General relativity |
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The following is a ** timeline of gravitational physics and general relativity **.

- 3rd century B.C. – Aristarchus of Samos proposes the heliocentric model.
^{ [1] }

- 1543 – Nicolaus Copernicus publishes
*On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres*.^{ [1] } - 1583 – Galileo Galilei deduces the period relationship of a pendulum from observations (according to later biographer).
- 1586 – Simon Stevin demonstrates that two objects of different mass accelerate at the same rate when dropped.
^{ [2] } - 1589 – Galileo Galilei describes a hydrostatic balance for measuring specific gravity.
- 1590 – Galileo Galilei formulates modified Aristotelean theory of motion (later retracted) based on density rather than weight of objects.

- 1602-1608 – Galileo Galilei experiments with pendulum motion and inclined planes; deduces his law of free fall; and discovers that projectiles travel along parabolic trajectories.
^{ [3] } - 1609 – Johannes Kepler announces his first two laws of planetary motion.
^{ [4] } - 1610 – Johannes Kepler states the dark night paradox.
^{ [5] } - 1610 – Galileo Galilei publishes
*The Sidereal Messenger*, detailing his astronomical discoveries made with a telescope.^{ [6] } - 1619 – Johannes Kepler unveils his third law of planetary motion.
^{ [4] } - 1665-66 – Isaac Newton introduces an inverse-square law of universal gravitation uniting terrestrial and celestial theories of motion and uses it to predict the orbit of the Moon and the parabolic arc of projectiles (the latter using his generalization of the binomial theorem).
^{ [7] } - 1676-9 – Ole Rømer makes the first scientific determination of the speed of light.
^{ [8] } - 1684 – Isaac Newton proves that planets moving under an inverse-square force law will obey Kepler's laws in a letter to Edmond Halley.
^{ [7] } - 1686 – Isaac Newton uses a fixed length pendulum with weights of varying composition to test the weak equivalence principle to 1 part in 1000.
^{ [9] }^{ [10] } - 1686 – Isaac Newton publishes his
*Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy*, where he develops his calculus, states his laws of motion and gravitation, proves the shell theorem, describes his rotating bucket thought experiment, explains the tides, and calculates the figure of the Earth.^{ [9] }

- 1705 – Edmond Halley predicts the return of Halley's comet in 1758,
^{ [11] }the first use of Newton's laws by someone other than Newton himself.^{ [12] } - 1728 – Isaac Newton posthumously publishes his cannonball thought experiment.
^{ [13] }^{ [14] } - 1742 – Colin Maclaurin studies a self-gravitating uniform liquid drop at equilibrium, the Maclaurin spheroid.
^{ [15] }^{ [16] } - 1755 – Immanuel Kant advances Emanuel Swedenborg's nebular hypothesis on the origin of the Solar System.
^{ [17] } - 1765 – Leonhard Euler discovers the first three Lagrange points.
^{ [18] }^{ [19] } - 1767 – Leonhard Euler solves Euler's restricted three-body problem.
^{ [20] } - 1772 – Joseph-Louis Lagrange discovers the two remaining Lagrange points.
^{ [21] } - 1796 – Pierre-Simon de Laplace independently introduces the nebular hypothesis.
^{ [17] } - 1798 – Henry Cavendish tests Newton's law of universal gravitation using a torsion balance, leading to the first accurate value for the gravitational constant and the mean density of the Earth.
^{ [22] }^{ [23] }

- 1846 – Urbain Le Verrier and John Couch Adams, studying Uranus' orbit, independently prove that another, farther planet must exist. Neptune was found at the predicted moment and position.
- 1855 – Le Verrier observes a 35 arcsecond per century excess precession of Mercury's orbit and attributes it to another planet, inside Mercury's orbit. The planet was never found. See Vulcan.
- 1876 – William Kingdon Clifford suggests that the motion of matter may be due to changes in the geometry of space.
^{ [24] } - 1882 – Simon Newcomb observes a 43 arcsecond per century excess precession of Mercury's orbit.
- 1884 – William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) lectures on the issues with the wave theory of light with regards to the luminiferous ether.
^{ [25] } - 1887 – Albert A. Michelson and Edward W. Morley in their famous experiment do not detect the ether drift.
^{ [26] }^{ [27] } - 1889 – Loránd Eötvös uses a torsion balance to test the weak equivalence principle to 1 part in one billion.
^{ [28] } - 1887 – George Francis FitzGerald explains his hypothesis that the Michelson-Morley interferometer contracts in the direction of motion through the luminiferous ether to Oliver Lodge.
^{ [25] } - 1893 – Ernst Mach states Mach's principle, the first constructive critique of the idea of Newtonian absolute space.
- 1897 – Henri Poincaré questions whether absolute space, absolute time, and Euclidean geometry are applicable to physics.
^{ [29] }

