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Can you briefly sketch the sequence of math theories that were necessary for Einstein to figure out a convincing background for relativity?

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    $\begingroup$ There was no such chain, Cantor had nothing to do with relativity. Genesis of relativity is described in Wikipedia, for example. $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    Oct 13 '19 at 13:34
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of The motivation for relativity theory $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    Oct 13 '19 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Conifold, are you saying that Rieman and Minkowsky could elaborate their ideas without Cantor revolution? $\endgroup$
    – user157860
    Oct 13 '19 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ Riemann died before the "Cantor revolution". Minkowski did not take interest in relativity until after Einstein's publications, and he did not use set theory either. Einstein did not use Minkowski's work even later, although he acknowledged it, see What was the relationship between Einstein and Minkowski? Modern differential geometry generally developed independently of set theory until much later, the time of Bourbaki. $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    Oct 14 '19 at 8:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Conifold, Thanks, why don't you expand your comment in a proper answer? I'd be glad to accept it $\endgroup$
    – user157860
    Oct 14 '19 at 8:35
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There are two theories which are called "relativity".

  1. Special relativity. It required no advanced mathematics at all. Minkovski space, as a proper mathematical background was proposed after the theory itself.

  2. General relativity. Mathematical background is Riemannian geometry. Riemannian geometry was proposed by Riemann, as a very general outline in his lecture in 1854, and the technical development is due to Riemann himself, G. Ricci-Cubastro and his student T. Levi-Civita.

All this has nothing to do with Cantor.

EDIT. Cantor first paper on set theory was published in 1874. But his ideas were not immediately accepted: the ideas of set theory begin to penetrate the mainstream mathematics only in 20th century. The "revolution" happened much later. Riemann died in 1866.

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