Talk:Golden age of general relativity

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Students beware[edit]

I created the original version of this article and had been monitoring it, but I am leaving the Wikipedia and am now abandoning this article to its fate.

Just wanted to provide notice that I am only responsible (in part) for the last version I edited; see User:Hillman/Archive. I emphatically do not vouch for anything you might see in more recent versions, although I hope for the best.

Good luck in your search for information, regardless!---CH 00:02, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry to see you're leaving. It's a really interesting timeline. Thanks! Maury 01:02, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
It seems likely that a comprehensive physics will be emerging in a few decades, as the survey of the Solar System reaches a globally plausible consensus. Remaining in particular are the manned ventures beyond the Earth-Moon system, the New Horizons survey of the Plutonian system, and the results from the big new telescopes. This is a good section, merely somewhat early to identify a Golden Section in relativity theory. Patience is a virtue in Wikipedia. SyntheticET (talk) 17:32, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Ruffini publications[edit]

On 2011-7-9, an anonymous contributor added two publications by Ruffini to the timeline. As far as I can see, the time-line is supposed to show historical developments, not merely list people's individual publications, unless those publications are truly famous and ground-breaking. So I think these publications should be removed. If everyone adds their favourite publications, the list would contain tens of thousands of articles.
Alan U. Kennington (talk) 02:47, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Coordinate systems[edit]

Was the Kruskal-Szekeres coordinate system not introduced in 1960 and by George Szekeres not Peter Szekeres (his son)? Check the reference in Hawking and Ellis - but perhaps someone knows better than them? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 132.181.7.1 (talk) on 04:33, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Article title[edit]

The title of this article, "Golden age of general relativity", is not capitalized correctly, and thus it does not hyperlink readily to other Wikipedia articles. For example, really important theories in the sciences are proper nouns and their names get capitalized. For example: Newton's Laws of Motion, the Theory of Universal Gravitation, Atomic Theory, Special Relativity, General Relativity, the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, Modern Algebra, Complex Analysis, Matrix Theory, Vector Analysis, Quantum Mechanics,Freudian Psychology, etc.
Furthermore, the term "Golden Age" is capitalized, such as in the Golden Age of Greek civilization, the Golden Age of the Roman Republic, etc.
Hence, this article should be titled the Golden Age of General Relativity. Other forms of capitalization can be redirected to this one. 98.81.21.201 (talk) 19:21, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Proposed merge with History of general relativity[edit]

While I feel that the original merge was performed without due process, on reviewing the arguments made by User:Steve Quinn, the state of this article, and the references that were and weren't dug up at WT:PHYS, I'm inclined to agree that the article should be merged into History of general relativity. If references describing (and naming) this period in detail are found, this article could stand as an expansion of the HoGR section, but until such references can be cited, this article seems to violate WP:SYN in its present form.

