Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Five Pages of Einstein Manuscript Give World New Conception of Inter-relation Between Mechanics and

January 14, 1929
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The five pages of the renowned Jewish scientists’s manuscript entitled “Einheitlicher Feldtheorie” presented to the Prussian Academy of Sciences by Albert Einstein will give the scientific world a new conception of the inter-relation between mechanics and electro-dynamics, which, it is predicted, will revolutionize scientific thought.

The manuscript represents ten years of labor on the part of Prof. Einstein who has been in poor health for a long time, suffering from a heart ailment. The exposition of “The New Field Theory” is two pages longer than his monumental exposition of his relativity theory.

It is stated here that Newton’s “Principia Mathematica” and the monumental modern work on mathematics by Russell and Whitehead are mere child’s play in contrast with the Einstein document in point of comprehensibility. It can safely be said that this theory, which has caused a complete readjustment of man’s conception of the nature of the universe and which has led to revolutionary alterations in the bases of cosmology, theology and metaphysics, is beyond the understanding not only of laymen, but of the great bulk of the world’s cultured and highly educated population.

The word “field” in the title of the new paper is said to refer to the electromagnetic fields, in which the chief work has been done of late in criticism of the theory of relativity. The original theory of relativity, which caused the most spirited scientific controversy since Darwin published his “Origin of the Species” and which was acclaimed by its adherents as the most important scientific discovery since Newton’s promulgation of gravity, was contained in a document of three pages.

Professor Einstein, bombarded immediately after the revelation of his new work by requests for explanations, intimated that an elucidation clear to the layman was not possible. “The report,” he stated to press representative, “is a purely mathematical extension of the general theory of relativity. There is no occasion for anybody to be excited about it, and why the newspaper should take an interest in it I can’t understand.

“There will be only a few mathematicians who will be inclined to read it and, although I never did make that statement which was ascribed to me that only eleven people in the world could understand relativity, I really don’t believe that there will be more than a handful of people who will take the trouble to follow its argument.”

Although it will take about a fortnight before the paper will be issued, it is understood that copies are being made available for fellow scientists in various countries, including Prof. A. A. Michelson of the University of Chicago, Professors Millikan and Russell and Jean of England.

It was explained that the extension of Prof. Einstein’s relativity theory, embodied in his new paper, would lead to the mathematical conclusion that matter cannot be formed without electricity or that electricity is the original source of all existence.

The manuscript sets forth mathematical and physical formulae amplifying the general theory of relativity and carrying forward its basis conception in the abstract mathematical implications of the borderline between mechanics and electro-dynamics. Just as the theory of relativity broke down the boundaries between time and space, erecting the idea of a time-space, the new theory is believed by mathematicians here to break down the boundaries between mechanics and electro-dynamics.

Recommended from JTA