Breaking in the four-vectors: the four-dimensional movement in gravitation

In Jürgen Renn & Matthias Schemmel (eds.), The Genesis of General Relativity, Volume 3. Springer. pp. 193-252 (2007)
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The law of gravitational attraction is a window on three formal approaches to laws of nature based on Lorentz-invariance: Poincaré’s four-dimensional vector space (1906), Minkowski’s matrix calculus and spacetime geometry (1908), and Sommerfeld’s 4-vector algebra (1910). In virtue of a common appeal to 4-vectors for the characterization of gravitational attraction, these three contributions track the emergence and early development of four-dimensional physics.



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Scott A. Walter
Nantes University

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