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Roots of, and Routes Toward, Unification

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Specific Force Inertial System Visual Shift Field Concept Popular Account 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. 50.
    Einstein, Albert. 1960. Relativity: the special and the general theory. Fifteenth Edition. (trans: Robert W. Lawson in 1920.). London: Methuen & Co. This popular account was first published in German in 1917. This edition has five appendices, the last (1952) is titled “Relativity and the Problem of Space.”Google Scholar
  2. 60.
    Einstein, Albert, and Leopold Infeld. 1961. The evolution of physics: the growth of ideas from early concepts to relativity and quanta. New York: Simon & Schuster. This was first published in 1938. In the preface to the 1961 edition, Infeld acknowledges Einstein as the “chief author” of the book.Google Scholar
  3. 107.
    Infeld, Leopold. 1941. Quest: the evolution of a scientist. New York: Doubleday, Doran, & Co.Google Scholar

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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