“Hard evidence” of Einstein’s involvement

A few last days we were bombarded by questions from friends who were sending us links to numerous articles on the gravitational waves discovery. Most of these articles look like a continuation of press release, but one of them attracted our attention, because it presented hard evidence of Einstein’s involvement. Our friend, a bureaucrat, sent us the link to Business Insider (BI) and asked whether Einstein really predicted gravitational waves and what equation is shown on the pictures in the BI article. We have already posted discussion on the first topic (whether Einstein really predicted gravitational waves) in a few our posts in 2012. Maybe, it’s time to return to this question, repeat our arguments or reconsider some of them. This we will do in our incoming posts.

Today we want to talk about the article in BI and the pictures there. After the announcement of discovery of gravitational waves on February 11, 2016 (LIGO, press release ) we observe the overflow of articles, interviews, press releases, advertisements, etc. dedicated to this ‘important discovery’. The article in BI is one more zilch in the predictable sequence of events. Business as usual… However, this article looks very convincing: with two documents shown and with a finger pointing on Einstein’s fateful equation as the final proof of Einstein’s invincible predictions.

Picture #1. The curator for Einstein’s archives, Roni Grosz, is holding two documents. It is written above the picture:

“Here’s his original hand-written logic (on left), which the genius later converted into a typed manuscript (on right)”.

This statement is wrong! The manuscript (on right) has nothing to do with the hand-written document (on left).

It is easy to see that the hand-written document differs from the published manuscript. On the bottom of the hand-written document there is the archival call number 120-788. Let us look at the Einstein Archives Online at the Herbew University of Jerusalim: http://www.albert-einstein.org/. Here is the link to this paper: Einstein’s paper, 20 March 1916 .

Unfortunately, there is nothing on this page about whether this document was later converted to a published manuscript or not, but we can see the title “Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie” and scroll the whole document (for free, which is a very rare fortunate opportunity in nowadays world). The page presented on the picture is 33; please compare to Albert Einstein, the hand-written manuscript . Now the question is how to find a published manuscript. On the page Einstein’s paper, 20 March 1916  there is the link to the Einstein Papers Project . Let’s go to this page and look at volume 6 (here is this manuscript): The collected papers of Albert Einstein, volume 6 . Oops, you have to buy this volume for $160. But we need only one paper:

30.”The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity,” 20 March 1916 283
“Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie”
Annalen der Physik 49 (1916)

Fortunately, this manuscript in German is available for free: “Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie” Annalen der Physik 49 (1916) . The formulas on the pictures correspond to those on pages 807-808 in the manuscript.

By the way, an English translation of this paper is also available online for free Albert Einstein “The Foundation of the Generalised Theory of Relativity” . We don’t need to buy the Princeton collection.

The paper on the right of this picture ( Business Insider ) is Einstein’s paper (which is also listed in volume 6 of the Einstein Papers Project ):

32.”Approximative Integration of the Field Equations of Gravitation,” 22 June 1916 347
“Näherungsweise Integration der Feldgleichungen der Gravitation”
Königlich Preuáische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Berlin).
Sitzungsberichte (1916)

It is also available online (in German!): Albert Einstein, “Näherungsweise Integration der Feldgleichungen der Gravitation” Königlich Preuáische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Berlin) . Einstein’s manuscript started at p. 688 and continues up to p. 696. Here, on p. 696 is the formula, to which a finger is pointing on Picture 2 in Business Insider .

We would like to note that we were not able to find English translation of this manuscript, which is freely available online. We would very much appretiate if somebody finds it and send us the link. It is an interesting fact that the discovery paper PhysRevLett.116.061102 is available for everybody, and the first reference there is Einstein’s paper “Näherungsweise Integration der Feldgleichungen der Gravitation”, but people should know German to read it!

Luckily, we have it in our possession this translation, as well as translation of all Einstein’s scientific papers in Russian (we have already written about this in our posts, and also discussed possible reasons why Einstein’s papers are translated into English in such a slow pace). Let us see what is there.

