Session B10: History of Physics

10:45 AM–12:09 PM, Saturday, April 5, 2014
Room: 204

Sponsoring Unit: FHP
Chair: Catherine Westfall, Michigan State University

Abstract ID: BAPS.2014.APR.B10.1

Abstract: B10.00001 : Reactions to Einstein's 1929 Unified Field Theory Proposal

10:45 AM–10:57 AM

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  Paul Halpern
    (University of the Sciences in Philadelphia)

We will examine the variety of reactions to Einstein's announcement in 1929 that he had unified gravitation with electromagnetism using the modification of general relativity known as distant parallelism. In particular, we will consider the physics community's response, specifically Pauli's criticisms, as well as the deluge of news stories about Einstein's results. We'll show how while Einstein's theory was not physically viable, the press widely assumed to it be such, due perhaps to the fame of its proposer.

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