# Pseudoscience/Timeline of Relativity

## Timeline of Relativity

Albert Einstein presented the theories of special relativity and general relativity in publications that either contained no formal references to previous literature, or referred only to a small number of his predecessors for fundamental results on which he based his theories, most notably to the work of Henri Poincaré and Hendrik Lorentz for special relativity, and to the work of David Hilbert, Carl F. Gauss, Bernhard Riemann, and Ernst Mach for general relativity.

Subsequently, claims have been put forward about both theories, asserting that they were formulated, either wholly or in part, by others before Einstein. At issue is the extent to which Einstein and various other individuals should be credited for the formulation of these theories, based on priority considerations.

Various scholars have questioned aspects of the work of Einstein, Poincaré, and Lorentz leading up to the theories’ publication in 1905. Questions raised by these scholars include asking to what degree Einstein was familiar with Poincaré's work, whether Einstein was familiar with Lorentz's 1904 paper or a review of it, and how closely Einstein followed other physicists at the time.

It is known that Einstein was familiar with Poincaré's 1902 paper [Poi02], but it is not known to what extent he was familiar with other work of Poincaré in 1905. However, it is known that he knew [Poi00] in 1906, because he quoted it in [Ein06]. Lorentz's 1904 paper [Lor04] contained the transformations bearing his name that appeared in the Annalen der Physik.

Some authors claim that Einstein worked in relative isolation and with restricted access to the physics literature in 1905. Others, however, disagree; a personal friend of Einstein, Maurice Solovine, acknowledged that he and Einstein pored over Poincaré's 1902 book, keeping them "breathless for weeks on end" [Rot06]. The question of whether Einstein's wife Mileva Marić contributed to Einstein's work has also been raised, but most scholars on the topic say that there is no substantive evidence that she made significant contributions.

Year | Person | Event |
---|---|---|

1846 | Urbain Le Verrier and John Couch Adams | studying Uranus' orbit, independently prove that another, farther planet must exist. Neptune was found at the predicted moment and position. |

1855 | Le Verrier | observes a 35 arcsecond per century excess precession of Mercury's orbit and attributes it to another planet, inside Mercury's orbit. The planet was never found. See Vulcan. |

1876 | William Kingdon Clifford | suggests that the motion of matter may be due to changes in the geometry of space |

1882 | Simon Newcomb | observes a 43 arcsecond per century excess precession of Mercury's orbit |

1887 | Albert A. Michelson and Edward W. Morley | their famous experiment do not detect the ether drift. |

1889 | Loránd Eötvös | uses a torsion balance to test the weak equivalence principle to 1 part in one billion. |

1893 | Ernst Mach | states Mach's principle; first constructive attack on the idea of Newtonian absolute space |

1898 | Henri Poincaré | states that simultaneity is relative. |

1899 | Hendrik Antoon Lorentz | published the Lorentz transformations.1902 – Paul Gerber explains the movement of the perihelion of Mercury using finite speed of gravity. His formula, at least approximately, matches the later model from Einstein's general relativity, but Gerber's theory was incorrect. |

1904 | Henri Poincaré | presents the principle of relativity for electromagnetism |

1905 | Albert Einstein | completes his special theory of relativity and discovers the equivalence of mass and energy, |

1907 | Albert Einstein | introduces the principle of equivalence of gravitational and inertial mass and uses it to predict gravitational lensing and gravitational redshift, historically known as the Einstein shift. |

1907-9 | Hermann Minkowski | introduces the Minkowski spacetime. His paper was published posthumously. |

1909 | Max Born | proposes his notion of rigidity. |

1909 | Paul Ehrenfest | states the Ehrenfest paradox. |

1911 | Albert Einstein | explains the need to replace both special relativity and Newton's theory of gravity; he realizes that the principle of equivalence only holds locally, not globally. |

1915-16 | Albert Einstein | completes his general theory of relativity. He explains the perihelion of Mercury and calculates gravitational lensing correctly and introduces the post-Newtonian approximation. |

1915 | David Hilbert | introduces Hilbert's action principle, another way of deriving the Einstein field equations of general relativity. Hilbert also recognizes the connection between the Einstein equations and the Gauss-Bonnet theorem. |

1916 | Karl Schwarzschild | publishes the Schwarzschild metric about a month after Einstein published his general theory of relativity. This was the first solution to the Einstein field equations other than the trivial flat space solution. |

