A century ago, in 1905, Albert Einstein published, "e;On the Electrodynamics of M- ing Bodies,"e; in which the foundations were laid for the Special Theory of Relativity. Ten years later his relativistic theory of gravitation and the General Theory of Relat- ity appeared. Fifty years ago, Einstein passed away in Princeton. In the 1980s, John Stachel, then Editor of the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, brought together a group of historians, philosophers, physicists, and mathematicians who had one thing in common: a lively interest in the history and foundations of the theories of relativity. At a meeting in 1986 at Osgood Hill, this group met for the ?rst time to discuss the prehistory, development, reception, and other aspects of relativity. It was the beginning of a valuable tradition. Since then every three or four years a meeting has been organized during which historical and foundational issues in general (and special) relativity have been discussed. Osgood Hill was followed by Luminy in 1988. Then came Johnstown (1991), Berlin (1995), Notre Dame (1999), and ?nally Amsterdam (2002), the proceedings of which are presented in this volume (supplemented with some papers from the preceding meeting). Once again these articles clearly show that an historical approach can lead to new insights into the development and elaboration of relativity. The prehistory of special relativity and an early attempt at a relativistic theory of gravitation are covered in - pers by John Stachel and Shaul Katzir, respectively.
Universe of General Relativity