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The Symbolic Universe : Geometry and Physics 1890-1930 - Jeremy J. Gray

The Symbolic Universe

Geometry and Physics 1890-1930

By: Jeremy J. Gray (Editor)


Published: 1st October 1999
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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.

'It's expensive, The Symbolic Universe,and it is aimed at and will probably only be understood by theoretical physicists and mathematicians. But there's a gem - embedded in this collection of surveys by international authors on the relations between physics and mathematics since the development of Einstein's theory of relativity:the introducton, by editor Jeremy Gray, which offers a masterly and approachable review of the period.' New Scientist 'This volume provides a wide-ranging and detailed survey of this exciting era...

PART I Introduction Geometrizing configurations. Heinrich Hertz and his mathematical precursors Einstein, Poincaré, and the testability of geometry Geometry-formalisms and intuitions PART II Introduction The non-Euclidean style of Minkowskian relativity Geometries in collision: Einstein, Klein and Riemann Hilbert and physics (1900-1915) The Göttingen response to general relativity and Emmy Noether's theorems PART III Introduction Ricci and Levi-Civita: from differential invariants to general relativity Weyl and the theory of connections

ISBN: 9780198500889
ISBN-10: 0198500882
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 302
Published: 1st October 1999
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.2 x 16.3  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.56