Did he realise this as soon as he thought of light curving due to gravity or was this something that took him a while to realise?

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    $\begingroup$ Your question is of the form "When did Einstein realise X?," but X isn't true. A more correct statement would be that mass causes spacetime to curve. Einstein gives some motivation for the idea in "The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity," Annalen der Physik 49 (1916) 769. There is a public-domain translation in the back of my GR book: lightandmatter.com/genrel $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Jul 22 '16 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ The "gravity causes other mass' gravity to curve" phrasing is perplexing to me, what does that mean? That the light would curve due to gravity, and even black holes, were discussed already in Newtonian physics, see hsm.stackexchange.com/questions/3421/… Einstein's path to general relativity is described here hsm.stackexchange.com/questions/3547/… $\endgroup$ – Conifold Jul 22 '16 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ I'll just edit the title to eliminate the misstatements. $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Jul 23 '16 at 0:43
  • $\begingroup$ I think that the OP is perhaps asking about the nonlinearity of the Einstein field equations, and when Einstein realized that a nonlinear theory would be required (?). $\endgroup$ – Danu Jul 23 '16 at 15:05

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