Research News

Public lecture on renaissance in Einstein’s theory of general relativity Oct. 22

P. J. E. Peebles. (Courtesy of Laboratoire d'Annecy-le-Vieux de Physique Théorique )

James Peebles, the Albert Einstein Professor of Science Emeritus at Princeton University, is giving a free public lecture on campus on Oct. 22 titled “The Renaissance of General Relativity” at 3 p.m. in Stevenson Center 4328. For several decades after Einstein published his revolutionary theory of gravitation, general relativity, its applications were limited to only three classical tests: the precession of the orbit of the planet Mercury, the marginal detection of the deflection of star light by the Sun’s gravity and the gravitation redshift of light from white dwarf stars. It wasn’t until the 1960s that new technology and new ideas began providing additional empirical support for Einstein’s theory. In his lecture, Peebles will discuss three examples: precision measurements of the acceleration of gravity on Earth, the orbit of the Moon and the properties of the cosmic background radiation, the sea of thermal radiation left from the early stages of the expansion of the universe.

The lecture is preceded by a reception at 2:30 p.m.. in Stevenson Center 6333. For additional information contact the Department of Physics and Astronomy: 615-322-2828.