Hi John, very much appreciate this.
“The metaphor of space as a temporal dimension allows [Einstein] to do his calculations…But that doesn’t mean we have to understand that theory as characterizing the objetively true nature of the universe.” (Philosophy in the Flesh, George Lakoff) That is, I present, in outline, a metaphorical way to understand gravity (“Mass tells space how to curve, space tells mass how to move”). As do you. I happen to think my metaphor is more easily understood than yours (rubber sheets and all that). My sun revolves around the Earth, your Earth revolves around the sun. But c’mon, it’s all metaphor!
Please read parts 2 and 3 of my story before concluding that the 1919 measurement was “trivial.”
As you say, Einstein’s divorce settlement from Mileva pledged the money from any future Nobel Prize to her and their two sons. The decision to award him the 1921 prize for physics was bitterly debated (and delayed a full year), and was given, not for his paradigm-breaking relativity theories but for his (much less important) 1905 paper on the photoelectric effect. Jeffrey Crelinsten’s book “Einstein’s Jury” sorts it all out.
General Relativity is Maxwell's Equations with Time taken independent of Space into a 4th dimension. Gravity is mass bending Time, having absolutely nothing to do with the "warping of Space". Time expands and contracts Space, that is to say, if there is no Time in the space between two points they are touching; also called an Einstein-Rosen bridge. It was trivial to measure the 1.61 arc second deflection of light in the photographs.
The far more difficult part of the process was presenting GR to the Nobel Committee and Einstein's eventual capitulation and the substitution of the imaginary photon for GR, in order for Einstein to pay off his divorce settlement with his first wife. Then in the 1930's what Einstein referred to as "boundless stupid" was funded by the Nobel Committee, ie black holes and dark matter.
In Print This Week:
Dec 19, 2013
vol XXIV issue 51
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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