• James Foster
  • J. David Nightingale


The originator of the general theory of relativity was Einstein, and in 1919 he wrotel: The special theory, on which the general theory rests, applies to all physical phenomena with the exception of gravitation; the general theory provides the law of gravitation and its relation to the other forces of nature. The claim that the general theory provides the law of gravitation does not mean that H.G. Wells’ Mr Cavor could now introduce an antigravity material and glide up to the Moon, nor, for example, that we might produce intense permanent gravitational fields in the laboratory, as we can electric fields. It means only that all the properties of gravity of which we are aware are explicable by the theory, and that gravity is essentially a matter of geometry. Before saying how we get to the general from the special theory, we must first discuss the principle of equivalence.


Special Relativity Test Particle Inertial Frame Special Theory Gravitational Mass 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Foster
    • 1
  • J. David Nightingale
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Mathematical SciencesUniversity of SussexFalmer, BrightonUK
  2. 2.Department of Physics, The College at New PaltzState University of New YorkNew PaltzUSA

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