Theodor Kaluza

Picture of Theodor Kaluza

Date of Birth: 09/11/1885

Age: 68

Place of birth: Ratibor

Citizenship: Germany


Kaluza was born in a small town of the Silesian Ratibor, then owned by Germany (now Poland Raciborz 80 km. From Katowice to the southwest).

Kaluza`s father was a famous linguist, whose work on the phonetics of the German language, and enjoyed great popularity among his contemporaries on the analysis of Chaucer`s poetry. Through the influence of his father, Kaluza became rare connoisseur linguistics, studying 15 languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, Hungarian, and Lithuanian. Throughout his life he remained interested in languages, literature and philosophy.

At age 18, Kaluza went to study at Konigsberg, the city of Kant. In Konigsberg University is proud of its mathematical school, Kaluza studied at the Faculty of Mathematics from 1903 to 1908. In 1909 he defended his doctoral thesis on Tschirnhaus transformations and was promoted to assistant professor.

In 1918 the German mathematician Hermann Weyl made an attempt to create the first unified field theory, or the theory of everything, in which the electromagnetic and gravitational fields would constitute the geometric properties of spacetime. Mathematically and aesthetically this theory was so elegant that Einstein was immediately carried away by it. However, in the same year it became clear that in this theory were significant gaps. Captivated by the beauty of Weyl`s ideas Kaluza decided to offer a novel approach to the unified field theory. In April 1919 Kaluza managed by introducing "curled" fifth dimension prove the possibility to combine the equations of electromagnetism and gravitation in the usual 4-dimensional space. Thus Kaluza came to the conclusion that the 5-dimensional space, gravity and electromagnetism are united. Kaluza presented his theory in a letter to Einstein, and he advised him to continue his studies of this topic.

In Kaluza there was no evidence that the world was a 5-dimensional, but instinct told Einstein that the beauty of his mathematical calculations could testify to their loyalty. In the end, Einstein submitted the article it Kaluza. "Zum Unit & # 228; tsproblem der Physik" in the Prussian Academy of Sciences in 1921, and he published a paper on 5-dimensional method. Contemporaries reacted to Kaluza as a mathematical exercise, deprived of physical sense. Soon Einstein had to give up on this theory, because the electrons in it no place. In 1926 Kaluza was extended by the Swedish physicist Oskar Klein and became known as the Kaluza-Klein theory. Einstein returned to it in 1930, but this time it attempts to create a theory of everything failed.

Most physicists were skeptical of Kaluza. His theory for more than 50 years have lain in oblivion on the dusty shelves of history of mathematics. Until the 1980s, they seemed just strange mathematical casus until Michael Green and John Schwarz showed that superstring theory is able to combine both gravity and electromagnetism, and the strong and weak interactions. This theory operates on a 10-dimensional space, despite the fact that 6 of "extra" dimensions are considered to be "rolled". Thus, the Kaluza-Klein theory was revived again. This fate of the theory, at first rejected and ridiculed, and then revised and revived, was described in the revised edition of the book