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Einstein’s Paper: “Explanation of the Perihelion Motion of Mercury from General Relativity Theory”


Vankov, Anatoli Andrei


Research Papers


Relativity Theory



Date Published:

June 06, 2020




Einstein, Schwarzschild, General Relativity, Mercury perihelion, field equations


The year 1915 of publishing Einstein’s original paper “Explanation of the Perihelion Motion of Mercury from General Relativity Theory” marks the origin of General Relativity. The perihelion advance of Mercury’s orbit was obtained from Astronomical observations by Le Verrier (1859), late Newcomb (1882). Their evaluation of the effect was about 43 arcsec/cen, which coincides with Einstein’s prediction half a Century later derived from his “field equations”. Einstein’s original paper and the corresponding Schwarzschild’s letters were pub- lished in German. We present their translations of high fidelity and physical accuracy specially made by Professor Roger Rydin from the University of Virginia. The translations are followed with our criti- cal analysis of Einstein’s “approximate” derivation of the Mercury’s perihelion advance from his field equations. There is a common be- lief among Physical Community that Einstein’s prediction is correctly derived, its physical meaning is fully understood, and the value of the GR perihelion advance is confirmed in observations to the high precision, not less than 1 percent. However, from our analysis it fol- lows that every item of the belief is a myth, and Einstein’s prediction is plainly flawed. Schwarzschild expressed a strong objection to Ein- stein’s teary complete mess in derivation from “field equations”. He righteously suggested to derive the effect from his “exact solution”.../...

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