Physics Department Seminar University of Alaska Fairbanks

J O U R N A L    C L U B

Anecdotes, Facts, Opinions and
Some History of the Theory of Relativity
Ted Newman
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh

I will give a brief summary of the history of relativity – with some well known and some less know facts about this history. To prevent the talk from being too dry and dull, I'll tell a few relevant anecdotes and even express my opinion on some controversial issues.

  • As I am not an historian – nor a scholar who knows the historical literature – I will thus, of necessity, be talking about my own experiences and my direct involvement in general relativity (GR) over the years. My prejudices and blind-spots will be evident.
  • I will stay away from the early history of special relativity – except for one point – and also stay away from the early history of GR; i.e., all of Einstein's false starts and early difficulties. I will not talk about the early tests – perihelion, bending of light and redshift of star light – except to just mention them.
  • And a few general remarks about Einstein will be thrown in for good measure.
Friday, 30 March 2007
Globe Room, Elvey Building
3:45 PM