1916 | Albert Einstein | predicts gravitational waves. |

1916 | Willem de Sitter | predicts the geodetic effect. |

1917 | Albert Einstein | applies his field equations to the entire Universe. Physical cosmology is born. |

1916-20 | Arthur Eddington | studies the internal constitution of the stars. |

1918 | Albert Einstein | derives the quadrupole formula for gravitational radiation. |

1918 | Josef Lense and Hans Thirring | find the gravitomagnetic frame-dragging of gyroscopes in the equations of general relativity. |

1919 | Arthur Eddington | leads a solar eclipse expedition which detects gravitational deflection of light by the Sun, which, despite opinion to the contrary, survives modern scrutiny. Other teams fail for reasons of war and politics. |

1921 | Theodor Kaluza | demonstrates that a five-dimensional version of Einstein's equations unifies gravitation and electromagnetism. This idea is later extended by Oskar Klein. |

1922 | Alexander Friedmann | derives the Friedmann equations. |

1922 | Enrico Fermi | introduces the Fermi coordinates. |

1923 | George David Birkhoff | roves Birkhoff's theorem on the uniqueness of the Schwarzschild solution. |

1924 | Arthur Eddington | calculates the Eddington limit. |

1925 | Walter Adams | measures the gravitational redshift of the light emitted by the companion of Sirius B, a white dwarf. |

1927 | Georges Lemaître | publishes his hypothesis of the primeval atom. |

1929 | Edwin Hubble | published the law later named for him. |

1931 | Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar | studies the stability of white dwarfs. |

1931 | Georges Lemaître and Arthur Eddington | predict the expansion of the Universe. |

1931 | Albert Einstein | introduces his cosmological constant. |

1932 | Albert Einstein and Willem de Sitter | propose the Einstein-de Sitter cosmological model. |

1934 | Walter Baade and Fritz Zwicky | predict the existence of neutron stars. Although their details are wrong, their basic idea is now accepted. |

1935 | Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen | derive the Einstein-Rosen bridge, the first wormhole solution. |

1936 | Albert Einstein | predicts that a gravitational lens brightens the light coming from a distant object to the observer. |

1937 | Fritz Zwicky | states that galaxies could act as gravitational lenses. |

1937 | Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen | obtain the Einstein-Rosen metric, the first exact solution describing gravitational waves. |

1938 | Albert Einstein, Leopold Infeld, and Banesh Hoffmann | obtain the Einstein-Infeld-Hoffmann equations of motion. |

1939 | Hans Bethe | shows that nuclear fusion is responsible for energy production inside stars, building upon the Kelvin–Helmholtz mechanism. |

1939 | Richard Tolman | solves the Einstein field equations in the case of a spherical fluid drop. |

1939 | Robert Serber, George Volkoff, Richard Tolman, and J. Robert Oppenheimer | study the stability of neutron stars, obtaining the Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit. |

1939 | J. Robert Oppenheimer and Hartland Snyder | publish the Oppenheimer-Snyder model for the continued gravitational contraction of a star. |

1948 | Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman | predict the Cosmic microwave background (CMB). |

1949 | Cornelius Lanczos | introduces the Lanczos potential for the Weyl tensor. |

1949 | Kurt Gödel | discovers Gödel's solution. |

1953 | P. C. Vaidya | Newtonian time in general relativity |

1954 | Suraj Gupta | sketches how to derive the equations of general relativity from quantum field theory for a massless spin-2 particle (the graviton). His procedure was later carried out by Stanley Deser in 1970. |

1955-56 | Robert Kraichnan | shows that under the appropriate assumptions, Einstein's field equations of gravitation arise from the quantum field theory of a massless spin-2 particle coupled to the stress-energy tensor. This follows from his unpublished work as an undergraduate in 1947. |

1956 | Bruno Berlotti | develops the post-Minkowskian expansion. |

1956 | John Lighton Synge | publishes the first relativity text emphasizing spacetime diagrams and geometrical methods. |

1957 | Felix A. E. Pirani | uses Petrov classification to understand gravitational radiation |

1957 | Richard Feynman | introduces his sticky bead argument. He later derives the quadrupole formula in a letter to Victor Weisskopf (1961) |

1957 | John Wheeler | discusses the breakdown of classical general relativity near singularities and the need for quantum gravity. |

