Mach and Einstein, or, Clearing Troubled Waters in the History of Science

  • Gereon Wolters
Part of the Einstein Studies book series (EINSTEIN, volume 12)


In this paper I would like to analyze the relationship between Mach and Einstein. Ernst Mach was born in 1838 and died in 1916 aged seventy-eight. The last eighteen years of his life were heavily overshadowed by the consequences of a stroke which occurred in 1898, i.e., seven years before Einstein’s annus mirabilis. Mach suffered paralysis on the right side of his body, heavy speech impairment, and had a painful bladder condition which required him to be catheterized at least twice-a-day. In addition, he suffered from a severe sleeping disorder, neuralgia, and the sometimes severe consequences of frequent falls. The reason for mentioning Mach’s poor state of health is that it has much to do with his relationship to Einstein, or, for that matter, to relativity theory.


English Translation Gravitational Mass Inertial Motion Mechanical View World Picture 
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© The Center for Einstein Studies 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gereon Wolters
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ConstanceKonstanzGermany

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