September 7, 2020
Einstein, Gehrcke, Gerber, Goudsmit, Kragh, Lenard, Seeliger, Soldner, Sommerfeld, Uhlenbeck, Mercury, Vulcan, general relativity, fine-structure constant, quantum spin, prograde, spacetime, blueshift, wave-particle dualism, gravitational deflection
Established tradition asserts that Einstein’s General Relativity explains Mercury’s anomalous perihelion shift and the doubled Newtonian deflection of light by gravity.
These claims are in turn used to justify the theoretical concept of spacetime, a mathematically-based ‘fusion’ of space and time and the key concept underpinning General Relativity Theory. However, both of these very real phenomena readily reveal alternative explanations, these either partly unknown or unappreciated before the 1920s. A third observation attributed to General Relativity, the gravitational redshift of light, does not alone provide justification for spacetime. The theoretical predictions of Joachim von Soldner and of Paul Gerber, while significantly incomplete or incorrect, help to reveal the alternative and correct explanations for the gravitational deflection of light and the anomalous perihelion shift respectively, without requiring General Relativity and therefore without spacetime-based explanations either. The doubled Newtonian deflection of light is explained by quantum theory while the anomalous perihelion shift of Mercury is explained primarily by the rotation of the Sun.