APPENDIX

A

SUMMARIES OF EINSTEIN'S COURSES

AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

Though not required

to teach

at

the

University

of

Berlin,

Einstein lectured

on

rela-

tivity already

in

the first academic

year

after his arrival

(see

Doc.

7

for

his

lecture

notes).

He

continued

teaching one

course

each

semester

in

most

of the

following

years (see

Vol.

3, Appendix B,

for

an

overview).

Summaries of

the contents

of

cours-

es

Einstein

gave

in

winter

semester

1916/1917 and winter

semester

1917/1918

are

presented

here.

They

are

based

on

notes

by

two

students who attended Einstein’s

courses,

Werner Bloch and Walter Zabel.

1.

Winter Semester 1916/1917

“Relativitätstheorie”

(2

hours)

The

course on

relativity

was

attended

by

Werner

Bloch,

whose

notes

are

contained

in

two

notebooks

[3

021]

and

[3

022].

The first notebook

comprises

70

pages

as

well

as

four loose

pages,

of

which three

are

not in

Bloch’s hand. These inserted sheets

give

calculations

apparently

meant

as

background

to

the

main

text.

The second notebook

comprises

38

pages.

The first notebook

starts

with

the remark that Bloch did

not at-

tend the first three

lectures,

which had

a

general

character. The

notes

continue with

a

discussion of

the two

postulates

of

special relativity.

After

a

general exposition

of

coordinate

transformations,

the

Lorentz transformation

is

derived and its

conse-

quences,

such

as

length

contraction and time

dilation,

are

discussed.

Next,

the addi-

tion theorem for velocities

is

derived and

applied

to

the Fizeau

experiment.

All of

this shows

many

similarities with the discussion

in Vol.

4,

Doc.

1,

§§9-11.

Einstein

then

begins a systematic

treatment

of

vector

and

tensor calculus,

along

the

same

lines

as

his

discussion in

Vol.

4,

Doc.

1,

Section

3:

definition of

a

tensor,

addition and

multiplication

of

tensors,

symmetric

and

antisymmetric

tensors,

differ-

entiation of

tensors.

The

equations

of

hydrodynamics

are

derived

as an

illustration of

the

power

of

vector

calculus.

Next,

Einstein

turns to

electromagnetism,

for which

he

develops

the

four-dimensional

tensor formalism,

analogous

to

the

presentation

in

Vol.

4,

Doc.

1,

Section

4.