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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 $\endgroup$
    – user466
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 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
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ I'll just edit the title to eliminate the misstatements. $\endgroup$
    – user466
    Commented Jul 23, 2016 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
    Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ I'm sorry but I have the same question. Minkowski's geometric interpretation of relativity was to prove vital to Einstein's development of his 1915 general theory of relativity, wherein he showed how mass and energy curve flat spacetime into a pseudo-Riemannian manifold. - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime Einstein combined (postulated) the equivalence principle with special relativity to predict that clocks run at different rates in a gravitational potential, and light rays bend in a gravitational field, even before he developed the concept of curved spacetime. - Cont'd $\endgroup$
    – PG1995
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 7:27

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