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Tech & Science 100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein

07:05  29 may  2019
07:05  29 may  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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On May 29, 1919, a solar eclipse forever altered our conception of gravity, rewrote the laws of physics and turned a 40- year -old, wild-haired scientist into a global celebrity — the very The 1919 eclipse across South America and Africa provided direct evidence for Einstein ’s mind-bending theory of gravity.

On May 29, 1919, a solar eclipse forever altered our conception of gravity, rewrote the laws of physics and turned a 40- year -old, wild-haired scientist into a global celebrity — the very personification of scientific genius. It was a very good day for Albert Einstein . The 1919 eclipse across South America

100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein © Handout/Reuters The first photo of a black hole, a place where Einstein’s equations break down.

On May 29, 1919, a solar eclipse forever altered our conception of gravity, rewrote the laws of physics and turned a 40-year-old, wild-haired scientist into a global celebrity — the very personification of scientific genius.

It was a very good day for Albert Einstein.

The 1919 eclipse across South America and Africa provided direct evidence for Einstein’s mind-bending theory of gravity. He proposed in 1915 that gravity isn’t a spooky force acting across space but rather is a feature of the essence of space and time. Gravity is the warping and curving of the fabric of the universe.

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The Albert Einstein Memorial on the grounds of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post). On May 29, 1919, a solar eclipse forever altered our conception of gravity, rewrote the laws of physics and turned a 40- year -old, wild-haired scientist into

The Albert Einstein Memoriall in Washington. CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Matt McClain. Scientists have captured the first direct image of a supermassive black hole. The cosmic portrait belongs to the black hole at the center of Messier 87, the largest galaxy we know of, about 54 million

Einstein’s theory — the general theory of relativity — was hailed by the physicist J.J. Thomson as “one of the greatest achievements of human thought.” It has been confirmed by many more observations over the century, including the detection of gravitational waves and the first picture of a black hole just this year. He cracked a fundamental code of the universe.

And yet: Something’s amiss.

Although Einstein seemed to have the final word on how the universe is put together, more recent probing of deep space, as well as the inner workings of atoms, have found places where the theory breaks down.

For example, inside a black hole, Einstein’s equations suggest that matter and energy become so compressed they reach infinite density. But what does that mean? The theorists suspect it means they need a better theory.

100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein

100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein General relativity explains gravity in most situations, but the universe hasn’t run out of mysteries

Albert Einstein determined that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers, and that the speed of light in a vacuum was independent of the motion of all observers. This cosmic speed limit has been a subject of much discussion in physics , and even in science fiction, as people.

100 years ago , this eclipse proved Einstein right and changed our understanding of the universe. When the moon blotted out the sun on May 29, 1919 Ninety-eight years ago today, another total solar eclipse changed the world by helping to confirm Einstein 's theory In 1915, Einstein published

“You can’t calculate anything beyond that point, once the numbers become infinite. You’ve lost all control,” says Emil Mottola, a theoretical physicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. “That doesn’t tell you that nature can’t do that, but it’s very suspicious.”

The same problem applies when cosmologists rewind the film reel of the universe’s expansion for the past 13 billion years and reach the very beginning of time and space, the so-called big bang. Einstein’s theory doesn’t quite work at the creation.

Notoriously — at least among theoretical physicists — general relativity doesn’t explain how gravity works at the tiniest of scales, the realm of subatomic particles.

Dark matter has never been directly observed, but its existence is inferred through its gravitational effects, such as on the motion of stars in galaxies. Conceivably it could be some kind of modification of the gravitational force that wasn’t predicted by Einstein, said Lee Smolin, a theorist at the Perimeter Institute.

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Einstein made numerous mistakes in his derivations, although his Despite also inventing special relativity — founded on the principle that the laws of physics are independent of an The better you measure and know the position of a particle, the less well- known its momentum is.

Einstein made numerous mistakes in his derivations, although his Despite also inventing special relativity — founded on the principle that the laws Solar eclipse 2017: How an eclipse a century ago made Albert. The solar eclipse that made Einstein famous. An undated photo of famed physicist

Dark energy, another cosmic mystery, is whatever is driving the acceleration of the expansion of the universe. This seeming anti-gravity acceleration was detected only in the late 1990s and strongly suggests that the universe will expand forever. So why is this happening?

“We don’t know. That’s why we call it ‘dark energy’,” says Gabriela Gonzalez, a professor of physics and astronomy at Louisiana State University.

“I think there are plenty of mysteries that I hope to see the solution to in my lifetime,” she said. “All these things need theories that can be confirmed by experiments. They need theories that have predictions.”

Which brings us back to Einstein, and the eclipse.

Einstein had emerged from obscurity in 1905 with a series of astonishing papers that obliterated classical notions about time and space. But his greatest achievement came a decade later, in 1915, when he described the equations governing gravity. He’d figured out a fundamental feature of the universe, using merely the power of his brain. But was it true? What if his equations were just a mathematical fancy, something that looked nifty on paper but did not correspond to physical reality?

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On May 29, 1919, a solar eclipse forever altered our conception of gravity, rewrote the laws of physics and turned a 40- year -old, wild-haired scientist into a global celebrity — the very personification of scientific genius. It was a very good day for Albert Einstein .

On May 29, 1919, a solar eclipse forever altered our conception of gravity, rewrote the laws of physics and turned a 40- year -old, wild-haired scientist into a global celebrity — the very personification of scientific genius.

Einstein proposed an experimental test. A solar eclipse would block the sun’s light and allow scientists to study starlight passing close to the sun. His theory predicted that the sun’s gravitational field would displace the starlight by a certain amount compared to where they would be under classical theories of gravity.

British astronomer Arthur Eddington led an expedition to observe the eclipse from two locations, one in Brazil and one on the island of Principe near the African coast.

The stars backed Einstein.

When the Astronomer Royal, Sir Frank Dyson, announced the results in November of that year, newspapers ran front-page stories and Einstein became famous all over the planet.

In his biography of Einstein, author Walter Isaacson recounts an exchange between Einstein and a graduate student, Ilse Schneider, when news came that the theory had been upheld. She asked him, she later recalled, what he would have thought if the eclipse observations had contradicted his theory.

“Then I would have been sorry for the dear Lord; the theory is correct,” Einstein said.

Mottola notes that, since the days of Euclid and Aristotle, space and time had been seen as a passive stage for the events of the universe, unaffected by the comings and goings of planets and stars. But Einstein said that wasn’t so: Space and time were affected by matter, and even light has to obey the geometry of curved space.

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Solar eclipses have been linked to the start of wars and the end of empires, but in 1919 an eclipse revealed the workings of the universe itself. On one side of the bet was German-born Einstein , and on the other was the British father of modern science, Isaac Newton. At the time, Germany and Britain

Ninety-eight years ago today, another total solar eclipse changed the world by helping to confirm Einstein 's theory of general relativity. 100 years ago , an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein . General relativity explains gravity in most situations, but the

The modern world depends on accepting this cosmic truth. Spacecraft trajectories have to take general relativity into account. So does GPS. So does military targeting.

Einstein’s theory carried astonishing implications for exotic things out there in the universe, not least of which are black holes. Perhaps the most thunderous modern confirmation of Einstein came with the detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes. Einstein had predicted the existence of gravitational waves; a century later, scientists found them.

The universe has not run out of surprises, and theoretical physicists remain in business. The questions don’t tend to get easier over time. When Mottola is asked about what happened, exactly, at the beginning of the universe, he says, “Sometimes you have to say you don’t know.”

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100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
100 years ago, an eclipse changed the known laws of physics and made Einstein Einstein
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