1958 | David Finkelstein | presents a new coordinate system that eliminates the Schwarzschild radius as a singularity. |

1959 | Robert Pound and Glen Rebka | propose the Pound–Rebka experiment, first precision test of gravitational redshift. The experiment relies on the Mössbauer effect. |

1959 | Lluís Bel | introduces Bel–Robinson tensor and the Bel decomposition of the Riemann tensor. |

1959 | Arthur Komar | introduces the Komar mass. |

1959 | Richard Arnowitt, Stanley Deser and Charles W. Misner | developed ADM formalism. |

1960 | Martin Kruskal and George Szekeres | independently introduce the Kruskal–Szekeres coordinates for the Schwarzschild vacuum. |

1960 | John Graves and Dieter Brill | study the causal structure of an electrically charged black hole. |

1960 | Thomas Matthews and Allan R. Sandage | associate 3C 48 with a point-like optical image, show radio source can be at most 15 light minutes in diameter, |

1960 | Ivor M. Robinson and Andrzej Trautman | discover the Robinson-Trautman null dust solution |

1960 | Robert Pound and Glen Rebka | test the gravitational redshift predicted by the equivalence principle to approximately 1%. |

1961 | Tullio Regge | introduces the Regge calculus. |

1961 | Carl H. Brans and Robert H. Dicke | introduce Brans–Dicke theory, the first viable alternative theory with a clear physical motivation. |

1961 | Pascual Jordan and Jürgen Ehlers | develop the kinematic decomposition of a timelike congruence, |

1961 | Robert Dicke, Peter Roll, and R. Krotkov | refine the Eötvös experiment to an accuracy of 10−11. |

1962 | John Wheeler and Robert Fuller | show that the Einstein-Rosen bridge is unstable. |

1962 | Roger Penrose and Ezra T. Newman | introduce the Newman–Penrose formalism. |

1962 | Ehlers and Wolfgang Kundt | classify the symmetries of Pp-wave spacetimes. |

1962 | Joshua Goldberg and Rainer K. Sachs | prove the Goldberg–Sachs theorem. |

1962 | Ehlers | introduces Ehlers transformations, a new solution generating method |

1962 | Richard Arnowitt, Stanley Deser, and Charles W. Misner | introduce the ADM reformulation and global hyperbolicity |

1962 | Istvan Ozsvath and Englbert Schücking | rediscover the circularly polarized monochromomatic gravitational wave |

1962 | Hans Adolph Buchdahl | discovers Buchdahl's theorem |

1962 | Hermann Bondi | introduces Bondi mass |

1962 | Hermann Bondi, M. G. van der Burg, A. W. Metzner, and Rainer K. Sachs | introduce the asymptotic symmetry group of asymptotically flat, Lorentzian spacetimes at null (i.e., light-like) infinity. |

1963 | Roy Kerr | discovers the Kerr vacuum solution of Einstein's field equations |

1963 | Redshifts of 3C 273 and other quasars show they are very distant; hence very luminous | |

1963 | Newman, T. Unti and L.A. Tamburino | introduce the NUT vacuum solution |

1963 | Roger Penrose | introduces Penrose diagrams and Penrose limits. |

1963 | First Texas Symposium on e term "'quasar" for quRelativistic Astrophysics held in Dallas, 16–18 December. | |

1964 | Steven Weinberg | shows that a quantum field theory of interacting massless spin-2 particles is Lorentz invariant only if it satisfies the principle of equivalence. |

1964 | Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar | determines a stability criterion. |

1964 | R. W. Sharp and Misner | introduce the Misner–Sharp mass. |

1964 | Hong-Yee Chiu | coins thasi-stellar radio sources. |

1964 | Sjur Refsdal | suggests that the Hubble constant could be determined using gravitational lensing. |

1964 | Irwin Shapiro | predicts a gravitational time delay of radiation travel as a test of general relativity. |

1965 | Roger Penrose | proves first of the singularity theorems. |

1965 | Newman and others | discover the Kerr–Newman electrovacuum solution |

1965 | Penrose | discovers the structure of the light cones in gravitational plane wave spacetimes |

1965 | Ezra Newman and others | introduce Kerr-Newman metric. |

1965 | Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson | discover the Cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation |

1965 | Joseph Weber | puts the first Weber bar gravitational wave detector into operation. |

1966 | Sachs and Ronald Kantowski | discover the Kantowski-Sachs dust solution. |

