"AN IMPORTANT FIRST STEP IN UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF GLOBAL COSMOLOGICAL EXPANSION ON LOCAL PHYSICS": EINSTEIN & STRAUS' FORMULATION OF THE "SWISS CHEESE" MODEL OF THE UNIVERSE, RARE 1945 OFFPRINT
EINSTEIN, Albert and STRAUS, Ernst G. The Influence of the Expansion of Space on the Gravitation Fields Surrounding the Individual Stars. OFFPRINT FROM: "Reviews of Modern Physics," Vol. 17, Nos. 2 and 3, April-July 1945. Princeton, NJ: Institute of Advanced Study, 1945. Quarto, five pages on two bifolios, staple-bound as issued, correction leaf laid in loose as issued; pp. 120-24; 148-49. $4200.
First edition, rare offprint issue produced for the authors for distribution to colleagues, in which Einstein and Straus introduce what has come to be known as the "Swiss cheese" model of the universe.
"After a decade and a half of sometimes intense work on cosmology, Einstein returned to the subject only occasionally in his later years. His most significant later contribution was a discussion of the impact of cosmological expansion on the gravitational field surrounding a star… This was an important first step in understanding the impact of global cosmological expansion on local physics" (Janssen & Lehner, 257-58). "By the spring of 1945, Einstein and Straus had found a new type of possible universe using Einstein's equations. It described a universe which looked largely like one of the simple expanding universes of Friedmann and Lemaître containing material (like galaxies) which exerted no pressure. But it had spherical regions removed from it, like bubbles in a Swiss cheese. Each empty hole then had a mass placed at its center. The mass was equal in magnitude to what had been excavated to create the hole. This was a step towards a more realistic universe in which the matter was not smoothly spread with the same density everywhere but gathered up into lumps, like galaxies, which were spread about in empty space" (Barrow, The Book of Universes, 106-07).
"By 1944, Einstein had recruited a new assistant at Princeton. His assistants were always talented young mathematicians who could make up for Einstein's self-confessed weakness in this area. Ernst Straus (1922-1983) was something of a mathematical prodigy… He was born in Munich but after the Nazis came to power in 1933 his family fled to Palestine, where he was educated at high school and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Straus didn't stay to take an undergraduate degree and instead, while still a teenager, moved to New York's Columbia University in 1941 to begin graduate research. In 1944, he found himself recruited as Einstein’s new research assistant at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. The young Straus had no background in physics and his mathematical inclinations were towards number theory and 'pure' mathematical topics but he lost no time in filling the gap left by the departures of Nathan Rosen (1935-45) and Leopold Infeld (1936-38)" (Barrow, 105-06). Not on OCLC; no copies in auction records. Weil, 216. Boni, Russ & Laurence 252.