The ideal theory. The battle for general relativity

    We have expanded our New Science series with a new book: Prototype: The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle over General Relativity Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (February 4, 2014) A paper version, epub and pdf are available.

    This book is a biography of the general theory of relativity. Einstein’s idea of ​​combining time and space began to live on its own, remaining throughout the XX century a source of enthusiasm and disappointment of the most brilliant minds. This is a theory that constantly presents surprises, brilliant insights about the nature of our world, which even Einstein himself could not accept. As she captured more and more new minds, unexpected discoveries arose, and in the strangest situations. The concept of black holes was first proposed on the battlefields of the First World War and reached its maturity in the hands of pioneers involved in the creation of Soviet and American atomic bombs. The idea of ​​an expanding universe was first proposed by a priest from Belgium and a metrologist from
    Of Russia. New and mysterious astrophysical objects, which played an important role in stabilizing the general theory of relativity, were sometimes discovered quite by accident. Jocelyn Bell discovered neutron stars among the Cambridge marshes with a metal mesh stretched over a fragile structure of wood and nails.

    The history of the general theory of relativity is not only connected with the past. Over the past ten years, it has become clear that if the general theory of relativity is true, then most of our universe is dark. It is filled with matter, which not only does not emit light, but does not even reflect and does not absorb it. There is a wealth of empirical evidence. Apparently, almost a third of the universe consists of dark matter: a heavy, invisible substance swarming through galaxies, like a lot of angry bees. The remaining two-thirds have the form of ethereal substance, dark energy, which moves space apart. And only four
    the cent of the Universe consists of atoms familiar to us. We are practically invisible. But this is if Einstein's theory is correct. However, there is a possibility that we simply reached the limits of its applicability, where the theory begins to fail.


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