So, it's merge proposal time. Straw poll is below; please add votes and comments as you see fit. --Christopher Thomas (talk) 23:08, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure if merging into History of general relativity make so much sense. That article should contain a section that describes this period, and I think it makes sense to redirect this article to that section unless it grows to be to big in which case separate article may be restored with a summary in History of general relativity. However, this article currently contains no content that could effectively be merged to form such a section. That is that section needs to written more or less from scratch.
The bulk of this article consists of a timeline. This timeline is not appropriate content for History of general relativity, but could easily be sourced and extended to form timeline for the history of relativity, which could form a list-class [[timeline of relativity article.TimothyRias (talk) 10:07, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
The detailed publications list itself isn't very useful to merge into the history, but adding notes to the effect that various periods were called a "golden age" (of black hole research, of relativity research, or what-have-you) is IMO worth adding, based on the references dug up at WT:PHYS. Someone with more time on their hands than I have can check this article to see if there's any additional commentary useful to fold in.
I agree that a standalone timeline article would be worthwhile (though it would need references indicating what discoveries were considered historically relevant, both for verifiability and to avoid becoming a list of all publications in the field). That's why I proposed that the content of this article be copied to a scratch-page (for development of its content without immediate need to reference everything). If you feel you can produce a well-referenced timeline as-is, by all means go for it (perhaps start a poll about moving this page, rather than turning it back into a redirect). --Christopher Thomas (talk) 21:51, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
History of relativity redirects to History of special relativity, and there is actually a hatnote which reads:
so this appears to be intentional. I don't have a problem with this. The editors on this article have done a very good job. As a suggestion perhaps the redirect "History of relativity" should have the timeline as its target (see below).
I agree with Timothy that a section, written from scratch, in the "History of general relativity" could be about "Golden age of black hole research" or some such title.
Merging the contents to a scratch page might be a good idea, until it can be straightened out. Also, it might be a good idea to just go ahead and remove everything except for the timeline. Salvagable content that is not in the timeline is probably already in other articles, if not already in the "History of general relativity" article.
Christopher, what do you mean "detailed publications list"? I don't see one in either article.
I admit that I like the timeline in this article. As has been said it needs to be verified, and we also need to determine what to do with it. I auppose a stand-alone timeline article entitled "history of relativity timeline" or something similar would be good. However, there is already a similar timeline article entitled "Timeline of gravitational physics and relativity". Perhaps this needs to be taken into consideration. Since, "Golden age of general relativity" timeline is duplicated in the "History of general relativity", because of my unilateral merge, I am willing to remove it, if there are no objections.
I believe we are making progress.---- Steve Quinn (talk) 04:48, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
By "detailed publications list" I am referring to all of the entries in this article's timeline. They each describe the salient content of one (or occasionally two or three) specific papers published by the authors in question (though the list entries don't include the associated citations). In the scientific community, academic publications are the means by which ideas are introduced, predictions made, or discoveries announced. --Christopher Thomas (talk) 06:07, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Straw poll[edit]

  • Support merge, with GAoGR content copied to userspace or WP:PHYS space for anyone who wishes to work on bringing it up to standards (in addition to staying in the redirect's history). --Christopher Thomas (talk) 23:08, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Merge and redirect without prejudice. --Kkmurray (talk) 23:19, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Merge to scratch page, and leave the redirect. I think the timeline will take time to develop, and the other timeline article may need to be taken into consideration (see above). ---------- Steve Quinn (talk) 04:48, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Summary of sources from related WP:PHYS discussion[edit]

Two discussions mined sources indirectly related to this topic here, and here. Below is a brief summary of the sources to determine relevance to salvaged content. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 05:50, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

  • An excerpt from "Cracking the Einstein code: relativity and the birth of black hole physics" By Fulvio Melia. This excerpt uses the term "golden age of relativity" throughout. This book is "at once an explanation of what black holes are, a description of their place in the universe, as well as a scientific biography of Kerr. The uniqueness of Melia’s book lies with Kerr’s biography, a story that deserved to be told but wasn’t until now." The book is on Google books here.
  • Interview with Ezra Newman. "Golden age of general relativity" is referred to once, and "golden age of relativity" is referred to twice. In this interview Newman discusses the implications, tests, and advancements pertaining to Einstein's theory of general relativity, and its accuracy.

I will try to summarize all the other sources later. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 05:50, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Further note - it is readily apparent from this interview with Ezra (Ted) Newman that exceptional progress was made in the field of general relativity between (roughly) 1960 to 1975. In addition, this was preceded by some kind of GR awakening in Europe and U.S in the 1950's. So there are hints that something special happened during these time periods (the 1950's and 1960 to 1975). I am now thinking that a section in the "History of general relativity" article should be a broad accounting of this "renaissance" of general relativity - not just about black hole research. Furthermore, this supports what User:TimothyRias was saying in the WP:PHYS thread. Also, the problem of the irreconcilability of quantum theory (quantum mechanics) with general relativity, and the burgeoning science of detecting gravity waves is part of this time period. Here is the book related to this interview ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 06:49, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Constellation of Sagittarius[edit]

