Item #40 Riemann-Geometrie mit Aufrechterhaltung des Begriffes des Fernparallelismus. ALBERT EINSTEIN.

Riemann-Geometrie mit Aufrechterhaltung des Begriffes des Fernparallelismus

FIRST EDITION, PROOF COPY of Einstein’s first paper on distant parallelism (also called absolute parallelism or teleparalleism), a mathematical concept he devised independently in order to construct a new geometrical framework in which to formulate a unified field theory.

The paper is purely mathematical, a rarity for Einstein; he followed it a week later with another short paper in which he discussed the physics. “Einstein soon was to learn that the mathematical concept of distant parallelism was by no means new and had already been explored by mathematicians, notably by Roland Weitzenböck and Elie Cartan. While immediately acknowledging the priority of others as far as the mathematics was concerned, Einstein nevertheless held high hopes for his idea of formulating a unified field theory within this structure” (Sauer, p. 17). Einstein’s hopes did not pan out, and he abandoned the distant parallelism approach a few years later. Pais, Subtle is the Lord, pp. 344-347. Sauer, “Einstein’s unified field theory program,” California Institute of Technology 20-7 (version of April 11, 2007). Weil 161.

The paper was published in the Siztungsberichte der preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (1928), pp. 217-221.

Five proof sheets from the Siztungsberichte der preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (1928), printed on rectos only, numbered [1] – 5 but otherwise unpaginated. 273 x 210 mm. Unbound as issued. Creased horizontally and at upper right corner, light edgewear. Pencil correc- tions in an unidentified hand (not Einstein’s) on sheets 3 and 5; typesetter’s note on first sheet. Very good. Proof copies of any of Einstein’s papers are extremely rare.

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