Einstein's Jury

The Race to Test Relativity
Princeton University Press
  • 1. Auflage
  • |
  • erschienen am 1. Januar 2016
  • |
  • 432 Seiten
E-Book | PDF mit Adobe DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-1-4008-4967-3 (ISBN)

Einstein's Jury is the dramatic story of how astronomers in Germany, England, and America competed to test Einstein's developing theory of relativity. Weaving a rich narrative based on extensive archival research, Jeffrey Crelinsten shows how these early scientific debates shaped cultural attitudes we hold today.

The book examines Einstein's theory of general relativity through the eyes of astronomers, many of whom were not convinced of the legitimacy of Einstein's startling breakthrough. These were individuals with international reputations to uphold and benefactors and shareholders to please, yet few of them understood the new theory coming from the pen of Germany's up-and-coming theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein. Some tried to test his theory early in its development but got no results. Others--through toil and hardship, great expense, and perseverance--concluded that it was wrong.

A tale of international competition and intrigue, Einstein's Jury brims with detail gleaned from Crelinsten's far-reaching inquiry into the history and development of relativity. Crelinsten concludes that the well-known British eclipse expedition of 1919 that made Einstein famous had less to do with the scientific acceptance of his theory than with his burgeoning public fame. It was not until the 1920s, when the center of gravity of astronomy and physics shifted from Europe to America, that the work of prestigious American observatories legitimized Einstein's work. As Crelinsten so expertly shows, the glow that now surrounds the famous scientist had its beginnings in these early debates among professional scientists working in the glare of the public spotlight.

Course Book
  • Englisch
  • Princeton
  • |
  • USA
  • Für Beruf und Forschung
  • Digitale Ausgabe
  • 8,51 MB
978-1-4008-4967-3 (9781400849673)
1400849675 (1400849675)
weitere Ausgaben werden ermittelt
Jeffrey Crelinsten
List of Illustrations xi
List of Tables xv
Preface xvii
Introduction xxi
Notation Convention for Angular Measure xxv
Abbreviations xxvii
PART ONE: 1905-1911
Early Encounters with Relativity 1
CHAPTER ONE: Einstein and the World Community of Physicists and Astronomers 3
Einstein Enters the World Stage 3
The Astronomy Community 7
The Astrophysics Revolution 9
European Brains and American Money 20
California Astronomy: The Nation's Leader 25
CHAPTER TWO: Astronomers and Special Relativity: The First Publications 28
Henry Crozier Plummer and the Problem of Aberration 28
Edmund Taylor Whittaker: Relativity and the Ether 31
Relativity and Subjectivism 36
Using Relativity to Calculate Planetary Orbits 38
American Astronomers' Introduction to Relativity 40
PART TWO: 1911-1919
Astronomers Encounter Einstein 45
CHAPTER THREE: The Early Involvement, 1911-1914 47
Einstein's Two Predictions 47
Solar Eclipses, "Vulcan," and the Principle of Relativity 50
Einstein Finds an Astronomer 55
Puzzles in the Sun's Spectrum 65
The Russian Eclipse of 1914 76
CHAPTER FOUR: The War Period, 1914-1918 85
Troubles with Freundlich 85
Einstein's Breakthrough 87
The "Freundlich Affair" 90
News of Einstein's Breakthrough Spreads 94
Mixed Reactions to a Complicated Theory 98
Constructing the Universe 103
Challenges from Solar Observations 108
Lick Astronomers Go Eclipse Hunting 114
Einstein Liberates Freundlich 119
CHAPTER FIVE: 1919: A Year of Dramatic Announcement 125
Evershed's Earth Effect versus Relativity 125
Delays and Technical Challenges at Lick 126
Enter the British 129
The Lick Verdict: "Einstein Is Wrong" 131
The British Declare, "Einstein Is Right" 140
CHAPTER SIX: Men of Science Agog 146
Reactions to the British Eclipse Results 146
Pressure from the Press 153
The Role of Arthur Eddington 157
Einstein the National Treasure 160
Hale Realizes His Vision 165
PART THREE: 1920-1925
Astronomers Put Einstein to the Test 169
CHAPTER SEVEN: Tackling the Solar Redshift Problem 171
Evershed and St. John Declare the Case Unresolved 171
"Einstein's Third Victory" 173
Unraveling Complexities--Evershed versus St. John 175
Evershed Votes for Einstein 179
CHAPTER EIGHT: More Eclipse Testing 183
Personnel Changes at Lick 183
Conflicting Announcements on the Goldendale Results 185
Preparations for the Australian Eclipse 194
The 1922 Eclipse: All Eyes on Lick 200
CHAPTER NINE: Emergence of the Critics 213
Reactions to the Lick Results 213
T.J.J. See versus the Lick Observatory 216
An Antirelativity Coalition in the East 225
The Ether Attempts a Comeback 231
CHAPTER TEN: The Debate Intensifies 236
Another Chance to Test Einstein 236
Mount Wilson and Lick Vote for Einstein 241
The Antirelativity Campaign Gains Momentum 243
Confrontation 252
A New Line of Evidence to Test Einstein 257
PART FOUR: 1925-1930
Final Acceptance 263
CHAPTER ELEVEN: Relativity Triumphs 265
The 1925 Eclipse: Dissension in the Antirelativity Coalition 265
The Relativity Debate circa 1925 269
Announcements for and against the Ether 273
Announcement of the Sirius B Results 277
John A. Miller and the Eclipse Tests 282
Dayton C. Miller and the Ether Drift 287
The 1928 Climax: Three More Pronouncements 290
Reluctant Acceptance 296
CHAPTER TWELVE: Silencing the Critics 300
Charles Lane Poor versus the Lick Observatory 300
Antirelativists Rally in the East 307
The Final Showdown 310
EPILOGUE: The Emergence of Relativistic Cosmology 315
How Scientists Accept Theories 321
Astronomers' Reception of Relativity 323
Relativity and Us 324
Notes 327
Bibliography 365
Index 385

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