Publication details

Was Václav Hlavatý (1894-1969) "Einstein's Elementary Mathematician"?



Year of publication 2014
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Education

Description The Czech mathematician Václav Hlavatý started his career as a researcher in mid-1920s after a stay in Delft with the Dutch mathematician Jan Arnoldus Schouten. He devoted a significant part of his career to those areas of mathematics that are related to the search for a unified field theory, inspired by Einstein's relativity theory, working with Schouten and Dirk Jan Struik in the interwar years, and he retained his interest in unified field theory even after World War II, when he emigrated to the US after the communist coup d’état in Czechoslovakia in February 1948. Hlavatý wrote to Einstein several times while already in the US, but Einstein’s responses were lukewarm. Yet, there are signs that Einstein approved of Hlavatý’s work and allegedly said that Hlavatý understood the mathematical side of his theory best: „If someone can solve those equations, it is Professor Hlavatý in Bloomington“.In my contribution, I will shed some light on these developments on the basis of letter exchange between Hlavatý and Einstein.

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