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PubMed | Cavendish Laboratory JJ Thomson Avenue
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences | Year: 2015

The famous eclipse expedition of 1919 to Sobral, Brazil, and the island of Principe, in the Gulf of Guinea, led by Dyson, Eddington and Davidson was a turning point in the history of relativity, not only because of its importance as a test of Einsteins General Theory of Relativity, but also because of the intense public interest which was aroused by the success of the expedition. The dramatic sequence of events which occurred is reviewed, as well as the long-term impact of its success. The gravitational bending of electromagnetic waves by massive bodies is a subject of the greatest importance for contemporary and future astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology. Examples of the potential impact of this key tool of modern observational astronomy are presented. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

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