Einstein, Eddington and the 1919 eclipse
Nature.com - Mon 15 Apr 20:01 GMT

Peter Coles weighs up three books on the momentous expedition that proved the general theory of relativity.

Einstein, Eddington and the 1919 eclipse

  No Shadow of a Doubt: The 1919 Eclipse That Confirmed Einstein’s Theory of Relativity Daniel Kennefick Princeton University Press (2019) Gravity’s Century: From Einstein’s Eclipse to Images of Black Holes Ron Cowen Harvard University Press (2019) In 1916, Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity in full mathematical detail.

  Those momentous ventures form the kernel of three books commemorating the centenary: No Shadow of a Doubt by physicist Daniel Kennefick, Gravity’s Century by science journalist Ron Cowen, and science historian Matthew Stanley’s Einstein’s War.

  The next year, despite wartime severance of communication channels, Eddington and fellow astronomer Frank Watson Dyson — then director of the Cambridge Observatory and Astronomer Royal, respectively — managed to obtain Einstein’s published papers.

  The ‘miracle year’ of 1905, when he published papers on Brownian motion and the photoelectric effect as well as on special relativity, made Einstein a star of physics.

  One of the interesting facts from Stanley’s account is that Einstein had made a stab at calculating the bending of light back in 1911, before he had formulated the full general theory of relativity.