In the earlier twentieth century one Solar Eclipse witnessed by thousands of citizens of United States including the president gave a first confirmation of the prediction made by a young Scientist named Albert Einstein. In 1919 the astronomer Arthur Eddington went to the location of Solar Eclipse to test the prediction of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. In 1915 Einstein published his predictions that gravity causes space to curve. And the lights from stars bend following that curves.
So if there is a star close to the sun, its light would be bent by the Sun’s Gravity. The only way to test Einstein’s prediction was during an eclipse. When the sun is darkened and the nearby stars become visible. Eddington knew the accurate position of a star that should have been blocked by the sun. But if the sun’s gravity bend the star’s light as Einstein said it would be seen as if it were at different position altogether. Eddington measured and thus confirming for the first time a prediction of the Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.
But the greatest scientific benefit of a total solar eclipse is the view they gave us of the sun’s corona. This is otherwise invisible to us. Without the occurrence of total solar eclipses it is really questionable today whether we actually even know that the sun had a corona and a high tenuous atmosphere. The Solar Disc is a millions times brighter than the surrounding corona. If we can dark that disc out we can visibly see that corona. For us to be able to observe the corona is important because otherwise we would not know that this layer of the solar atmosphere extends out into the space. And in fact we are embedded here on earth in the solar atmosphere and the extended solar corona.
In 1915 the young German Scientist Albert Einstein published four papers. Albert Einstein stated his theory of gravity later termed as general theory of relativity. He introduced the field equations. Among which one equation replaced the Newton’s law of gravity. In fact it’s better if we say he modified the Newton’s law of gravity. At that time Einstein was a famous scientist in Germany but he didn’t get an international fame till then. Arthur Eddington by proving Einstein’s theory of relativity made him a superstar overnight. In 1920 Einstein was the most discussed scientist of the time. In 1921 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for his exceptional work on photoelectric effect. Although he is now famous for his theory of relativity but at that time his work on relativity had many questions. Which were later clarified by many experimental explanations.
Solar Eclipse, Explaining Relativity.
Solar Eclipse That Made Einstein A Super star.
Posted by Scienceve on Monday, August 14, 2017