By Peter Coles
Einstein is a 'pop' totem, the Marilyn Monroe of technology.
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Extra info for Einstein and the Birth of Big Science
In order to correct for possible systematic effects, the reference plates should ideally be taken at the same site and at the same elevation in the sky. This would mean waiting at the observation site until the stars that would be behind the Sun 44 EDDINGTON AND THE EXPEDITIONS during the eclipse were at the same position in the sky before dawn. This was not too much of a problem at Sobral, where the eclipse occurred in the morning, but at Principe, Eddington would have to wait for several months to take his reference plates.
The main items of experimental equipment were two astrographic object glasses of about 10 inches in diameter, one from Oxford and one from the Royal Greenwich Observatory. Such lenses are specially designed to measure star positions over a relatively large piece of the sky, and were therefore ideal for the kind of experiment being done during the eclipse. The ‘objectives’ were removed from the observatories in which they were usually housed, and steel tubes were built to form temporary telescopes for the expeditions.
This answer is precisely the same as the Newtonian value obtained more than a century earlier by Soldner. The predicted deflection is tiny, but according to the astronomers Einstein consulted, it could just about be measured. Stars appearing close to the Sun would appear to be in slightly different positions in the sky than they would be when the 31 Sta rs Ap pa ren ts tar im ag es EINSTEIN AND THE BIRTH OF BIG SCIENCE Sun Physicis Earth Figure 5. The bending of light by the Sun. Light from background stars follows paths like that shown in Figure 3.
Einstein and the Birth of Big Science by Peter Coles