2018;
211 pp;
Softcover

MSC: Primary 01; 83;

Print ISBN: 978-1-4704-2846-4

Product Code: MBK/113

List Price: $35.00

AMS Member Price: $28.00

MAA Member Price: $31.50

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**Electronic ISBN: 978-1-4704-4859-2
Product Code: MBK/113.E**

List Price: $35.00

AMS Member Price: $28.00

MAA Member Price: $31.50

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#### Supplemental Materials

# Einstein’s Italian Mathematicians: Ricci, Levi-Civita, and the Birth of General Relativity

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*Judith R. Goodstein*

In the first decade of the twentieth century as Albert Einstein began formulating a revolutionary theory of gravity, the Italian mathematician Gregorio Ricci was entering the later stages of what appeared to be a productive if not particularly memorable career, devoted largely to what his colleagues regarded as the dogged development of a mathematical language he called the absolute differential calculus. In 1912, the work of these two dedicated scientists would intersect—and physics and mathematics would never be the same. Einstein's Italian Mathematicians chronicles the lives and intellectual contributions of Ricci and his brilliant student Tullio Levi-Civita, including letters, interviews, memoranda, and other personal and professional papers, to tell the remarkable, little-known story of how two Italian academicians, of widely divergent backgrounds and temperaments, came to provide the indispensable mathematical foundation—today known as the tensor calculus—for general relativity.

#### Readership

Mathematicians, physicists, and others interested in the history of science.

#### Reviews & Endorsements

The author is an outstanding specialist for the history of the absolute differential calculus and the main propagators Gregorio Ricci and Tullio Levi-Civita. Though it is not mentioned in this book, she looks back on a long publication list...This book is a special one and should be well recognized...The book can be highly recommended to all historians who are interested in the history of general relativity and its origin.

-- Karin Reich, Zentralblatt MATH

In the hands of a gifted author, a history can read like a novel.

-- J. Johnson, CHOICE

A wonderfully written chronicle of the lives of two great mathematicians and how their work shaped Einstein's masterpiece as well as ushering in new fields of mathematics. The book is also an intriguing and insightful portrait of Italy during the period from Italian independence in 1870 until the onset of World War II.

-- Gino Segre, Physics Department, University of Pennsylvania

Galileo said that mathematics is the language of nature. Einstein might have found himself mute when it came to describing gravity if it weren't for the mathematics of covariant derivatives developed by Galileo's countrymen Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro and Tullio Levi-Civita. Judy Goodstein tells their stories and their connection to Einstein with clarity and grace in a most readable book.

-- Barry Simon, California Institute of Technology

The theory of general relativity would never have seen the light without the absolute differential calculus invented by the Italian mathematicians Gregorio Ricci Curbastro and Tullio Levi-Civita. This wonderful book carefully examines the academic, cultural, political, and historical framework in Italy of that time, and explores the deep relation—always fed with sincere respect, admiration, and affection —between these two great mathematicians at the turn of the twentieth century.

-- Tullio Ceccherini-Silberstein, Università del Sannio, Benevento, Italy

#### Table of Contents

# Table of Contents

## Einstein's Italian Mathematicians: Ricci, Levi-Civita, and the Birth of General Relativity

- Cover Cover11
- Title page iii4
- Copyright page iv5
- Dedicaton v6
- Contents vii8
- Preface ix10
- The Ricci of Lugo 120
- The making of a mathematician 726
- Munich 1332
- Padua 1938
- Math and marriage 2746
- A promotion that wasn’t 3554
- The absolute differential calculus 4564
- The alter ego 5574
- Intermezzo 6988
- The indispensable mathematical tool 85104
- “Write to me next time in Italian” 99118
- Parallel displacements 115134
- From Ricci’s absolute differential calculus to Einstein’s theorem for general relativity 133152
- T. Levi-Civita, “Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro” 147166
- Obituary of Tullio Levi-Civita 157176
- Selected references 175194
- Notes 179198
- Index 207226
- Other titles in this series Back Cover1231
- Back Cover Back Cover1231