On the discovery of the gravitational field equations by Einstein and Hilbert: new materials
S.I. Vavilov Institute of History of Natural Sciences and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Obrucheva 30A, korp. B, Moscow, 117861, Russian Federation
This article describes the history of discovery of the equations of gravitational field by Albert Einstein and David Hilbert in November 1915. The proof sheet of Hilbert’s lecture
report, made on 20 November 1915 and published in March 1916, rediscovered in 1997 in the archive of the university of Göttingen, throws new light on the history of this discovery. We also discuss the early history of the general theory of relativity that led to the expression of the general covariant equations of gravitational field.