Letter | Published:

Radial Velocities and the Curvature of Space-time

Nature volume 113, pages 746747 (24 May 1924) | Download Citation



IN a letter to NATURE of April 26, Dr. Silberstein makes a proposal for determining the distance of a remote star by observing the displacement of the spectral lines at six months interval; he claims that this method will separate the ordinary Doppler effect of the unknown motion of the star from the distance-effect predicted by de Sitter. It seems to me clear that this proposal contains a fallacy. The material to be experimented on is a certain regular train of light-waves proceeding through the small region round the sun accessible to us; the star itself is inaccessible. The frequency of these waves is to be measured by two observers—for example, a January observer and a July observer. These observers differ only in their velocities V1 and V2 relative to the frame of reference; Dr. Silberstein neglects any effects of the short interval of time and of space between the two observations and of the distortion of the waves by the local gravitational field.

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  1. Observatory, Cambridge, May 3, 1924.



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