Almost half a century before Einstein expounded his general theory of relativity, the English mathematician William Kingdon Clifford argued that space might not be Euclidean and proposed that matter is nothing but a small distortion in that spatial curvature. He further proposed that matter in motion is not more than the simple variation in space of this distortion. In this work, we conjecture that Clifford went further than his aforementioned proposals, as he tried to show that matter effectively curves space. For this purpose he made an unsuccessful observation on the change of the plane of polarization of the skylight during the solar eclipse of December 22, 1870 in Sicily.I have wondered why some people credit Clifford, and this article spells it out. He was way ahead of everyone with the idea that our physical space might be non-Euclidean, as an explanation for gravity.
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Clifford suggested matter could curve space
A new paper: