Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 30 (2):185-235 (1999)
Except for a few brief periods, Einstein was uninterested in analysing the nature of the spacetime singularities that appeared in solutions to his gravitational field equations for general relativity. The existence of such monstrosities reinforced his conviction that general relativity was an incomplete theory which would be superseded by a singularity-free unified field theory. Nevertheless, on a number of occasions between 1916 and the end of his life, Einstein was forced to confront singularities. His reactions show a strange asymmetry: he tended to be more disturbed by (what today we would call) merely apparent singularities and less disturbed by (what we would call) real singularities. Einstein had strong a priori ideas about what results a correct physical theory should deliver. In the process of searching through theoretical possibilities, he tended to push aside technical problems and jump over essential difficulties. Sometimes this method of working produced brilliant new ideas-such as the Einstein-Rosen bridge-and sometimes it lead him to miss important implications of his theory of gravity-such as gravitational collapse.
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