Share this article with friends
by Boris KUZHEVSKY, Cand. Sc. (Phys. & Math.), Institute of Nuclear Physics, Lomonosov Moscow State University
I have in front of me a book of a moderate size which is dealing with one of the global problems before the natural science: understanding the laws shaping the course of development of our Universe - both as a whole and also of its integral parts such as galaxies, stars and planetary systems.
No expert can dispute the importance of formulating a clear, comprehensive and accurate theory of gravitational field whose source is the density of tensor* of the energy-pulse of all fields of matter. There is also no denying that in the 20th century the main concepts of its development and real possibilities of verification on its consequences became top of the agenda for physicists, astrophysicists and cosmologists after the formulation by Albert Einstein-Nobel Prize laureate and Honorary Foreign Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences - of his general theory of relativity.
Trying to enumerate all scientists who have contributed to the development of a full physical picture and a strict mathematical model of gravitational field theory seems to be a clearly hopeless task. It appears, however, that the "Theory of Gravitational Field" monograph published by Academician Anatoly Logunov (NAUKA, Moscow, 2000) occupies a place of its own among all such attempts. And this is not only because no sufficiently comprehensive and complete books in Russian dealing with these problems have come out after the monograph by Academician Vladimir Fok "Theory of Space, Time and Gravitation" which was last published in 1961.
In his work, developing the relativist theory of gravitation, Academician Logunov offers the reader an attractive combination of strict mathematical calculations, produced by his co-workers and himself in elaborating problems of the gravitational field theory, and quotations from works of their predecessors which explain the reasons which have prompted the author to conduct such scrupulous analysis and substantiate his approach. His book formulates in detail his basic hypotheses which appeared already during the elaboration of the general theory of relativity and in the later years. And one can argue with some of the substantiations and one could wish to have some additional information (for example, on the choice of experimental facts sufficient for indisputable determination of space-time geometry).
In connection with this work by Academician Logunov one recalls the following historical episode. The outstanding French mathematician of the early 19th century, Evariste Galois, failed to be recognized and accepted even by such his contemporary as 0. Cauchie, an Honorary Foreign Member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. During the night before his tragic duel Prof. Galois put down on paper the results of his analysis of algebraic equations. But it was only some time later that another outstanding French mathematician, J. Louisville, Foreign Corresponding Member of the St. Petersburg Academy, pronounced his verdict saying that, if one abstracted himself for some time from everything and plunged into an analysis of Galois's works, there remained no doubts about their validity Today the Galois' group theory is widely applied in various mathematical and physical theories, such as quantum physics, for example. This being so, it appears to be right and proper to draw the attention of physicists specializing in various fields to a remarkable event on the current scientific horizon-the gravitational field theory developed by Academician Anatoly Logunov and members of his school.
* Tensor - generalized vector with more than three components each of which is a function of coordinates of an arbitrary point in space of an appropriate number of dimensions. - Ed.
Permanent link to this publication:
LRussia LWorld Y G