Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Selety, Franz

  • Helge Kragh
Reference work entry

BornDresden, Germany, 2 March 1893

DiedPossibly 1933

An Austrian citizen, until 1918, Franz Selety was originally named Franz Josef Jeiteles. In the period 1917–1922, he was in contact with Albert Einstein, whose new theory of the universe, based on the general theory of relativity, he criticized in several papers. As an alternative, Selety proposed a Newtonian, hierarchical universe. The model attracted brief attention, but was not further developed. After 1924, no more was heard of either Selety or his cosmological model.

Having completed a high school education in Vienna, in 1911 Selety entered Vienna University to study philosophy, at the same time developing an interest in physics, mathematics, and cosmology. In 1915 he obtained his doctoral degree in philosophy, and 2 years later he wrote two long (but no longer extant) letters to Einstein, in which he explained his philosophical views and their relevance for cosmology. A paper on the structure of the universe that he published...

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Selected References

  1. Jung, Tobias. “Franz Selety (1893–1933?): Seine kosmologische Arbeiten und der Briefwechsel mit Einstein.” In Einsteins Kosmos. Editors H. W. Duerbeck and W. R. Dick, 125–142. Frankfurt am Main: Harri Deutsch, 2005.Google Scholar
  2. Kerzberg, Pierre. The Invented Universe. The Einstein-de Sitter Controversy (1916–17) and the Rise of Relativistic Cosmology. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  3. Norton, John. “The cosmological woes of Newtonian gravitation theory.” In The Expanding World of General Reativity. Editors H. Goenner et al., 271–324. Boston: Birkhäuser.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helge Kragh
    • 1
  1. 1.Aarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark