Roots of, and Routes Toward, Unification

  • David R. Topper
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 394)


In seeking a unity of forces in nature Einstein was drawing on a tradition going back at least into the previous century. As seen in Chap. 4, nineteenth century physics was awash in ideas of conservation, transformation, and unification – all three coupled into a conceptual whole. Regarding the specific forces in Einstein’s quest, the framework goes back to Newton’s trilogy of space, force, and matter. Kant’s subsequent unification was based on his reduction of matter to force, reducing the trilogy to a duality of force and space. Kant’s concept of force then morphed into energy, and Einstein’s E = mc 2 changed the duality to mass-energy and space. When gravity became warped space (really space-time), gravity was accounted for. A beautiful unification.


Specific Force Inertial System Visual Shift Field Concept Popular Account 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. Topper
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WinnipegWinnipegCanada

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