- 1902 – Paul Gerber explains the movement of the perihelion of Mercury using finite speed of gravity.
^{ [30] }His formula, at least approximately, matches the later model from Einstein's general relativity, but Gerber's theory was incorrect. - 1902 – Henri Poincaré questions the concept of simultaneity in his book,
*Science and Hypothesis*.^{ [31] }^{ [32] } - 1904 – Hendrik Antoon Lorentz publishes the Lorentz transformations,
^{ [33] }so named by Henri Poincaré.^{ [25] } - 1902 – Henri Poincaré shows that the Lorentz transformations form a mathematical group, called the Lorentz group, and derives the relativistic formula for adding velocities.
^{ [25] } - 1905 – Albert Einstein completes his special theory of relativity
^{ [34] }^{ [35] }and examines relativistic aberration and the transverse Doppler effect.^{ [25] } - 1905 – Albert Einstein discovers the equivalence of mass and energy,
^{ [36] }in modern form.^{ [37] }^{ [38] }^{ [31] } - 1906 – Max Planck coins the term
*Relativtheorie*. Albert Einstein later uses the term*Relativitätstheorie*in a conversation with Paul Ehrenfest. He originally prefers calling it Invariance Theory.^{ [39] } - 1906 – Max Planck formulates a variational principle for special relativity.
^{ [40] } - 1907 – Albert Einstein introduces the principle of equivalence of gravitational and inertial mass and uses it to predict gravitational lensing and gravitational redshift,
^{ [41] }^{ [42] }historically known as the Einstein shift.^{ [43] } - 1907-8 – Hermann Minkowski introduces the Minkowski spacetime and the notion of tensors to relativity. His paper was published posthumously.
^{ [44] }^{ [45] }^{ [46] } - 1909 – Max Born proposes his notion of rigidity.
^{ [47] }^{ [48] } - 1909 – Paul Ehrenfest states the Ehrenfest paradox.
^{ [49] }^{ [50] }

- 1911 – Max von Laue publishes the first textbook on special relativity.
^{ [51] } - 1911 – Albert Einstein explains the need to replace both special relativity and Newton's theory of gravity; he realizes that the principle of equivalence only holds locally, not globally.
^{ [52] } - 1912 – Friedrich Kottler applies the notion of tensors to curved spacetime.
^{ [53] }^{ [51] } - 1915-16 – Albert Einstein completes his general theory of relativity.
^{ [54] }^{ [55] }He explains the perihelion of Mercury and calculates gravitational lensing correctly and introduces the post-Newtonian approximation.^{ [56] }^{ [57] } - 1915 – David Hilbert independently introduces the Einstein-Hilbert action.
^{ [58] }^{ [55] }Hilbert also recognizes the connection between the Einstein equations and the Gauss-Bonnet theorem.^{ [59] } - 1916 – Karl Schwarzschild publishes the Schwarzschild metric about a month after Einstein published his general theory of relativity.
^{ [60] }^{ [61] }This was the first solution to the Einstein field equations other than the trivial flat space solution.^{ [62] }^{ [63] }^{ [64] } - 1916 – Albert Einstein predicts gravitational waves.
^{ [65] } - 1916 – Willem de Sitter predicts the geodetic effect.
^{ [66] } - 1917 – Albert Einstein applies his field equations to the entire Universe.
^{ [67] }Physical cosmology is born.^{ [42] } - 1916-20 – Arthur Eddington studies the internal constitution of the stars.
^{ [68] }^{ [69] } - 1918 – Albert Einstein derives the quadrupole formula for gravitational radiation.
^{ [70] }^{ [71] } - 1918 – Josef Lense and Hans Thirring find the gravitomagnetic frame-dragging of gyroscopes in the equations of general relativity.
^{ [72] }^{ [73] }^{ [74] } - 1919 – Arthur Eddington leads a solar eclipse expedition which detects gravitational deflection of light by the Sun,
^{ [75] }which, despite opinion to the contrary, survives modern scrutiny.^{ [76] }Other teams fail for reasons of war and politics.^{ [77] }

