"THE MOST IMPORTANT [PAPER] ON RELATIVITY SINCE MY OWN ORIGINAL PAPER APPEARED" (EINSTEIN): FIRST PRINTING OF GODEL'S FAMOUS 1949 "TIME TRAVEL" PAPER
GODEL, Kurt. "An Example of a New Type of Cosmological Solutions of Einstein's Field Equations of Gravitation." IN: Reviews of Modern Physics, Volume 21, Number 3, pp. 447-50. Lancaster and New York: American Institute of Physics, July, 1949. Octavo, original orange paper wrappers sympathetically respined. $4500.
First printing of Godel's groundbreaking work on relativity introducing the possibility of time travel. This special issue of Reviews of Modern Physics—a celebration of Einstein on his 70th birthday—also includes articles by many of the 20th century's most distinguished scientists including Feynman, Born, Millikan, De Broglie, Gamow, Dirac, and over twenty others.
"In [the offered paper] Gödel presented a rotating solution that was not expanding but was the same at all points of space and time. This solution was the first to be discovered that had the curious property that in it was possible to travel into the past. This leads to the paradoxes such as 'What happens if you go back and kill your father when he was a baby?' It is generally agreed that this cannot happen in a solution that represents our universe, but Gödel was the first to show that it was not forbidden by the Einstein equations. His solution generated a lot of discussion of the relation between general relativity and the concept of causality" (Stephen Hawking, Gödel's Collected Works). Small typed label reading "Einstein Godel 1949" affixed to front wrapper; similar label reading "Special Issue July 1" affixed to rear wrapper.
Nicely respined, near-fine condition.