“Zurich, summer 1912. Albert Einstein has just arrived back in the city on the Limmat after spending some time in Prague. He writes a letter to his former classmate, the mathematician Marcel Grossmann (1878-1936), asking for assistance with the mathematical calculations of his general theory of relativity. He is in need of assistance with the mathematical calculations of his general theory of relativity. What happens next is one of the fascinating chapters in the history of science, and its repercussions on the lives of the two friends are far-reaching as a result.
In this article, Marcel Grossmann’s granddaughter paints a picture of her grandfather as a fiery and talented scientist who was also a patriot. During the period of rapid industrialization in Germany in the late 19th century, she investigates the entrepreneurial family’s role in the country’s history. The shifting fortunes of the family move the action of the story to the bustling city of Budapest on the Danube; they give readers a sense of the pioneering spirit at Zurich’s young Polytechnic Institute (now ETH Zurich); however, they also reflect the anxieties and difficulties of the First World War and the years between the wars.
Prof. Remo Ruffini, founder and president of the International Center for Relativistic Astrophysics and the Marcel Grossmann Meetings, is the author of the Foreword. An extensive contribution made by Dr. Tilman Sauer provides a scientific-historical appreciation of the enduring contributions made by Marcel Grossmann. This is the final and most important contribution.”