Roots of, and Routes Toward, Unification
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.
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