The Evidence for Einstein’s Theory

Albert Einstein’s famous theory of relativity has been borne out in the real world, measured in eclipses, distorted galaxies and even the universe’s structure.
(Image: © NASA)

Paul Sutter is an astrophysicist at The Ohio State University and the chief scientist at COSI science center. Sutter is also host of “Ask a Spaceman” and “Space Radio,” and leads AstroTours around the world. Sutter contributed this article to Space.com’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

We all know and love the world’s favorite theory of gravity: general relativity (GR), first cooked up by Albert Einstein himself in a magnificent feat that took seven years to complete and provided amazing insights into how the world works.

It’s easy enough to state the bare essence of the theory in a couple pithy statements: “Matter and energy tell space-time how to bend, and the bending of space-time tells matter how to move.” But the actual mechanics take a whopping 10 equations to describe, with each one very difficult and highly interconnected with the others. [Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity: A Simplified Explanation]

As good skeptics, we shouldn’t immediately believe this tangle of mathematics at first blush, even if it came from the brain of none other than Einstein. Instead, we need evidence. Good evidence.

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