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Correct GR publishing date?

  1. Apr 18, 2013 #1
    Hello all, in most of the general relativity excerpts I've come across they vary the date Einstein published his work between 1915, 1916, 17 and 18. Can someone clear up the reason for the discrepancy and what is the actual date of its publishing?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2013 #2


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    Einstein built up the theory of General Relativity in multiple papers over a period of several years. The first was in 1907, and the most important (IMHO) was the 1915 paper "Feldgleichungen der Gravitation", where he derived the GR field equations. He continued to publish on it for several years after this. This wiki article has a list of his publications with explanations.
  4. Apr 18, 2013 #3
  5. Apr 19, 2013 #4
    I recommend reading Ohanian's book on this, "Einsteins mistakes" to see that there were continual modifications to the theory over many years, even decades. The classically (pardon the pun) accepted answer to your question is that the final maths of the (core) theory were completed in late 1915 and the official (standard) journal publication in 1916.
  6. Apr 19, 2013 #5


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    I would not recommend Ohanian's book. See this thread for a discussion of one of his so-called mistakes.
  7. Apr 20, 2013 #6
    Well, that was a long thread to tease through, but I assume you're talking about the transported clocks discussion on pg.95-96 of the book. I don't know off hand whether his assessment of that topic is correct or a "mistake," as you say. However, the answer is irrelevant in terms of this current threads focus. Because Ohanian may be be mistaken on one detail of GR (and we don't know if this is the case) doesn't mean that my reference to his book for the purposes of this discussion are non-useful. "Einstein's mistakes" is one of the best books I've read in the past few years.

    This isn't some amateur or crackpot writing this book. Ohanian has written many university textbooks on physics focusing primarily in relativity theory. See this link:

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