Picture #2. What is shown on this picture? The equation on this page is what will be left from Einstein’s equations of General Relativity (GR) after linearization. i.e. after a certain assumption is imposed: the gravitational field is considered weak (is it a correct assumption for two black holes?). Moreover, this equation is similar to the wave equation of the Maxwell theory that (after some additional manipulations) describes propagation of electromagnetic waves in the absence of sources (absence of any source, including a system of two black holes!).

Einstein pointed out in this paper that its result is not general, it is valid only under assumption that the gravitational field is weak and only linear coordinate transformations (a linearized version of the general coordinate transformations of GR) can be applied to these (linearized) equations. Einstein also did not predict in this paper “that two celestial bodies in orbit will generate invisible ripples in spacetime that experts call gravitational waves”, as BI claims. He was talking about “the system” that radiates energy, without specifying what kind of system it is.

Eintein returned to the question whether gravitational waves exist many times during his life. We have already wrote about that on our blog and also in our scientific papers, and will continue to do this with hope to attract attention of (at least) the general public to Einstein and to the ‘discovery’ that now is attached to his name.

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“Astonishing precision”

My reply to Andrei’s comment turned to be a little bit longer, so I put it as a separate post. Andrei said:

“Now every magazine and news agency tells us, citing important scientists, that Einstein predicted GW in 1916. Even though the paper can be difficult for journalists, but surely not for GW scientists, what controversy can possibly remain after GW have been observed with astonishing precision following directly from GR equations?”

If this (1916) paper is difficult for journalists to comprehend, then they just choose to believe important scientists tell and propagate (broadcast) these believes to general public to allow important scientists to have more funding to continue their important research. However, I think that anyone can read Einstein’s paper (it is not only about equations); it exists at least in three languages – German, Russian, and English. What is more important is to read the discovery paper in PhysRevLett.116.061102 , which is, unlike Einstein’s paper, freely available now (you have not read it before posting your comment, did you read it by now?). If a journalist is a science reporter (I guess, this is the case), he/she has to have some capacity of scientist such as skepticism (did you find at least one even slightly critical paper?). All articles of science reporters (that I have seen so far) are just like pure advertisements of a new gadget or writings of political reporters supporting a particular candidate or party during the election time (perhaps it was/is time for the review of financial support for this project).

So please, read PRL paper and tell me after reading, are you convinced that “GW have been observed with astonishing precision following directly from GR equations”?

In addition, please read it as a scientist, i.e., looking for mistakes, contradictions, not sufficiently justified assumptions, not clear statements, etc. After such reading anyone has to generate tonnes of questions. For example: the search for GW is 50 years old enterprise including their “successful” (published) observation in the past; LIGO has also been operational for years. For years they did not see colorful pictures presented on Fig.1. PhysRevLett.116.061102 Is it right? [footnote 1] So, for years they observed only noise, and suddenly for the part of second on September 14, 09:50:45 UTC they saw it, and nothing after that for months (till today, February 16, 2016) or perhaps for the next 50 years.

In fact, it is not till today, the Advanced LIGO’s first observational period ended on January 12, 2016. Its beginning is less clear. The PRL paper refers to September 12, but the LIGO website announced that the official start of data collection was September 18, while the interferometers have been working in engineering mode a few weeks before that day LIGO, September 18, 2015 .

“That’s because on 14 September 2015, LIGO physicists were still tuning up their machines after a 5-year, $205 million upgrade.Researchers had intended to start their first data run with the new rigs on that day, but several systems—including the injection system—were not ready to go… So instead, LIGO leaders opted to continue a shakedown test known as an engineering run for another week.” Science magazine, February 11, 2016

According to the PRL paper, the possible source is a binary black hole system: incredible masses, incredible loss of energy, and this energy was released in part of second (see Fig.1, 0.2 s). And you suggest to believe that this is unquestionable proof of GW existence?