- 1921 – Theodor Kaluza demonstrates that a five-dimensional version of Einstein's equations unifies gravitation and electromagnetism.
^{ [78] }This idea is later extended by Oskar Klein.^{ [79] } - 1922 – Alexander Friedmann derives the Friedmann equations.
^{ [80] }^{ [42] } - 1922 – Enrico Fermi introduces the Fermi coordinates.
^{ [81] }^{ [82] }This is developed further in 1932 by Arthur Walker into the Fermi-Walker transport.^{ [83] } - 1923 – George David Birkhoff proves Birkhoff's theorem on the uniqueness of the Schwarzschild solution.
- 1924 – Arthur Eddington calculates the Eddington limit.
^{ [84] } - 1924 – Cornelius Lanczos discovers the van Stockum dust,
^{ [85] }later rediscovered by Willem Jacob van Stockum in 1938.^{ [86] } - 1925 – Walter Adams measures the gravitational redshift of the light emitted by the companion of Sirius B, a white dwarf.
^{ [87] } - 1927 – Georges Lemaître publishes his hypothesis of the primeval atom.
^{ [88] }^{ [42] } - 1929 – Edwin Hubble published the law later named for him.
^{ [89] }

- 1931 – Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar studies the stability of white dwarfs.
^{ [91] }^{ [92] } - 1931 – Georges Lemaître and Arthur Eddington predict the expansion of the Universe.
^{ [93] }^{ [94] } - 1931 – Albert Einstein introduces his cosmological constant.
^{ [95] } - 1932 – Albert Einstein and Willem de Sitter propose the Einstein-de Sitter cosmological model.
^{ [96] } - 1932 – John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton verify Einstein's mass-energy equation by an experiment artificially transmuting lithium into helium.
^{ [97] }^{ [98] } - 1934 – Dmitry Blokhintsev and F. M. Gal'perin coin the term 'graviton'.
^{ [99] }Paul Dirac reintroduces it in 1959.^{ [100] }^{ [101] } - 1934 – Walter Baade and Fritz Zwicky predict the existence of neutron stars.
^{ [102] }Although their details are wrong, their basic idea is now accepted.^{ [103] } - 1935 – Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen derive the Einstein-Rosen bridge, the first wormhole solution.
^{ [104] } - 1935 – Howard Robertson and Arthur Walker obtain the Robertson-Walker metric.
^{ [83] } - 1936 – Albert Einstein predicts that a gravitational lens brightens the light coming from a distant object to the observer.
^{ [105] } - 1937 – Fritz Zwicky states that galaxies could act as gravitational lenses.
^{ [106] } - 1937 – Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen obtain the Einstein-Rosen metric, the first exact solution describing gravitational waves.
^{ [107] } - 1938 – Albert Einstein, Leopold Infeld, and Banesh Hoffmann obtain the Einstein-Infeld-Hoffmann equations of motion.
^{ [108] } - 1939 – Hans Bethe shows that nuclear fusion is responsible for energy production inside stars,
^{ [109] }building upon the Kelvin–Helmholtz mechanism. - 1939 – Richard Tolman solves the Einstein field equations in the case of a spherical fluid drop.
^{ [110] }^{ [111] } - 1939 – Robert Serber, George Volkoff, Richard Tolman, and J. Robert Oppenheimer study the stability of neutron stars, obtaining the Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit.
^{ [112] }^{ [113] }^{ [111] } - 1939 – J. Robert Oppenheimer and Hartland Snyder publish the Oppenheimer-Snyder model for the continued gravitational contraction of a star.
^{ [114] }^{ [111] }^{ [115] }

- 1948 – Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman predict the cosmic microwave background.
^{ [116] }^{ [117] } - 1949 – Cornelius Lanczos introduces the Lanczos potential for the Weyl tensor.
^{ [118] } - 1949 – Kurt Gödel discovers Gödel's solution.
^{ [119] }

