Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Yes, he knew them and discarded them. Adam Frank's excellent About Time does a good job of telling the story.



If you took out the bits of relativity that were developed by others, you'd be left with not very much. Relativity without the Lorentz transform... I'm not even sure how one would resolve that. As I said, the vast majority of the insight was just taking what the math was already saying seriously. Einstein put it into a final form, and this is important and valid work, but it's not like he invented all the mathematical tools from scratch.

Either you've misinterpreted Adam Frank's work, or it isn't excellent.

I'll counter-cite Reflections on Relativity, which contains a lot of deep analysis of the mathematical history of relativity both before and after Einstein: https://mathpages.com/rr/rrtoc.htm which makes it quite clear both what he did, and did not do.


I'm no astrophysicist, though Frank is. The two concepts I'm referring to as being "discarded" were Newton's idea that motion (ie: time and space) exist in a fixed frame of reference. I think it's fair to say Einstein tossed that out wholeheartedly. The other idea Frank mentions that Einstein threw away was the idea of an æther that filled the voids in the universe. According to Frank, Einstein didn't like this idea so he just worked without it.


> Yes, he knew them and discarded them.

That's the sign of an expert, not a generalist.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: