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" How Ireland Made Einsten Famous! "

"The Eddington Eclipse Expeditions"

By Professor Peter Coles (from Maynooth University)

8PM Monday 9th of December



The first direct experimental test of Einstein's theory of general relativity involved a pair of expeditions to measure the bending of light at a total solar eclipse that took place one hundred years ago, on 29 May 1919. So famous is this experiment, and so dramatic was the impact on Einstein himself, that history tends not to recognise the controversy that surrounded the results at the time. In this article, I discuss the experiment in its scientific and historical background context and explain why it was, and is, such an important episode in the development of modern physics.





I am a theoretical astrophysicist and my research is in the area of cosmology and the large-scale structure of the Universe.

I was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in England and educated at its Royal Grammar School. After that I went to Magdalene College at the University of Cambridge to study Natural Sciences, eventually specializing in Theoretical Physics. After graduation I started a doctorate in the Astronomy Centre at the University of Sussex under the supervision of Prof. John D  Barrow. After completing my DPhil in 1988, I stayed for two years in Sussex as a postdoctoral research fellow. I then moved  to London, where I held a number of positions in the School of Mathematical Sciences at what is now Queen Mary, University of London. I was awarded an SERC Advanced Fellowship in 1993 which I held for five years during which I was promoted to the position of Reader.

In 1998 I was appointed Professor of Astrophysics in the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Nottingham, a position I took up on 1st January 1999. I helped set up an Astronomy group there, and stayed about eight years in Nottingham until, in 2007, I moved to a position as Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University. From February 2013 until the end of July 2016 I was Head of the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Sussex  In 2016 I returned to Cardiff in a part-time capacity split between the School of Physics & Astronomy  and the Data Innovation Research Institute. In 2017 decided to move to Ireland to take up my current position at Maynooth.



After the lecture there will be a social reception in The Lombard Innand we encourage all of you to come along for a chat.

All are welcome to attend and free food will be kindly provided by The Lombard.

Keep up to date on our Facebook and Twitter sites - links on the left.

A prize draw will be held after the lecture.

Booking Information

Date Monday 9th December
Time 8:00p.m.

Physics Bldg, Physics Department , Fitzgerald Building, Trinity College Dublin.
There is an entrance on Lincoln Place (not far from the Merrion Square end of TCD). If you get the DART or bus to Pearse St, or drive. Use the Science Gallery entrance on Pearse Street (near the corner with Westland Row) There are maps here:  Here

Parking: Mark Street , Marks Lane , Lombard St. East .

Free Parking on the above streets after 7pm
Click HERE for a building map of Trinity College campus
Click HERE for Map of area

Admission €10 (€5 Astronomy Ireland members and concessions)
Tickets where possible should be booked in advance. Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the night, please come along 15 minutes early to accommodate.

Book online below

Call 086 06 46 555 to book tickets over the phone using Debit/ Credit Card
Send a cheque, Postal Order, or Draft, made payable to Astronomy Ireland, to: P.O. BOX 2888, Dublin 5.


This lecture is also available to people nationwide (32 counties) on DVD.
To order a copy of the DVD simply:
Order by credit or debit card online below, OR
call 086 06 46 555
Alternatively post a Cheque, postal order, or Draft to: Astronomy Ireland, P.O. Box 2888, Dublin 5.
Price: DVD's cost €10 each incl P&P (€5 Astronomy Ireland members)

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Acknowledgment: Astronomy Ireland would like to thank the TCD Astrophysics Research Group for hosting Astronomy Ireland public lectures in Trinity College Dublin.









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