Einstein's Failed Attempt to Undiscover Gravitational Waves

Monday, 16 February 2015: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Room LL21D (San Jose Convention Center)
Daniel Kennefick, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
In 1936 Einstein tried to prove that his own theory of gravitational waves used a mistaken approximation, a position he retracted only after angrily withdrawing a paper from The Physical Review, due to a critical referee report. Although he eventually changed his mind, his period of skepticism had a profound influence on development of gravitational wave theory. The debate culminated in the quadrupole formula controversy of the 1970s about the validity of a formula first derived by Einstein.