Before 1919, cosmology was as subjective as art history. A solar eclipse and a patent clerk’s equations (Albert Einstein) changed everything.
The Eddington experiment was an observational test of General Relativity, organized by the British astronomers Frank Watson Dyson and Arthur Stanley Eddington in 1919. The observations were of the total solar eclipse of 29 May 1919 and were carried out by two expeditions, one to the West African island of Príncipe, and the other to the Brazilian town of Sobral. The aim of the expeditions was to measure the gravitational deflection of starlight passing near the Sun. The value of this deflection had been predicted by Albert Einstein in a 1911 paper and was one of the tests proposed for his 1915 theory of General Relativity. Following the return of the expeditions, the results were presented by Eddington to the Royal Society of London, and, after some deliberation, were accepted. Widespread newspaper coverage of the results led to worldwide fame for Einstein and his theories.
“I carry within me these shards and fragments of memories, some of which I would like to forget. These pieces of a life are finally incomprehensible. We are not the sum of events, although those on the outside sometimes use events to define us. We are not our titles or positions or accomplishments. We are distinct from these. We puzzle over ourselves as time, with its ruthless and swift gait, sweeps our lives into the past. The lives that went before mine, the lives that will come after mine, seem sometimes to merge, bound together by common rituals, the physical and spiritual wanderings that come with human existence and the strangeness of it all.”
— Chris Hedges, Losing Moses on the Freeway
As the political climate festers, the world climate boils, Republicans once again attempt to take healthcare away from millions, and the poor get poorer… here’s a look at how the 0.01 percent party (just a tiny sample).
Where’s Marie Antoinette when you need her? Ain’t it all so sumptuously scandalous, shameless, and shocking?
The irony staggers.
Oh well, on to the next in-your-face party.