Gravity: Past, Present, and Future

The Gravity Archive Project

The long-term aim of this project is to compile as complete a record as possible of one of the most important scientific developments of the 20th century. This began with Einstein's Special and General theories of Relativity, completed with the publication of Einstein's key paper in November 2015. But in many ways this work, with its extraordinary ideas about curved spacetime, was very far ahead of its time; not until after Einstein's death did it begin to exert a really decisive influence on physics and astronomy (as well as on the popular imagination). Some of the key developments included:

In the course of these developments, our picture of the universe has been radically transformed from what it was 50-60 yrs ago; and the pace of change is hardy diminishing.

The gravity archive is the first ever project of its kind - to capture the essence of a revolutionary period of science over the span of its development. By its very nature this project is ongoing - the field continues to develop, and we expect our understanding of how the field has evolved since its early beginnings to be significantly altered by the research programs associated with the archive.

Activities being conducted at the present time by the gravity archive include:

The intent of the archive project is to make material of this kind available on line, through the UBC library as well as the Pacific Institute of Theoretical Physics at UBC. We will also be providing a guide to the material for both the interested lay person and for experts, as part of the project. It is expected that this material will be of interest to a variety of users: apart from the general public, this will include historians and philosophers of science, and scientists themselves.