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Eddington's comparator

Eddington's comparator

H305/0211

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Credit

VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Eddington's comparator. This device was built by Sir Arthur Eddington (1882-1944), and was designed for measuring changes in the positions of stars, seen on telescope glass plates mounted below the movable microscopes. Eddington would have used a comparator like this to study plates from the 1919 eclipse expeditions, designed to test Einstein's 1915 theory of General Relativity. This predicted that light passing close to a large mass (like the Sun) bends twice as far as predicted by Newton's theory of gravity. This lensing effect changes the position of stars seen near the Sun during a total solar eclipse. Eddington's results, now considered inconclusive, were said to show the shift and were hailed as support for General Relativity.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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