  • Constellation of Sagittarius, in the direction of the center of the galaxy. That center – building up and out of the galactic disk – is tightly packed with stars. regions of this so-called "bluge" the first to take notice was the physicist Karl Jansky back in the 1930s.He was asked by his employer, Bell Telephone Labs, to investigate sources of static that might interfere with what it saw as sthe killer app of its time... radio voice transmissions. Using this ungainly radio receiver... jansky methodically scanned the airwaves. he documented Thunderstorms, near and far and another sinal he could not explain. It sounded like steam – a hiss of radio noise. Jansky narrowed it to a spot in the constellation of Sagittarius, in the direction of the center of the galaxy.Located within a larger pattern of radio emissions So Jansky's sighting would become known as Sagittarius A*. It was the 1960s and astronomy, like society was in a period of ferment. Startling new observation was being made and new interpretations were in the air. Quasars had just been discovered. Extremely bright beacons of light from deep space. Were they comming from the centers of distant galaxies? To study an event at the center of a galaxy, you have locate it. Young Becklin first took aim at our neighboring galaxy, Anedromeda. In ultravioled light, you can see a dense glow in the middle. Becklin found the point where the light reaches peak intensity and marked it as the Center. From our orientation in space, the entire Andromeda galaxy is in full view. But our galaxy is a different story. We live inside it, of course. Becklin had to find a way to see through all the dust and gas that obscure our line of sight into the center. So he went to a military contractor and obtained a device that reads infrared light, whose wavelengths are similar to the distances between particles in a dust cloud, allowing them to move right through. Becklin began measuring the brightness of the light as it rose to a peak, marking the location of the galactic center. Pinpointing this site would now allow astronomers to begin probing for details with a new generation of powerful telescopes, to peer into the bright lights. the forbidden zones, deep in the heart of the Milky Way. A few years later, in 1993, high atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano. There were many problems, The American and German groups shared the same goal. to pinpoint the precise location of Sagittarius A*, and find out what it is. Because the object is too small to see at 26,000 light years away they would study it by tracking the orbits of starts around it. They tracked gas whipping around its center, figuring its speed at three million miles per hour, which led them to calculated the mass of whatever occupied M87's center at some 4 billion times that of our Sun. Their measurement – first-ever of its kind point to the presence of a Black Hole of truly super massive proportions. Searching Center, in search of clues to the origins and evolution of our galaxy. The Chandra X-ray space observatory recorded high energy radiation mostly likely given off by Ultra-dense neutron stars and small black holes. 20, 0000 black holes inhabit the inner three light years of the galactic center. In the last no other single object is known to weigh that much, its strong evidence of but it's still not iron clad proof.
    • by 'Abdul Mughni Khan'

Moved from the article page.   Will Beback  talk  00:03, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

It definitely appears to be off topic. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 04:02, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Is "Golden Age" well defined?[edit]

The one reference in this article that actually refers to a golden age is that by Kip Thorne; and he calls it the "Golden Age of black hole theory". Is the term widely used or is it just his invention? A Caltech site discusses a Golden Age of General Relativity, but it was produced by the group that Kip Thorne is a part of. A couple of other references (A to Z of Physicists and The Expanding World of General Relativity) appear to be quoting Thorne. Other people seem to have different ideas. This paper defines a golden age lasting from 1915 to 1925. In Introduction to General Relativity, Walecka says "Ours might truly be called the golden age of general relativity and cosmology." (i. e., around 2007). RockMagnetist (talk) 21:18, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Yet another reference claims the golden age started when Kerr found a solution for rotating black holes in 1963. The term only gets 18 hits on Google Scholar. Some of the hits are from festschrifts, where contributors feel a need to wax rhapsodic about the history of the subject. I have never heard the term personally, and it doesn't seem to be in widespread use or have a canonical time frame. --Mark viking (talk) 21:54, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
It is not well defined. Well, I have seen one or another definition. But does it matter? The term is well-known among relativists, even if nobody has bothered to pin down exactly when it begun or ended. Don't remember where I read it, but the term refers to a period of time when GR was unusually "productive". People had finally learnt how to use it and experimental data became available. YohanN7 (talk) 10:49, 21 March 2013 (UTC)