Wolfgang Pauli. *Relativitätstheorie*.* Sonderabdruck aus der Encyklopädie der mathematischen Wissenschaften. Mit einem Vorwort von A. Sommerfeld*. Verlag und Druck von G.B. Teubner, Leipzig & Berlin, 1921. First edition. 9.75”x6.5”, pp iv, (539)-775. Paper covered boards, cloth spine. The printed cover is good and bright; the printing on the spine is mostly dulled to the point where you can barely read the title. A Very Good copy of a not-common and important, rock-solid book. $200

“Felix Klein was then publishing the* Encyklopädie der mathematischen Wissenschaften*, a monumental compilation that was to examine the current state of science from all sides. Leading scholars—mathematicians and physicists—were contributors. Klein had requested Sommerfeld to write an article on relativity theory for the *Encyklopädie*. Sommerfeld ventured to entrust the task to Pauli...(Sommerfeld revealed admirable courage and insight in letting a student in his fourth semester write this important article.)”

“Pauli soon completed a monograph of about 250 pages [the book offered here], which critically presented the mathematical foundations of the theory as well as its physical significance. He took thorough account of the already very considerable literature on the subject but at the same time clearly put forth his own interpretation. Despite the necessary brevity of discussion, the monograph is a superior introduction to the special and general theories of relativity; it is in addition a first-rate historical document of science, since, together with H. Weyl’s Raum, Zeit, Materie(“Space, Time, and Matter”), it is **the first comprehensive presentation of the mathematical and physical ideas of Einstein, who himself never wrote a large work about his theory.”**

“Sommerfeld was elated by this performance and wrote to Einstein that Pauli’s article was “simply masterful”—and so it has remained to the present day. Pauli showed here for the first time his art of presenting science, which marks everything he wrote."

"In Sommerfeld’s institute Pauli also became acquainted with the quantum theory of the atom. He wrote in his Nobel lecture:

While, in school in Vienna, I had already obtained some knowledge of classical physics and the then new Einstein relativity theory, it was at the University of Munich that I was introduced by Sommerfeld to the structure of the atom, somewhat strange from the point of view of classical physicist, accustomed to the classical way of thinking, experienced when he came to know of Bohr’s “basic postulate of quantum theory” for the first time.”

All of the above from theComplete Dictionary of Scientific Biography(online).

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