1 7 8 D O C . 1 7 7 A C C E P T A N C E O F G O L D M E D A L
theory of relativity dispenses with the outdated concept of simultaneity, with a ma-
terial ether concept, and with Newton’s equations of motion, compelled by the
failed attempts to confirm absolute motion; but it preserves all the essentials of
Maxwell-Lorentz electrodynamics and, with Galileo’s principle of inertia, also the
main principle of classical dynamics. The general theory of relativity stems from
the striving to comprehend the equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass, and
to do away with the objectively incomprehensible preferential status of inertial sys-
tems. In the finite domain it must dispense with the validity of Euclidean geometry,
and modify the principle of inertia; nevertheless, with the exception of the unifica-
tion of inertia and gravity, the theory is nothing else but a kind of translation of clas-
sical physics into a relativistic one, and it acknowledges without modification the
validity of its laws in the infinitely small.
Today the big problem, that of quanta, is in its depths entirely enveloped in dark-
ness. The dire need here lies in the incompatibility between the current theory and
facts. Will developments essentially adopt the theoretical structure here, too, and
just incorporate it within a more complete frame? No curiosity, no matter how
great, should tempt us to prophesy. Let us work and
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