1st Edition

The Roots of Special Relativity Science and Society

Edited By Peter Galison, Michael Gordin, David Kaiser Copyright 2001

    Modern science has changed every aspect of life in ways that cannot be compared to developments of previous eras. This four-volume set presents key developments within modern physical science and the effects of these discoveries on modern global life. The first two volumes explore the history of the concept of relativity, the cultural roots of science, the concept of time and gravity before, during, and after Einstein's theory, and the cultural reception of relativity. Volume 3 explores the impact of modern science upon global politics and the creation of a new kind of war, and Volume 4 details the old and new efforts surrounding the elucidation of the quantum world, as well as the cultural impact of particle physics. This reprint collection pools the best scholarship available, collected from a large array of difficult to acquire books, journals, and pamphlets. Each volume begins with an introductory essay, written by one of the top scholars in the history of science. Students and scholars of modern culture, science, and society will find these volumes a veritable research gold mine.

    Einstein, Albert. On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies. In Albert Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity: Emergence (1905) and Early Interpretation (1905-1911) , translated by Arthur I. Miller (Reading, PA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1981). Holton, Gerald. Mach, Einstein, and the Search for Reality. In Gerald Holton, ed., Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought: Kepler to Einstein, rev. ed. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988). Holton, Gerald. Einstein and the Cultural Roots of Modern Science. Daedalus 127 (Winter 1998). Darrigol, Olivier. Henri Poincare's Criticism of Fin-de-siecle Electrodynamics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 26 (1995). Janssen, Michel. Reconsidering a Scientific Revolution: The Case of Einstein Versus Lorentz. Unpublished. Miller, Arthur I. The Special Relativity Theory: Einstein's Response to the Physics of 1905. In Gerald Holton and Yehudah Elkana, eds., Albert Einstein: Historical and Cultural Perspectives (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1982). Galison, Peter. Einstein's Clocks: The Place of Time. Critical Inquiry 26 (Winter 2000). Cassidy, David. Understanding the History of Special Relativity. Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences 16 (1986). Pyenson, Lewis. The Relativity Revolution in Germany. In The Comparative Reception of Relativity (Dordrecht: Reidel, 1987). Glick, Thomas. Cultural Issues in the Reception of Relativity. In Thomas Glick, ed., The Comparative Reception of Relativity (Dordrecht: Reidel, 1987). Goldberg, Stanley. In Defense of the Ether: The British Response to Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, 1905-1911. Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences 2 (1970). Warwick, Andrew. Cambridge Mathematics and Cavendish Physics: Cunningham, Campbell, and Einstein's Relativity, 1905-1911. Part I: The Uses of Theory. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 23 (1992).


    Peter Galison is Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University and a premier authority in the field. In 1997, he was named a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow; in 1999, he was a winner of the Max Planck Prize given by the Max Planck Gesellschaft and Humboldt Stiftung. His is author of numerous works, including, most recently, Picturing Science, Producing Art (Routledge, 1998) and The Architecture of Science (MIT, 1999). Michael Gordin and David Kaiser are both at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.