Why did Einstein's Programme Supersede Abraham's and Nordstrom's?

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Nugayev, Rinat
preprint description
It is exhibited that the dynamics of general relativity (GR) construction was predominately governed by internal tensions between special relativity and Newton’s gravity research traditions. The traditions’ encounter and interpenetration engendered construction of the hybrid domain at first with an irregular set of theoretical models. However, step by step, on revealing and gradual eliminating the contradictions between the models involved, the hybrid set was put into order owing to Einstein’s equivalence principle. A hierarchy of theoretical models starting from the crossbreeds and up to usual hybrids was moulded. With the metric tensor at the top of the edifice Einstein was able to comprise both the knowledge on gravitation and inertia represented by classical mechanics and the knowledge on the structure of space and time embodied by special relativity. The basic claim to put forward is that Einstein’s unification design could be successfully implemented since his programme embraced the premises of the Nordström’s research programme, as well as the presuppositions of the programme of Max Abraham. By and large Einstein’s victory over his rivals became possible because the core of his research strategy was formed by the equivalence principle comprehended in the light of Kantian epistemology. It is stated that the theories of Nordström and Abraham contrived before November 25, 1915, were not merely the scaffolds of GR basic model construction. They were and still are the necessary parts of the whole GR theoretical structure indispensable for its common use. Notwithstanding Einstein’s stupendous impact , the contributions of Nordström, Abraham, Grossmann, Hilbert, Lorentz, Poincaré, Besso, Fokker and others should be taken into account.