Sunday, August 16, 2020

[vzzisbho] Einstein-Hilbert priority dispute

David Hilbert was probably a better mathematician than Albert Einstein, so, given the proper inputs, Hilbert probably could have derived the Einstein Field Equations for general relativity faster than Einstein.  And maybe he actually did.

However, Hilbert would have had a much more difficult time knowing if he did everything correctly, because Einstein had a much better intuition for physics.  (Einstein having intuition for general relativity when he hadn't even finished inventing it is genius, or equivalently, the product of the large amount of hard work he had already put into developing the theory.)  In particular, if a hypothetical answer didn't "feel right", Einstein would know to go back and check his math, and he could also go back and question his physical assumptions, whereas Hilbert needed the proper inputs handed to him (by Einstein).

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