1967 | John Archibald Wheeler | popularizes "black hole" at a conference. |

1967 | Jocelyn Bell and Antony Hewish | discover pulsars. |

1967 | Robert H. Boyer and R. W. Lindquist | introduce Boyer–Lindquist coordinates for the Kerr vacuum. |

1967 | Bryce DeWitt | publishes on canonical quantum gravity. |

1967 | Werner Israel | proves the no-hair theorem, and the converse of Birkhoff's theorem. |

1967 | Kenneth Nordtvedt | develops PPN formalism |

1967 | Mendel Sachs | publishes factorization of Einstein's field equations |

1967 | Hans Stephani | discovers the Stephani dust solution |

1968 | F. J. Ernst | discovers the Ernst equation |

1968 | B. Kent Harrison | discovers the Harrison transformation, a solution-generating method |

1968 | Brandon Carter | solves the geodesic equations for Kerr–Newmann electrovacuum with Carter's constant. |

1968 | Hugo D. Wahlquist | discovers the Wahlquist fluid |

1968 | Irwin Shapiro and his colleagues | present the first detection of the Shapiro delay. |

1968 | Kenneth Nordtvedt | studies a possible violation of the weak equivalence principle for self-gravitating bodies and proposes a new test of the weak equivalence principle based on observing the relative motion of the Earth and Moon in the Sun's gravitational field. |

1969 | William B. Bonnor | introduces the Bonnor beam. |

1969 | Joseph Weber | reports observation of gravitational waves a claim now generally discounted. |

1969 | Penrose | proposes the (weak) cosmic censorship hypothesis and the Penrose process |

1969 | Misner | introduces the mixmaster universe. |

1969 | Yvonne Choquet-Bruhat and Robert Geroch | discuss global aspects of the Cauchy problem in general relativity. |

1965-70 | Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and colleagues | develops the post-Newtonian expansions. |

1968-70 | Roger Penrose, Stephen Hawking, and George Ellis | prove that singularities must arise in the Big Bang models. |

1970 | Vladimir A. Belinskiǐ, Isaak Markovich Khalatnikov, and Evgeny Lifshitz | introduce the BKL conjecture. |

1970 | Hawking and Penrose | prove trapped surfaces must arise in black holes. |

1970 | the Kinnersley-Walker photon rocket. | |

1970 | Peter Szekeres | introduces colliding plane waves. |

1971 | Alfred Goldhaber and Michael Nieto | give stringent limits on the photon mass. |

1971 | Stephen W. Hawking | proves the area theorem for black holes. |

1971 | Peter C. Aichelburg and Roman U. Sexl | introduce the Aichelburg–Sexl ultraboost. |

1971 | Introduction of the Khan–Penrose vacuum, a simple explicit colliding plane wave spacetime. | |

1971 | Robert H. Gowdy | introduces the Gowdy vacuum solutions (cosmological models containing circulating gravitational waves). |

1971 | Cygnus X-1, the first solid black hole candidate, discovered by Uhuru satellite. | |

1971 | William H. Press | discovers black hole ringing by numerical simulation. |

1971 | Harrison and Estabrook | algorithm for solving systems of PDEs. |

1971 | James W. York | introduces conformal method generating initial data for ADM initial value formulation. |

1971 | Robert Geroch | introduces Geroch group and a solution generating method. |

1972 | Jacob Bekenstein | proposes that black holes have a non-decreasing entropy which can be identified with the area. |

1972 | Sachs | introduces optical scalars and proves peeling theorem. |

1972 | Rainer Weiss | proposes concept of interferometric gravitational wave detector in an unpublished manuscript. |

1972 | Joseph Hafele and Richard Keating | perform the Hafele–Keating experiment. |

1972 | Richard H. Price | studies gravitational collapse with numerical simulations. |

1972 | Saul Teukolsky | derives the Teukolsky equation. |

1972 | Yakov B. Zel'dovich | predicts the transmutation of electromagnetic and gravitational radiation. |

1972 | Brandon Carter, Stephen Hawking, and James M. Bardeen | propose the four laws of black hole mechanics |

1972 | James Bardeen | calculates the shadow of a black hole. This was later verified by the Event Horizon Telescope. |

1973 | Charles W. Misner, Kip S. Thorne and John A. Wheeler | publish the treatise Gravitation, a textbook that remains in use in the twenty-first century. |

