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Ep. 37, Page 17
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Comic 2876 - Ep. 37, Page 17

6th Jun 2019, 8:34 PM in Episode 37 :: Save My Place | Load My Place
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Author Notes:

smbhax 6th Jun 2019, 8:34 PM edit delete
smbhax
On May 29, 1919—~100 years ago—two teams of astronomers—one in Brazil, the other in West Africa—used complex "comparator" devices to study stars next to the Sun in the sky during a total solar eclipse. The goal: to prove Einstein's 1915 theory of relativity, which still languished in relative obscurity, its author having been stuck starving in Berlin behind the Triple-Entente's blockade of Germany. The result, that stars next to the Sun in the sky appeared very slightly out of place, their light "bent" by the Sun's gravity, proved that relativity was valid, and made Einstein an instant worldwide sensation.

The expedition was led by British astronomer Arthur Stanley Eddington; you can see one of the photos from his expedition here. A recent BBC article, The man who made Einstein world-famous, has details of that story and more: Eddington, a pacifist and conscientious objector during the war, "was one of the few British scientists willing to even think about German science," and "wrote the first books on relativity, gave popular lectures on Einstein, and became one of the great science communicators of the 20th Century."