The Symbolic Universe: Geometry and Physics 1890-1930

The Symbolic Universe: Geometry and Physics 1890-1930

by Jeremy Gray
     
 

ISBN-10: 0198500882

ISBN-13: 9780198500889

Pub. Date: 07/28/1999

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Physics was transformed between 1890 and 1930, and this volume provides a detailed history of the era and emphasizes the key role of geometrical ideas. The first part of the book discusses the application of n-dimensional differential geometry to mechanics and theoretical physics, the philosophical questions on the reality of geometry, and reviews the broad

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Overview

Physics was transformed between 1890 and 1930, and this volume provides a detailed history of the era and emphasizes the key role of geometrical ideas. The first part of the book discusses the application of n-dimensional differential geometry to mechanics and theoretical physics, the philosophical questions on the reality of geometry, and reviews the broad international debate about the nature of geometry and its connections with psychology. The second part then examines the reception of Einstein's theory of special relativity following 1905. It covers Minkowski's reformulation of the theory, providing the first complete picture of his work, and it describes Einstein's path to formulating general relativity. The chapter on Hilbert's efforts to axiomatize relativity argues against the traditional view of Hilbert as arch-formalist, and the following chapter provides the first detailed account of Emmy Noether's work on physics. The final section examines the work by Ricci, Levi-Civita, and Weyl to give a new formulation of general relativity in terms of the Riemann differential. This collection will be an invaluable resource for historians and philosophers of science.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198500889
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/28/1999
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Notes on contributors
Introduction, Jeremy Gray
PART I
Introduction, Jeremy Gray
1. Geometrising configurations. Heinrich Hertz and his mathematical precursors, Jesper Lützen
2. Einstein, Poincaré, and the testability of geometry, Arthur Miller
3. Geometry—formalisms and intuitions, Jeremy Gray
PART II
Introduction, Jeremy Gray
4. The non-Euclidean style of Minkowskian relativity, Scott Walter
5. Geometries in collision: Einstein, Klein and Riemann, John D. Norton
6. Hilbert and physics (1900-1915), Leo Corry
7. The Göttingen response to general relativity and Emmy Noether's theorems, David Rowe
PART III
Introduction, Jeremy Gray
8. Ricci and Levi-Civita: from differential invariants to general relativity, Umberto Bottazzini
9. Weyl and the theory of connections, Erhard Scholz
Name index
Subject index

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