Thursday, November 18, 2010

Einstein's sceptics: Who were the relativity deniers? - physics-math - 18 November 2010 - New Scientist

Einstein's sceptics: Who were the relativity deniers?: A few years ago, I had the opportunity to access papers belonging to the physicist Ernst Gehrcke, one of the most outspoken critics of Einstein in Germany. As I delved into the material he had neatly collected in banana boxes, a whole world of anti-relativity emerged from hundreds of pamphlets, thousands of newspaper clippings, and piles of letters from Einstein's opponents across Europe and the US.

I discovered that the group opposing relativity was much broader than many historians believed till now, and that their tactics had much in common with those used by creationists and climate-change deniers today. Their reasons for countering relativity were also more complex and varied than is usually thought. Even Einstein misjudged the motivations of many of his opponents.

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