Marcel Grossmann Biography


Marcel Grossmann (Budapest, April 9, 1878 - Zurich, September 7, 1936)

Marcel Grossmann studied mathematics at the Zurich Polytechnikum and earned his doctorate in 1912. He was appointed professor of descriptive geometry at the Eidgenoossische Technische Hochschule in 1907; he was a teacher of outstanding ability and gave many mathematicians their training in geometry.

Marcel Grossmann was Albert Einstein's classmate When Einstein sought to formulate mathematically his ideas on the general theory of relativity, he turned to Grossmann for assistance. Grossmann introduced Einstein to the differential calculus, started by Elwin Bruno Christoffel (1864) and fully developed at the University of Padova by Gregono Ricci Curbastro and Tullio Levi Civita (1901). The collaboration between Einstein and Grossmann is significantly documented in their article "Entwurf emer verallgemeinerten Relativitatstheorie und einer Theorie der Gravitation" in Zeit, fur Mathem. und Phys. 62, 3 (1913)

By allowing the encounter of the mathematical achievements of the Italian geometers and the profound physical insight of Einstein, Marcel Grossmann facilitated the unique synthesis of mathematical and theoretical physics reached by Albert Einstein in the most elegant and powerful field theory of physics: The General Theory of Relativity.