Do you remember the discovery of superluminal neutrino by OPERA Faster-than-light neutrino anomaly and titles as “Knocking Einstein…” (hmm, Einstein, sounds familiar)? My guess their equipment was less complicated than at LIGO but, more importantly, their experiment can be repeated by independent groups of scientists (this is was actually happened with the faster-than-light neutrino “discovery” – ICARUS experiment reported neutrino velocities consistent with the speed of light). Is it possible to eliminate all natural and experimental effects in the case of only ONE event (please, do not ask old school scientists)?

I also made a “discovery” – the number of earthquakes is enormous everyday! I checked for September 14, 2015 and only for USA Earthquakes, US, September 14, 2015 . I do not know the exact location of two LIGO machines but in the middle of USA there were a few events on this day (this region is very active in the last years, 500% increase in earthquakes). Did LIGO detect all of them? Can I see pictures of them like in Fig.1 (machines must be very sensitive) or for the years they did not observe such pulses (with exception of September 16, 2010), only noise? Perhaps all environmental effects were eliminated in the new upgraded LIGO machines, but why in this case the PRL authors are talking about

“an array of sensors: seismometers…”,

are these sensors more sensitive than the interferometer itself? The list of questions can be easily extended by anyone, including science reporters.

So, I found truly astonishing your statement “GW have been observed with astonishing precision following directly from GR equations”. This is a topic not for science reporters but for investigative journalists (“accountability reporting”). Putting all jokes aside, these observations cannot be qualified as a discovery according to the science standards.

[footnote 1] Actually, the answer is “no”, a very similar (but with different colours) pictures can be found in LIGO, blind injection (please, compare….did they know about the 2015 signal or what should be observed?). It was on September 16, 2010, when the blind-injection test was run (even the PRL paper was ready but, unlike this year, only by the middle of March of 2011, after a vote of all collaborators whether it is a discovery or not. Vivat democracy! Death of science). Perhaps this time it is also a blind-injection made by a GW- fundamentalist to fulfill the someone (not Einstein’s) prophecy. Thousands of people are involved in this project (all of them are the GW believers)! But this is question for the homeland security.

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Einstein was right!

I think that the majority of authors of numerous articles about observation of gravitational waves (“Einstein Was Right!”) did not read Einstein’s 1916 paper or aware about his views on existence of gravitational waves in his General Theory of Relativity or read his scientific autobiographies written in the last years of his life to contemplate on important (in his opinion) scientific results. But they are definitely aware about his famous  “God does not play dice”, and with respect to this statement, after announcement of the GW discovery, we can unambiguously declare that Einstein Was Right! What a reasonable explanation can be given to such a coincidence that

Roughly 1.3 billion years ago, around the time multicellular life was starting to spread on Earth, a pair of black holes collided and released a torrent of gravitational energy into the cosmos Gravitational Waves Spotted…

and it arrives on September 14 of 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC, that provide sufficient time to analyse data and to prepare the PRL paper exactly to the anniversary of Einstein’s paper? Luckily a sufficient number of detectors (two out of four) were operational. These waves were sent roughly 1.3 billion years ago, long before Einstein’s paper was written, to arrive exactly to its centennial anniversary. By the way, this coincidence was predicted at least a few years ago by one of the authors of the PRL discovery paper PhysRevLett.116.061102 . In 2012, he wrote:

The first direct detection of gravitational waves will likely come no later than [yes, in advance of a few months: Einstein submitted his paper in June of 1916-S.K.] the centennial anniversary of Einstein’s 1916 paper on general relativity, or [very pessimistic- S.K.] at least by the anniversary of his 1918 paper on gravitational waves…Gravitational Wave Astronomy: Needle in a Haystack 


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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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On the gauge symmetries of the spinning particle

N. KiriushchevaS.V. KuzminD.G.C. McKeon
May 2, 2013 – 11 pages

Abstract: We reconsider the gauge symmetries of the spinning particle by a direct examination of the Lagrangian using a systematic procedure based on the Noether identities. Continue reading

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