Ireland and Einstein

 

Sir, – The Irish Times has carried a number of articles on the famous eclipse observations made to test Einstein’s theory one hundred years ago. In particular Dan Kennefick’s account (“How a team of Irish astronomers eclipsed their more famous rivals”, Science, May 29th) highlights the role played by Andrew Crommelin, from Co Antrim. Crommelin led the expedition to Sobral in Brazil with equipment built by fellow Irishman Howard Grubb from Rathmines. This equipment, which was critical in testing Einstein’s general theory of relativity, was rediscovered only a few years ago in Dunsink Observatory and is the property of the Royal Irish Academy and the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

In recognition of its importance, and as a result of a request from Brazil, this equipment is now on loan to Sobral, from where I write this letter. The equipment will return to Dublin in August for an exhibition, 100 Years of Astronomy.

For readers who are interested, I will give a talk on the role played by Ireland in testing Einstein in Dunsink Observatory on June 7th at 8pm.

Not to give to much away, there are certainly some amazing twists in the story!– Yours, etc,

Prof TOM RAY,

Dublin Institute

for Advanced Studies,

Dublin 2.