In this May, the world celebrates 100 years of historical photos that created a turning point for humanity's physics and astronomy.
It was a picture of the total solar eclipse in 1919 , thereby proving Einstein's general theory of relativity for the first time.
The author of this photo is Arthur Eddington (1882-1944) - a famous astronomer born in Kendal City, central England.
Graduating from Owens College in 1902, Eddington earned a master's degree from Cambridge University in 1905 and started working at the Greenwich Observatory, England.
During this time, Eddington conducted analysis of the position of objects flying in space, especially the asteroid 443 Eros.
However, Eddington's most impressive work is to observe, record and analyze the total eclipse of 1919. The work is considered to be of the greatest significance in the history of modern science.
If today, total eclipse research has been much easier, it was 100 years ago, the work was very difficult due to poor equipment and the technology of recording was almost only preliminary.
To know, in 1915 Albert Einstein completed his work on general relativity , which argued that gravity was not the only force acting between two objects as Isaac Newton's theory.
According to Einstein, people observed that the attraction between objects of high mass is a result of space bending and the time they cause.
In other words, the space is not static but on the contrary the movement of objects can change the spatial structure.
This was contrary to Newton's view of the universe when Newton thought that space was static and constant.
However, Einstein's theory in the 1915s was not proven, but it was not until 1919 that Eddington did this in the total solar eclipse on May 29, 1919.
At this time, Eddington expected that during the time when sunlight was blocked when a total solar eclipse would occur, it would be possible to observe light from distant stars to Earth "bent" around the Sun, thereby Can make Einstein's theory correct or false.
Eddington and his colleague Dyson led two research teams of the Royal Astronomical Society to photograph the total eclipse, in which Eddington directed the observation of Principlé Island (West Africa), Dyson took over in Brazil.
During the six minutes and 51 seconds the sun was obscured in 1919, by comparing the apparent positions of the stars with and without the Sun at the time of shooting, the scientists observed and measured degrees. curvature of light from stars as they move near the Sun.
Although the deflection of the light from the stars due to the bending of space and time was very small, but the observation results of Principe and Brazil after being analyzed by Eddington showed that many points coincide with the predictions of general relativity.
In other words, Einstein's general theory of relativity was initially proved to be true.
Shortly after, when The New York Times published the conclusion on November 7, 1919, Einstein's name was quickly popular not only in the scientific world but also popular among many people around the world. .
From here, the study of space follows a completely new path, and decades later, more evidence is found to prove Einstein's general theory of relativity.