Sources 10

Quantum Gravity in the First Half of the Twentieth Century

A Sourcebook
A collection of the earliest contributions to quantum gravity research

A collection of the earliest contributions to quantum gravity research

This publication is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE) Licence.

This volume collects the earliest contributions to what is now known as quantum gravity research: the attempt to bring together quantum theory and the general theory of relativity. Covering the period from 1916–1950, it shows the beginnings of an unsolved problem that still remains as such today. The original sources are interspersed with historical essays, which together provide the first scholarly historical overview of quantum gravity in the first half of the twentieth century. The combination of historical analysis and original sources make this a volume of interest to historians, philosophers, and physicists alike. Edition Open Sources (EOS) pioneers a new paradigm in publishing, devoted to open access and high-quality peer review. This collaborative scholarly endeavor publishes academic editions of primary sources in the history of science in online, digital, and print formats. EOS publications present new editions of original sources with facsimile reproductions, in part also with translations, and with an introduction to the authors and the context in which they worked. The sources are typically historical books, manuscripts, documents or other material that is otherwise difficult to access. EOS a collaboration between the University of Oklahoma Libraries, the Department for the History of Science of the University of Oklahoma and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.



Dimensions and Domains

1 Quantum Theory Meets Gravitation: First Encounters
Dean Rickles

2 Albert Einstein (1916): Näherungsweise Integration der Feldgleichungen der Gravitation

3 Arthur Stanley Eddington (1918): Gravitation and the Principle of Relativity II

4 George B. Jeffery (1921): The Field of an Electron on Einstein’s Theory of Gravitation

Shifting Boundaries between Quantum Theory and Relativity

5 Where to Start? First Interactions between Wave Mechanics and General Relativity
Alexander Blum

6 Théophile de Donder and Frans Henri van den Dungen (1926): La quantification déduite de la Gravifique einsteinienne

7 Théophile de Donder (1926): Application de la quantification déduite de la Gravifique einsteinienne

8 Oskar Klein (1926): Quantentheorie und fünfdimensionale Relativitätstheorie

9 Oskar Klein (1927): Zur fünfdimensionalen Darstellung der Relativitätstheorie

10 Hugo Tetrode (1928): Allgemein-relativistische Quantentheorie des Elektrons

11 Vladimir Fock (1929): Geometrisierung der Diracschen Theorie des Elektrons

12 Hermann Weyl (1929): Elektron und Gravitation

13 Erwin Schrödinger (1932): Diracsches Elektron im Schwerefeld I

14 Leopold Infeld and Bartel van der Waerden (1933): Die Wellengleichung des Elektrons in der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie

15 Albert Einstein, Leopold Infeld and Banesh Hoffmann (1938): The Gravitational Equations and the Problem of Motion

16 Erwin Schrödinger (1940): The General Theory of Relativity and Wave Mechanics

The Quantization of Gravity

17 Without New Difficulties: Quantum Gravity and the Crisis of the Quantum Field Theory Program
Alexander Blum

18 Léon Rosenfeld (1930): Zur Quantelung der Wellenfelder

19 Léon Rosenfeld (1930): Über die Gravitationswirkungen des Lichts

20 Matvei Bronstein (1936): Quantentheorie schwacher Gravitationsfelder

21 Jacques Solomon (1938): Gravitation et Quanta

22 Paul Weiss (1938): On the Hamilton-Jacobi Theory and Quantization of a Dynamical Continuum

23 Markus Fierz and Wolfgang Pauli (1939): On Relativistic Wave Equations for Particles of Arbitrary Spin in an Electromagnetic Field

Discreteness and Divergences

24 The Emergence of Quantum Geometry
Dean Rickles

25 Victor Ambarzumian and Dmitri Iwanenko (1930): Zur Frage nach Vermeidung der unendlichen Selbstrückwirkung des Elektrons

26 Werner Heisenberg (1938): Über die in der Theorie der Elementarteilchen auftretende universelle Länge

27 Hartland S. Snyder (1946): Quantized Space-Time

28 Chen-Ning Yang (1947): On Quantized Space-Time

29 Nathan Rosen (1947): Statistical Geometry and Fundamental Particles

30 Alfred Schild (1948): Discrete Space-Time and Integral Lorentz Transformations

Gauge and Constraints

31 The Genesis of Canonical Quantum Gravity
Alexander Blum, Donald Salisbury

32 Peter G. Bergmann (1949): Non-Linear Field Theories

33 Peter G. Bergmann and Johanna H. M. Brunings (1949): Non-Linear Field Theories II: Canonical Equations and Quantization

34 P. A. M. Dirac (1950): Generalized Hamiltonian Dynamics

35 Felix Pirani and Alfred Schild (1950): On the Quantization of the Gravitational Field Equations








Publication Date

July 30, 2018

Print on Demand

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Suggested Citation

Blum, Alexander S. and Rickles, Dean (2018). Quantum Gravity in the First Half of the Twentieth Century: A Sourcebook. Berlin: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften.

Submitted by

Carlo Rovelli and Jürgen Renn

Editorial Team

Sylvia Szenti, Lindsay Parkhowell