Classical Unified Field Theories
Since the 19th century, some physicists have attempted to develop a single theoretical framework that can account for the fundamental forces of nature – a unified field theory. Classical unified field theories are attempts to create a unified field theory based on classical physics. In particular, unification of gravitation and electromagnetism was actively pursued by several physicists and mathematicians in the years between World War I and World War II. This work spurred the purely mathematical development of differential geometry. Albert Einstein is the best known of the many physicists who attempted to develop a classical unified field theory.
This article describes various attempts at a classical (non-quantum), relativistic unified field theory. For a survey of classical relativistic field theories of gravitation that have been motivated by theoretical concerns other than unification, see Classical theories of gravitation. For a survey of current work toward creating a quantum theory of gravitation, see quantum gravity.
Read more about Classical Unified Field Theories: Overview, Early Work, Differential Geometry and Field Theory, Weyl's Infinitesimal Geometry, Kaluza's Fifth Dimension, Eddington's Affine Geometry, Einstein's Geometric Approaches, Schrödinger's Pure-affine Theory, Later Work
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