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MINKOWSKI, Hermann (1864-1909). 'Raum und Zeit', in: Albert WANGERIN (ed.) Verhandlungen de Gesellschaft deutscher Naturforscher und Ärtze. 80. Versammlung zu Cöln. 20.-26. September 1908. Leipzig: August Pries for F.C.W. Vogel, 1909. Parts I and II, i.
MINKOWSKI, Hermann (1864-1909). 'Raum und Zeit', in: Albert WANGERIN (ed.) Verhandlungen de Gesellschaft deutscher Naturforscher und Ärtze. 80. Versammlung zu Cöln. 20.-26. September 1908. Leipzig: August Pries for F.C.W. Vogel, 1909. Parts I and II, i.

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MINKOWSKI, Hermann (1864-1909). 'Raum und Zeit', in: Albert WANGERIN (ed.) Verhandlungen de Gesellschaft deutscher Naturforscher und Ärtze. 80. Versammlung zu Cöln. 20.-26. September 1908. Leipzig: August Pries for F.C.W. Vogel, 1909. Parts I and II, i.

2 volumes, 4° (253 x 175mm). 4 plates of half-tone illustrations, woodcut and half-tone illustrations in the text, one full-page. 2-page publisher's advertisements at the end of parts I and II, i. (Very light browning, small mark on part I title.) Original light green printed wrappers, uncut, some quires unopened (spines and edges of wrappers slightly faded, unobtrusive light marking, extremities slightly rubbed and chipped). Provenance: Hans von Kracht, February 1909 (marginal inscription on upper wrapper of part I) -- University Library, Munich (neat inkstamps on versos of titles and margins of I, 1/2r, 8/5v and II, i, 1/2r, 8/5v; deaccession inkstamps on versos of titles).

FIRST EDITION. THE PAPER WHICH 'INTRODUCED THE NOTION THAT MADE POSSIBLE THE EXPANSION OF THE RELATIVITY THEORY OF EINSTEIN [...] FROM ITS SPECIFIC (1905) TO ITS GENERAL FORM [in Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie (Leipzig: 1916), cf. lot 80]' (PMM). 'Raum und Zeit' was read by Minkowski at the conference of the Gesellschaft deutscher Naturforscher und Ärtze in Cologne on 21 September 1908, and proposed the four-dimensional space-time continuum; as the opening words of the article state, 'Die Anschauungen über Raum und Zeit, die ich Ihnen entwickeln möchte, sind auf experimentall-physikalischem Boden erwachsen. Darin liegt ihre Stärke. Ihre Tendenz ist eine radikale. Von Stund an sollen Raum für sich und Zeit für sich völlig zu Schatten herabsinken und nur noch eine Art Union der beiden soll Selbständigkeit bewahren' (p.4).

Minkowski's paper was fundamental to relativity physics because its author 'was the first to conceive that the relativity principle formulated by Lorentz and Einstein led to the abandonment of the concept of space and time as separate entities and to their replacement by a four-dimensional "space-time," of which he gave a precise definition and initiated the mathematical study; it became the frame of all later developments of the theory and led Einstein to his bolder conception of generalized relativity' (DSB IX, p.414). The paper was first published here -- pp. 4-9 of part II, i of the Verhandlungen of the conference -- and was then reprinted in Jahrsberichts der deutschen Mathematiker-Vereinung, volume XVIII (1909). Following Minkowski's unexpected death in 1909, an offprint from the Jahrsberichts was commissioned as a tribute. Cf. Norman 1514 (offprint from Jahrsberichts der deutschen Mathematiker-Vereinung volume XVIII); PMM 401 (in Jahrsberichts der deutschen Mathematiker-Vereinung volume XVIII). (2)
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