Home | About | Upcoming | Archives | Other PITP Archives | PITP


7:30 pm, Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
Fairmont Lounge, St. John's College
2111 Lower Mall, UBC


What is spacetime? What is gravity?

Dennis LehmKuhl


In 1908 Hermann Minkowski argued that Einstein's special relativity required something completely new, called "spacetime", of which space and time were only aspects. In 1912 Einstein finally accepted Minkowski's idea, and then went all out and founded his "General Theory of Relativity" on the concept of spacetime. In this theory, we are often told, gravity is not a force but just another aspect of spacetime structure. But what does that mean? I will argue that (i) contrary to folklore, Einstein actively opposed this idea, and thought instead that the main lesson of general relativity was that it unified gravity and inertia; and that (ii) even in 2016, this is the an attractive way to interpret general relativity.

To learn more please visit his webpage.

This lecture is one of the PITP's special public events to celebrate the Centenary of General Relativity. You can find the resource material here.

Additional resources for this talk: slides and video.