Thursday, November 19, 2020

The experiment that made Einstein famous

Einstein became world-famous on 7 November 1919, following press publication of a meeting held in London on 6 November 1919 where the results were announced of two British expeditions led by Eddington, Dyson and Davidson to measure how much background starlight is bent as it passes the Sun. Three data sets were obtained: two showed the measured deflection matched the theoretical prediction of Einstein's 1915 Theory of General Relativity, and became the official result; the third was discarded as defective. At the time, the experimental result was accepted by the expert astronomical community.
This made Einstein world-famous, as the NY Times headline was:
LIGHTS ALL ASKEW IN THE HEAVENS; Men of Science More or Less Agog Over Results of Eclipse Observations. EINSTEIN THEORY TRIUMPHS Stars Not Where They Seemed or Were Calculated to be, but Nobody Need Worry. A BOOK FOR 12 WISE MEN No More in All the World Could Comprehend It, Said Einstein When His Daring Publishers Accepted It.
There has long been some controversy about this, as they discarded the result that would have agree with Newtonian gravity. It is often cited as an example of scientists seeing what they want to see.

This paper argues that the orginal eclipse experiment was legitimate.

No comments:

Post a Comment