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The Principle of Relativity


The book under review begins with an interesting historical account of the experiments dealing with the elucidation of the sether-idea in physics, and we are led through the work of Michelson and Morley, Lorentz and others to a brief account of Einstein's theory of relativity and some of the results obtained with its aid. The second section reproduces Einstein's original paper “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” (Annalen der Physik, 1905), and this is followed by a short note on Albrecht (!) Einstein and the various phases of his scientific activity. The next section on the "Principle of Relativity "is apparently a translation of Minkowski's paper on “The Fundamental Equations for the Electromagnetic Processes in Moving Bodies” (Göttinger Nachrichten, 1908), though no reference is given, and the title is omitted. An appendix to this is given, and it concludes with the well-known lecture of Minkowski on “Space and Time,” delivered to the German Naturforscherversammlung at Cologne (1908), and published in the Physikalische Zeitschrift (1909) and in “Das Relativitatsprinzip,” a collection of papers by Lorentz, Einstein, and Minkowski (Teubner, 1913). The sixth section of the book consists of Einstein's monumental work on the “General Theory of Relativity and Gravitation” {Annalen der Physik, 1916), and the concluding section brings a number of explanatory notes, mostly mathematical, on special points.

The Principle of Relativity.

Original Papers. By A. Einstein and H. Minkowski. Translated into English by M. N. Saha and S. N. Bose. With a Historical Introduction by Prof. P. C. Mahalanobis. Pp. xxiii + 186. (Calcutta: University of Calcutta, 1920.)

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The Principle of Relativity . Nature 110, 275 (1922).

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