- 1953 – P. C. Vaidya Newtonian time in general relativity, Nature,
**171**, p260. - 1954 – Suraj Gupta sketches how to derive the equations of general relativity from quantum field theory for a massless spin-2 particle (the graviton).
^{ [120] }His procedure was later carried out by Stanley Deser in 1970.^{ [121] }^{ [122] } - 1955-56 – Robert Kraichnan shows that under the appropriate assumptions, Einstein's field equations of gravitation arise from the quantum field theory of a massless spin-2 particle coupled to the stress-energy tensor.
^{ [123] }^{ [124] }This follows from his unpublished work as an undergraduate in 1947.^{ [122] } - 1956 – Bruno Berlotti develops the post-Minkowskian expansion.
^{ [125] } - 1956 – John Lighton Synge publishes the first relativity text emphasizing spacetime diagrams and geometrical methods.
- 1957 – Felix A. E. Pirani uses Petrov classification to understand gravitational radiation.
- 1957 – Richard Feynman introduces his sticky bead argument.
^{ [122] }^{ [126] }He later derives the quadrupole formula in a letter to Victor Weisskopf (1961).^{ [122] } - 1957-8 – John Wheeler discusses the breakdown of classical general relativity near singularities and the need for quantum gravity.
^{ [42] } - 1958 – David Finkelstein presents a new coordinate system that eliminates the Schwarzschild radius as a singularity.
^{ [127] } - 1959 – Robert Pound and Glen Rebka propose the Pound–Rebka experiment, first precision test of gravitational redshift. The experiment relies on the Mössbauer effect.
^{ [128] } - 1959 – Lluís Bel introduces Bel–Robinson tensor and the Bel decomposition of the Riemann tensor.
- 1959 – Arthur Komar introduces the Komar mass.
- 1959 – Richard Arnowitt, Stanley Deser and Charles W. Misner developed ADM formalism.

