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Einstein’s ideas in the works of Guido Fubini and Francesco Severi. (Italian) Zbl 0553.01012
Concerning the discussion of Einstein’s ideas on relativity, in the twenties, at Torino, the mathematicians were divided into two groups. The group of professors of mechanics and theoretical physics (C. Burali- Forti, T. Boggio, C. Somigliano) was rather critical about these new ideas. But the group of geometers and analysts (C. Segre, G. Fubini) was very enthusiastic. For instance, in 1923, {\it C. Burali-Forti} and {\it T. Boggio} wrote a book ”Critique de la relativité” describing several contradictions in the new theory. The same year, in his paper ”Sul valore della teoria di Einstein”, {\it G. Fubini} describes himself as ”an enthusiastic admiror of this new theory”. Around that time he even gave a course on that new field. In 1917 the paper of {\it T. Levi-Civita} ”Nozione di parallelismo in una varietà qualunque e conseguentemente specificazione geometrica della curvatura riemanniana” had a great influence on many physicists and mathematicians, in particular on the geometer F. Severi. {\it F. Severi} published several works on that field: ”Riduzioni dei principii di relatività ai loro elementi logici e psicologici [Rom Acc. L. Rend. A 33, 429-435 (1924)], ”Elementi logici e psicologici dei principi di relatività” [Scientia 37, 1-10 (1925)] and ”Esame delle obiezioni d’ordine generale contro la relatività del tempo” [Scientia 37, 77-86 (1925)], ”Aspetti matematici dei legami tra relatività e senso comune”, cinquant’anni di relatività 1905-1955, 309-333 (1955; Zbl 0067.203)]. For Severi the deduction of relativity theory from the principle of constant speed for light was a bit artificial. So he gave an exposition starting with more intuitive postulates and then deduced mathematically the Lorentz’s formulas. The rest of the paper is devoted to Severi’s arguments.
Reviewer: B.Aupetit
MSC:
01A60Mathematics in the 20th century
83-03Historical (relativity)