Friday, May 29, 2009

May 29, 1919: A Major Eclipse, Relatively Speaking

Wired has the historical account on what happened today in 1919 in the history of physics. Sir Arthur Eddington made the measurement during the solar eclipse that ultimately because the first verification of Einstein's General Relativity and catapulted Einstein into fame.

Both locations had clear skies, and the astronomers took several pictures during the six minutes of total eclipse. When Eddington returned to England, his data from Príncipe confirmed Einstein’s predictions. Eddington announced his findings on November 6, 1919. The next morning, Einstein, until then a relatively obscure newcomer in theoretical physics, was on the front page of major newspapers around the world.

I had almost mentioned earlier that there were questions being asked on the validity of the Eddington results and conclusion. This has been discussed and addressed here.


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