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The Understanding of Relativity


NINE years have passed since the historic meeting art the Royal Society, Burlington House, on Nov. 6, 1919, when the British eclipse expedition announced the confirmation of Einstein's prediction, from the general theory of relativity, that starlight would be deflected by the gravitational field of the sun. Rarely has a scientific discovery, apparently so forbidding in character, been attended by such an outburst of interest and inquiry. The silent, matter-of-fact way in which relativity has been absorbed into the general scheme of physics stands in striking contrast to the fanfare with which it has been received by the general public. From the time of the Burlington House meeting onwards there has been a ceaseless procession of books, pamphlets, newspaper articles, lectures, pictures, even cinema films, dedicated to the task of making plain to the man in the street what relativity really means.


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D., H. The Understanding of Relativity. Nature 122, 673–675 (1928).

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