Changing his Mind at the Speed of Thought: Einstein's Failed Attempts to Undiscover Gravitational Waves
University of Arkansas
The first detection of gravitational waves was announced to the world earlier this year, very close to the 100th anniversary of Einstein's first use of the term in writing. Ironically that first use was to express his skepticism that they existed at all! This talk examines how Einstein changed his mind repeatedly about whether his (then new) theory of general relativity really predicted the existence of gravitational waves. We will also see how the controversy which he began was eventually decided in time to permit work on their detection to get underway.