Sunday, 2 December 2012

Did Einstein discover dark energy?

One of the more interesting things that popped up on arXiv this week was the quirkily titled abstract, How Einstein Discovered Dark Energy, submitted by Alex Harvey, Visiting Scholar at New York University on 22 November.

It bears repeating in its entirety:

"In 1917 Einstein published his Cosmological Considerations Concerning the General Theory of Relativity. In it was the first use of the cosmological constant. Shortly thereafter Schrodinger presented a note providing a solution to these same equations with the cosmological constant term transposed to the right hand side thus making it part of the stress-energy tensor. Einstein commented that if Schrodinger had something more than a mere mathematical convenience in mind he should describe its properties. Then Einstein detailed what some of these properties might be. In so doing, he gave the first description of Dark Energy. We present a translation of Schrodinger's paper and Einstein's response."
The full paper and references are downloadable here.

It will be interesting to hear what the responses are to this.