Problem of Gravitation). The Viennese public had not yet had the opportunity to hear this already famous scientist. [who] now was attempting to construct a new relativity theory of gravitation. "Einstein began by pointing to the necessity of modifying Isaac Newton's theory of gravitation in the light of relativity theory." He reported on his most recent results obtained with Marcel Grossman and compared his gravitational field theory to the scalar theory of Gunner Nordström. Specifically, the Einstein-Grossman theory implied "the deflection of light when passing near the sun. Hence he suggested finally: 'Now, whether the first approach [of Nordström] or the second approach [of Einstein-Grossman] corresponds essentially to the situation in nature, must be decided by taking photos of the stars showing up next to the sun during a solar eclipse. Let us hope that the eclipse of the year 1914 will allow us to obtain already the important decision." Einstein's speech was then followed by a discussion session involving Einstein and some of the most famous scientists of the day, the highlights of which were printing at the end of his paper in Physikalische Zeitschrift. "Einstein's lecture at the Naturforscherversammlung left a lasting impression of the Viennese physicists" and encouraged rapid further study on relativity theory. (Jagdish Mehra and Helmut Rechenberg, The Historical Development of Quantum Theory.) Weil 54. IN: Physikalische Zeitschrift, Vol. 14, No. 25, 15 December 1913, pp. 1249-1266. Leipzig: Hirzel, 1913. Quarto, original wrappers; custom box. Front wrapper loose but holding, a few small chips to edges. A remarkable survival without any institutional stamps, complete with ads and yearly index, of a notoriously fragile item. [Attributes: First Edition]
      [Bookseller: Manhattan Rare Book Company, ABAA, ILAB]
Last Found On: 2014-03-24           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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