144 DOC.

140

NOVEMBER

1915

140. From

David Hilbert

[Göttingen,

13

November

1915][1]

Dear

Colleague,

Actually,

I

first wanted to

think

of

a very palpable application

for

physicists,

namely

reliable relations between

the

physical

constants,

before

obliging

with

my

axiomatic solution to

your

great

problem.

But

since

you are

so

interested, I

would

like

to

lay

out

my

th[eory]

in

very complete

detail

on

the

coming Tuesday,

that

is,

the

day

after the

day

after

tomorrow

(the

16th of

this

mo.).[2]

I

find it

ideally

handsome

math[ematically]

and

absolutely compelling according

to

ax-

iom[atic]

meth[od], even

to

the

extent

that

not

quite

transparent

calculations do

not

occur

at

all and therefore

rely

on

its

factuality.[3]

As

a

result of

a

gen.

math.

law,

the

(generalized Maxwellian) electrody.

eqs.

appear

as a

math.

consequence

of

the

gravitation eqs.,

such

that

gravitation

and

electrodynamics

are

actually

nothing

different at

all.[4] Furthermore, my

energy concept

forms the

basis:[5]

E

=

S(ests

+

eihtih),

which

is

likewise

a

general invariant,

and from this then

also

follow

from

a

very simple

axiom

the

4

missing “space-time equations”

es

=

0.

I derived most

pleasure

in the

discovery already

discussed with Sommerfeld

that

normal

electrical

energy

results when

a

specific

absolute invariant

is

differentiated

from

the

gravitation potentials

and

then

g

is

set

=

0.1.-[6]

My request

is

thus

to

come

for

Tuesday.

You

can

arrive

at

3

or

1/2

past

5.

The Math.

Soc. meets at 6

o’clock in

the auditorium

building. My wife[7]

and

I

would be

very pleased

if

you

stayed

with

us.

It

would be

better

still if

you

came

already

on

Monday,

since

we

have

the

phys.

colloquium

on Monday,

6

o’clock,

at

the

phys.

institute.

With

all

good

wishes and in

the

hope

of

soon

meeting again, yours,

Hilbert.

As far

as

I

understand

your

new pap[er],

the

solution

giv[en]

by you

is

entirely

different from

mine, especially

since

my es’s

must

also

necessarily

contain

the

electrical

potential.[8]

Document

description:

“Continuation

on

Sheet I

with the invitation

to

come

for Tues-

day,

6

o’clock. Best

regards,

H.”