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2018-03-07, 12:00, Prof. Daniel J. Kennefick (University of Arkansas), Not Only Because of Theory: The Meaning of Eddington’s “bias” at the 1919 Eclipse

Prof. Daniel John Kennefick

University of Arkansas

Not Only Because of Theory: The Meaning of Eddington’s “bias”


As the centenary of the 1919 Eclipse approaches, Arthur Stanley Eddington remains in the dock, accused of prejudging the outcome of the experiment he helped conduct to test Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. I discuss the reasons for his alleged bias towards GR but also show that it was his colleague Frank Watson Dyson who actually made the key decisions and argue that these were justified, especially in light of modern reanalysis of the eclipse plates. The Eclipse made Einstein world famous and it is well worth returning to the topic for the centenary, especially in view of the significant contribution made by Irish astronomers and instrument makers.

Location: 31 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2

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