Monday/ the Theory of General Relativity turns 100

This ‘Relativity Primer’ by Nigel Holmes appeared in a recent issue of Scientific American. Einstein’s equations correctly predicted the exact amount that light from behind the sun would bend when passing by it. When a 1919 experiment during a solar eclipse proved him right, it made him famous world-wide. In 1921, Einstein traveled through the United States to a media circus that probably wasn’t matched until the Beatlemania of the 1960s.

It is 100 years ago this November11-2-2015 9-21-09 PM that Albert Einstein published his series of four papers called ‘The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity’, each separated from the other by a week: on the 4th, 11th, 18th and the 25th of November 1915.   From the Einstein Archives Online :  ‘In Einstein’s universe, gravity is not regarded as an exterior force, but rather as a property of space and time, or spacetime.   Einstein’s curved four-dimensional spacetime ‘continuum’ is often likened to a suspended rubber sheet stretched taut, but deformed whenever heavy objects – stars, galaxies or any other matter – are placed on it.  Thus, a massive body like the sun curves the spacetime around it and the planets move along these curved pathways of spacetime.  As Einstein put it : ‘matter tells space how to bend; space tells matter how to move’.

It is of course one thing to put forth a philosophical theory, but Einstein did much more than that. He wrote up a set of ten equations known as the Einstein Field Equations that described the fundamental interactions of gravitation, matter and energy in spacetime.

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Einstein donated his original manuscript in German to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1925. It is on-line at

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