1973 | Stephen W. Hawking and George Ellis | publish the monograph The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time. |

1973 | Robert Geroch | introduces the GHP formalism |

1973 | Homer Ellis | obtains the Ellis drainhole, the first traversable wormhole. |

1974 | Russell Hulse and Joseph Hooton Taylor, Jr. | discover the Hulse–Taylor binary pulsar |

1974 | James W. York and Niall Ó Murchadha | present the analysis of the initial value formulation and examine the stability of its solutions |

1974 | R. O. Hansen | introduces Hansen–Geroch multipole moments |

1974 | Stephen Hawking | discovers Hawking radiation. |

1974 | Stephen Hawking | shows that the area of a black hole is proportional to its entropy, as previously conjectured by Jacob Bekenstein |

1975 | Roberto Colella, Albert Overhauser, and Samuel Werner | observe the quantum-mechanical phase shift of neutrons due to gravity. Neutron interferometry was later used to test the principle of equivalence |

1975 | Chandrasekhar and Steven Detweiler | compute quasinormal modes. |

1975 | Szekeres and D. A. Szafron | discover the Szekeres–Szafron dust solutions. |

1976 | Penrose | introduces Penrose limits (every null geodesic in a Lorentzian spacetime behaves like a plane wave) |

1978 | Penrose | introduces the notion of a thunderbolt |

1978 | Belinskiǐ and Zakharov | show how to solve Einstein's field equations using the inverse scattering transform; the first gravitational solitons |

1979 | Dennis Walsh, Robert Carswell, and Ray Weymann | discover the gravitationally lensed quasar Q0957+561. |

1979 | Jean-Pierre Luminet | creates an image of a black hole with an accretion disk using computer simulation. |

1979-81 | Richard Schoen and Shing-Tung Yau | prove the positive mass theorem. Edward Witten independently proves the same thing. |

1980 | Vera Rubin and colleagues | study the rotational properties of UGC 2885, demonstrating the prevalence of dark matter. |

1980 | Gravity Probe A verifies gravitational redshift to approximately 0.007% using a space-born hydrogen maser. | |

1980 | James Bardeen | explains structure in the Universe using cosmological perturbation theory. |

1981 | Alan Guth | proposes cosmic inflation in order to solve the flatness and horizon problems. |

1982 | Joseph Taylor and Joel Weisberg | show that the rate of energy loss from the binary pulsar PSR B1913+16 agrees with that predicted by the general relativistic quadrupole formula to within 5%. |

1986 | Helmut Friedrich | proves that the de Sitter spacetime is stable. |

1986 | Bernard Schutz | hows that cosmic distances can be determined using sources of gravitational waves without references to the cosmic distance ladder. Standard-siren astronomy is born. |

1988 | Mike Morris, Kip Thorne, and Yurtsever Ulvi | obtain the Morris-Thorne wormhole. Morris and Thorne argue for its pedagogical value. |

1989 | Steven Weinberg | discusses the cosmological constant problem, the discrepancy between the measured value and those predicted by modern theories of elementary particles. |

1992 | Stephen Hawking | states his chronology protection conjecture. |

1993 | Demetrios Christodoulou and Sergiu Klainerman | prove the non-linear stability of the Minkowski spacetime. |

1995 | John F. Donoghue | show that general relativity is a quantum effective field theory. This framework could be used to analyze binary systems observed by gravitational-wave observatories. |

1995 | Hubble Deep Field image taken, It is a landmark in the study of cosmology. | |

1998 | The first complete Einstein ring, B1938+666, discovered using the Hubble Space Telescope and MERLIN. | |

1996-98 | RELIKT-1 and COBE identify anisotropy in the Cosmic microwave background (CMB). | |

1998-99 | Scientists discover that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. | |

1999 | Alessandra Buonanno and Thibault Damour | introduce the effective one-body formalism. This was later used to analyze data collected by gravitational-wave observatories. |

2003 | Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin | prove the Borde–Guth–Vilenkin theorem. |

2002 | First data collection of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). | |

2002 | James Williams, Slava Turyshev, and Dale Boggs | conduct stringent lunar test of violations of the principle of equivalence. |

2005 | Daniel Holz and Scott Hughes | coin the term "standard sirens". |

2009 | Gravity Probe B experiment verifies the geodetic effect to 0.5%. |