Of pots and holes: Einstein's bumpy road to general relativity

Michel Janssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The problems faced by Einstein in formulating the general theory of relativity are discussed. Einstein derived the generally-covariant version of identities, which in conjunction with the field equations imply energy-momentum conservation. Einstein also showed that the identities guaranteeing energy-momentum conservation are a direct consequence of the covariance of the action functional. He also derived the generally-covariant field equations from an action principle with the Riemann curvature scalar as the Lagrangian.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-85
Number of pages28
JournalAnnalen der Physik (Leipzig)
Issue numberSUPPL.
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Einstein field equations
  • Equivalence principle
  • General covariance
  • Hole argument


Dive into the research topics of 'Of pots and holes: Einstein's bumpy road to general relativity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this