Albert Einstein Journal Papers

Prussian Academy of Physics

 by Gregory J. Mallon

 

Neue Möglichkeit für Eine Einheitliche Feldtheorie von Gravitation und Elektrizität

Below you will see a rare, immaculate copy of Einstein's 8 page submission to the Prussian Academy of Physics entitled, "Neue Möglichkeit für Eine Einheitliche Feldtheorie von Gravitation und Elektrizität." ("New Possibility for a Unified Field Theory of Gravitation and Electricity").

Neue Möglichkeit für Eine Einheitliche Feldtheorie von Gravitation und Elektrizität. Berlin: Verlag der Akademie der Wissenchaften in Kommission bei Walter de Gruyter, 1928.  Quarto, in original orange paper wrappers.  First offprint edition of one of Einstein's classic papers on the theory of distant parallelism, in original wrappers. In 1928, Einstein took a new approach to field theory, which he named "distant parallelism."

"By early 1929, he had solved the main problems involved in writing down field equations for his unified theory. On the day of official publication of the third of a formidably technical series of nine articles on the theory… excited headlines appeared in foreign newspapers throughout the world… In this frenzied, unscientific atmosphere, Einstein's new theory was hailed in the press as an outstanding scientific advance" (Hoffmann/Dukas, ''Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel'' (1972) pp. 225-226). 

In his general theory of relativity, Einstein had created a concept called "space-time," essentially a representation of the gravitational field. According to his theory, that field could then be acted upon by the electromagnetic field's contribution to the stress tensor, causing curvature. In turn, space-time could also be viewed as essentially incorporating the effects of the electromagnetic field. Because the electromagnetic and gravitational fields interacted so fully in Einstein's conception of the universe, he argued that a theory based on geometry, derived from Weyl, should be able to treat these two fields as different parts of the same basic phenomenon, an idea that had not previously been a part of standard Newtonian physics.

To develop his theory, Einstein identified a third type of geometry falling between Riemannian geometry and Euclidean geometry, which would compensate for the complexity of the universe, but also accommodate certain rules associated with simpler geometry such as parallelism. The theory used a metric of signature, vanishing curvature, and non-vanishing torsion similar, but not identical, to Riemannian geometry and brought in tetrads as basic variables. Einstein's proposed equations, based on that geometry, constituted one of his best attempts at a unified field theory, the Holy Grail of physics. He referred to his approach as "distant parallelism." It is still regarded as one of the most innovative theories proposed in the field and has evolved to be treated as a pure theory of gravity, not unified with electromagnetism. However, Einstein, who stressed from the outset that the theory of distant parallelism was tentative, ultimately abandoned it. Over 70 years later, unified field theory remains the Holy Grail of physics. Text in German. The first edition was published the same year in ''Sitzungsberichten der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften''. See Weil #162, Boni #175.  An exquisite copy of this RARE PAPER (Near Mint, see scans and click to zoom).

From Weil:  Weil #162.  Neue Möglichkeit für Eine Einheitliche Feldtheorie von Gravitation und Elektrizität.

Weil 162 - Einheitliche Feldtheorie Von Gravitation Und Elektrizitat, 1928,  von A. EINSTEIN

Neue Moglichkeit Fur Eine Einheitliche Feldtheorie Von Gravitation Und Elektrizitat (New Possibility for a Unified Field Theory of Gravitation and Electricity), Weil #162

 

WEIL #162  /  BONI #175

Condition: Fine (Fresh Original Color)
Offered at: $850 (Firm)


 

Neue Moglichkeit Fur Eine Einheitliche Feldtheorie Von Gravitation Und Elektrizitat (New Possibility for a Unified Field Theory of Gravitation and Electricity), Weil #162

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