Measurements of Space Curvature by Solar Mass

  • John D. Anderson
  • Eunice L. Lau
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 367)


Unlike Newtonian mechanics, Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity predicts that the Sun causes the space around it to curve. As a result, a light ray passing near the solar limb will be deflected by twice the amount predicted by Newtonian theory. As John Archibald Wheeler put it, “space-time geometry tells mass-energy how to move and mass-energy tells space-time geometry how to curve.” This chapter reviews the experimental verification of light deflection, from an early eclipse expedition in 1919 to more recent measurements using interplanetary spacecraft and very long baseline interferometry (VLBI). It turns out that the Einstein prediction is correct to within a realistic standard error of about 26 parts per million.


Very Long Baseline Interferometry Solar Limb Zenith Delay Deflection Measurement Doppler Data 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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