4 October 2002
EDDINGTON, Arthur Stanley (1882-1944), Frank Watson DYSON (1868-1939) and C. DAVIDSON. A Determination of the Deflection of Light by the Sun's Gravitational Field, from Observations Made at the Total Eclipse of May 29, 1919. Offprint from: Philosophical Transactions, Vol. 220A. London: Royal Astronomical Society, 1920.
4o. Errata slip laid-in. 1 photographic plate. Original printed wrappers (repairs to spine); cloth folding case. Provenance: Bradford Public Library (stamp on front wrapper).
Among the experimental results predicted by Einstein's 1915 theory of general relativity was the bending of light by massive bodies due to the curvature of space-time in their vicinity. To test this prediction, the astronomers Eddington and Dyson organized two expeditions-one to Principe Island off West Africa, and the other to Sobral in Brazil-for the purpose of observing the May 1919 solar eclipse; the sun served as the "massive body," and an eclipse was necessary in order to observe the light coming from other stars. "The results were in agreement with Einstein's prediction, the Sobral result being 1.98 1 0.12 arcsec and the Principe result 1.61 +- 0.3 arcsec [about twice the amounts predicted by Newtonian theory]." (Twentieth Cent. Physics III, pp. 1722-23). It was upon the publication of these results in November, 1919, that Einstein became world famous. Pais, 'Subtle is the Lord'..., (p. 309) points out that the New York Times Index contains no mention of Einstein until November of 1919. From that date until his death, Einstein's name appeared in that newspaper each year, usually many times.
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