Rainer Weiss, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, both of the California Institute of Technology, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for the discovery of ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves, which were predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago but had never been directly seen. ...These articles cannot resist making all about Einstein. But Einstein did not really believe in the geometry of space-time, or in black holes, or in the Big Bang, or in gravitational waves.
Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, pronounced in 1916, suggested that matter and energy would warp the geometry of space-time the way a heavy sleeper sags a mattress, producing the effect we call gravity. His equations described a universe in which space and time were dynamic. Space-time could stretch and expand, tear and collapse into black holes — objects so dense that not even light could escape them. The equations predicted, somewhat to his displeasure, that the universe was expanding from what we now call the Big Bang, and it also predicted that the motions of massive objects like black holes or other dense remnants of dead stars would ripple space-time with gravitational waves.
You might say: "Who cares what Einstein believed? His equations imply those things, whether he believed in them or not."
I would not say that they are his equations. Grossmann and Levi-Civita convinced him to use the Ricci tensor, and the equation is Ricci=0. Einstein's contribution was minor.
Einstein is mainly famous because he is credited for special relativity, and the only reason he is credited for that is that supposedly Lorentz and Poincare had some faulty beliefs about the interpretation of the equations. Everyone agrees that Lorentz and Poincare had all the equations before Einstein. So if the credit is based on who had the equations, not who have the proper beliefs, then Einstein should get no credit for special relativity. (I say that Einstein was the one with the faulty beliefs about special relativity, but most ppl do not agree with me on that point.)
Anyway, congratulations to the Nobel winners and the LIGO team. It is nice to see a prize given within a couple of years of the discovery being made.