The Low-water Mark of General Relativity, a Theory Ahead of its Time

During the low water mark period, general relativity was not fashionable for much a physicist and a limited number of articles were published. The perihelion of Mercury was the essential test to secure the theory; a neo-Newtonian interpretation dominated. Einstein's theory of gravitation was generally considered as a mathematical theory. Relativists were isolated. In this context, I will insist on the limited actual physical results of the theory, on the main questions to be solved, and on the ways that were to lead to the renewal: cosmology, black-holes and astrophysics.

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