William Clifford suggests that the motion of matter may be due to changes in the geometry of space (120 words)

Historical Context Note

  • Editors

Context

In his pioneering work on non-euclidian geometry, William Clifford was an important forerunner of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity. In his 1876 book, On the Space-Theory of Matter, he argued that the motion of matter may be due to changes in the geometry of space, implying that space can be bent. He suggested that both matter and energy are merely different forms of space. That same year, however, he had a breakdown, probably exacerbated by overwork, juggling teaching and research. Although he moved to Madeira in search of a more conducive climate, he died three years later. His career was thus cut off at the age of 33, and an output was brutally curtailed that might otherwise have gone even further.

Citation:
Editors. "William Clifford suggests that the motion of matter may be due to changes in the geometry of space". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=6347, accessed 11 December 2016.]


Related Groups

  1. Victorian Scientific Thought and Applications