Mach's Principle and a Relativistic Theory of Gravitation in Physical Review 124, 1961, pp. 925-935 [TWO COMPLETE VOLUMES]

FIRST EDITION OF THE BRANS-DICKE THEORY OF GRAVITY, “the best-known example of the class of theories called “scalar-tensor” theories because they contain both scalars and tensors in the field equations relating the curvature of space to the matter in the universe. In Brans-Dicke, the gravitational constant becomes a variable, and the resulting scalar field has kinetic energy” (History of Physics: The Wenner Collection).

“American Physicists Robert Henry Dicke and Carl Henry Brans developed what is now called the “Brans-Dicke theory” in an attempt to create a theory of gravity built on Einstein’s theory of gravity that is in full conformity with Mach’s principle” (ibid). “At the core of this theory is the idea that the inertial mass of an object, which governs how it responds to the application of an external force, is not an intrinsic property of the object itself but is generated by the gravitational effect of all the other matter in the Universe” (Coles, Routledge Companion to the New Cosmology, 119).

“To implement this concept, Brans and Dicke adopted the elements of the general relativity field equations that describe the effects of matter on the curvature of space and vice versa, but replaced the gravitational constant in these equations by a scalar term that is also a function of the distribution of mass in the universe and so changes from place to place and across time.

“The Brans-Dicke formula also necessarily added a constant (called the “Brans-Dicke coupling constant”) that brings their equations into alignment with experiments, and with this constant Brans-Dicke and Einstein’s general relativity yield the same predictions” (Wenner).

“One of the most important consequences of the Brans-Dicke theory is that the strength of gravity, as described by the gravitational constant G, must depend on time, and the rate at which it changes is controlled by a paramenter w. We cannot use, for example, the age of the Universe or nucleosynthesis to estimate the magnitude of w. But we can use more local observations, such as historical data on lunar eclipses, the properties of fossils (changes in the the Earth’s rotation being reflected in changes in the rate of sedimentation and hence fossilization), stellar evolution (particularly the evolution of the Sun), the deflection of light by celestial bodies, and the advance of the perihelion of Mercury” (Coles).

Brans and Dicke were not the first to consider some of these ideas. “Ironically, it was Albert Einstein who, along with his assistant at the time, German-American physicist Peter Gabriel Bergmann first thought of adding a scalar term to the field equations of general relativity and wrote about this in 1948. However they never followed up on the idea” (Wenner).

ALSO INCLUDED WITH VOLUME 124 IS VOLUME 122, together offering two of three papers that led to Yoichiro Nambu’s 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics “for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous symmetry breaking in subatomic physics” (Nobel Prize Committee). Nambu’s work “was an important precursor to the theory that unifies electromagnetic and weak forces, and similar symmetry breaking is central to most modern particle physics theories” (Schirber, “Nobel Focus: Particle Physics Gets a Break,” Phys. Rev. Focus 22, 13, 2008). "Dynamical Model of Elementary Particles Based on an Analogy with Superconductivity. I" in Physical Review 122, 1961, pp. 345 - 358, AND ” Dynamical Model of Elementary Particles Based on an Analogy with Superconductivity. II in Physical Review 124, 1961, pp. 246-254. Item #614

CONDITION & DETAILS: Lancaster: American Physical Society. Two complete volumes, identically bound in brown buckram, gilt-lettered at the spine. Ex-libris with no spine markings whatsoever. Pictorial bookplate of the Bridgeport Library on the front pastedown; stamp on title page and rear flyleaf. 4to (10.5 x 8 inches; 263 x 200mm). Tightly and solidly bound; bright and clean inside and out. Near fine condition.

Price: $250.00