Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein

By Abraham Pais | Go to book overview

12
The Einstein-Grossmann Collaboration

In memoriam: Marcel Grossmann


12a. From Prague to Zürich

Grossmann appeared in previous chapters as the helpful fellow student who made his course notes available to Einstein, as the helpful friend who together with his father paved the way for Einstein's appointment at the patent office in Bern, and as the friend to whom Einstein dedicated his doctoral thesis. It is now time to get better acquainted with him.

Grossmann, a descendant of an old Swiss family, was born in 1878 in Budapest, where his father was employed. He spent his first fifteen years there, then went to Switzerland, where he finished high school. Thereupon he studied at the ETH from 1896 to 1900, together with Einstein. During the next seven years, he taught high school, first in Frauenfeld and then in Basel. In that period he finished his thesis, 'On the Metrical Properties of Collinear Structures,' which earned him his doctoral degree at the University of Zürich, and published two geometry books for high school students and three papers on non-Euclidean geometry, his favorite subject. These papers contain very pretty planimetric constructions which, we are told, were praised by one no less than Hilbert [S1]. After a six-year pause, he published another four papers on related subjects in the years 1910-12. He presented one of these at the fifth international congress of mathematicians in Cambridge, England, in August 1912 [G1]. The mentioned papers are his entire scientific output prior to the collaboration with Einstein, which began a few months after the Cambridge conference. Evidently none of his prior research had any bearing on differential geometry or tensor analysis.

Grossmann had meanwhile joined the mathematics faculty at the ETH in Zürich, first as a stand-in and then, in 1907, as a full professor of geometry. Soon thereafter, he began to organize summer courses for high school teachers. In 1910 he became one of the founders of the Swiss Mathematical Society. The next year he was appointed dean of the mathematics-physics section of the ETH.

One of the first acts of the uncommonly young dean was to sound out Einstein

-208-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 560

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.