- 1960 – Martin Kruskal and George Szekeres independently introduce the Kruskal–Szekeres coordinates for the Schwarzschild vacuum.
^{ [129] }^{ [130] } - 1960 – John Graves and Dieter Brill study the causal structure of an electrically charged black hole.
^{ [131] } - 1960 – Thomas Matthews and Allan R. Sandage associate 3C 48 with a point-like optical image, show radio source can be at most 15 light minutes in diameter,
- 1960 – Ivor M. Robinson and Andrzej Trautman discover the Robinson-Trautman null dust solution
^{ [132] } - 1960 – Robert Pound and Glen Rebka test the gravitational redshift predicted by the equivalence principle to approximately 1%.
^{ [133] } - 1961 –Tullio Regge introduces the Regge calculus.
^{ [134] } - 1961 – Carl H. Brans and Robert H. Dicke introduce Brans–Dicke theory, the first viable alternative theory with a clear physical motivation.
^{ [135] } - 1961 – Pascual Jordan and Jürgen Ehlers develop the
*kinematic decomposition*of a timelike congruence, - 1961 – Robert Dicke, Peter Roll, and R. Krotkov refine the Eötvös experiment to an accuracy of 10
^{−11}.^{ [136] }^{ [137] } - 1962 – John Wheeler and Robert Fuller show that the Einstein-Rosen bridge is unstable.
^{ [138] } - 1962 – Roger Penrose and Ezra T. Newman introduce the Newman–Penrose formalism.
- 1962 – Ehlers and Wolfgang Kundt classify the symmetries of Pp-wave spacetimes.
- 1962 –Joshua Goldberg and Rainer K. Sachs prove the Goldberg–Sachs theorem.
^{ [139] } - 1962 – Ehlers introduces Ehlers transformations, a new solution generating method,
- 1962 – Richard Arnowitt, Stanley Deser, and Charles W. Misner introduce the ADM reformulation and global hyperbolicity,
- 1962 – Istvan Ozsvath and Englbert Schücking rediscover the circularly polarized monochromomatic gravitational wave.
- 1962 – Hans Adolph Buchdahl discovers Buchdahl's theorem.
- 1962 – Hermann Bondi introduces Bondi mass.
- 1962 – Hermann Bondi, M. G. van der Burg, A. W. Metzner, and Rainer K. Sachs introduce the asymptotic symmetry group of asymptotically flat, Lorentzian spacetimes at null (
*i.e.*, light-like) infinity. - 1963 – Roy Kerr discovers the Kerr vacuum solution of Einstein's field equations,
^{ [140] } - 1963 – Redshifts of 3C 273 and other quasars show they are very distant; hence very luminous,
- 1963 – Newman, T. Unti and L.A. Tamburino introduce the NUT vacuum solution,
- 1963 – Roger Penrose introduces Penrose diagrams and Penrose limits.
^{ [141] } - 1963 – Maarten Schmidt and Jesse Greenstein discover quasi-stellar objects, later shown to be moving away from Earth due to the expansion of the Universe.
^{ [42] } - 1963 – First Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics held in Dallas, 16–18 December.
^{ [42] } - 1964 – Steven Weinberg shows that a quantum field theory of interacting massless spin-2 particles is Lorentz invariant only if it satisfies the principle of equivalence.
^{ [142] }^{ [143] }^{ [122] } - 1964 – Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar determines a stability criterion.
^{ [144] } - 1964 – R. W. Sharp and Charles Misner introduce the Misner–Sharp mass.
- 1964 – Hong-Yee Chiu coins the term "'quasar" for quasi-stellar radio sources.
^{ [145] } - 1964 – Sjur Refsdal suggests that the Hubble constant could be determined using gravitational lensing.
^{ [146] } - 1964 – Irwin Shapiro predicts a gravitational time delay of radiation travel as a test of general relativity.
^{ [147] }^{ [148] } - 1965 – Roger Penrose proves the first singularity theorem.
^{ [149] }^{ [42] } - 1965 – Penrose discovers the structure of the light cones in gravitational plane wave spacetimes.
- 1965 – Ezra Newman and others introduce Kerr-Newman metric.
^{ [150] }^{ [151] } - 1965 – Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson accidentally discover the cosmic microwave background radiation.
^{ [152] }This rules out the steady-state model of Fred Hoyle and Jayant Narlikar.^{ [42] } - 1965 – Joseph Weber puts the first Weber bar gravitational wave detector into operation.
- 1966 – Sachs and Ronald Kantowski discover the Kantowski-Sachs dust solution.
- 1967 – John Archibald Wheeler popularizes "black hole" at a conference.
^{ [111] }^{ [153] } - 1967 – Jocelyn Bell and Antony Hewish discover pulsars.
^{ [154] } - 1967 – Robert H. Boyer and R. W. Lindquist introduce Boyer–Lindquist coordinates for the Kerr vacuum.
- 1967 – Bryce DeWitt publishes on canonical quantum gravity.
^{ [155] } - 1967 – Werner Israel proves a special case of the no-hair theorem and the converse of Birkhoff's theorem.
^{ [156] } - 1967 – Kenneth Nordtvedt develops PPN formalism.
- 1967 – Mendel Sachs publishes factorization of Einstein's field equations.
- 1967 – Hans Stephani discovers the Stephani dust solution.
- 1968 – F. J. Ernst discovers the Ernst equation.
- 1968 – B. Kent Harrison discovers the Harrison transformation, a solution-generating method.
- 1968 – Brandon Carter solves the geodesic equations for Kerr–Newmann electrovacuum with Carter's constant.
^{ [157] } - 1968 – Hugo D. Wahlquist discovers the Wahlquist fluid.
- 1968 – James Hartle and Kip Thorne obtain the Hartle–Thorne metric.
^{ [158] } - 1968 – Irwin Shapiro and his colleagues present the first detection of the Shapiro delay.
^{ [159] } - 1968 – Kenneth Nordtvedt studies a possible violation of the weak equivalence principle for self-gravitating bodies and proposes a new test of the weak equivalence principle based on observing the relative motion of the Earth and Moon in the Sun's gravitational field.
^{ [160] } - 1969 – William B. Bonnor introduces the Bonnor beam.
^{ [161] } - 1969 – Joseph Weber reports observation of gravitational waves
^{ [162] }a claim now generally discounted.^{ [163] }^{ [164] } - 1969 – Penrose proposes the (weak) cosmic censorship hypothesis and the Penrose process,
^{ [165] } - 1969 – Misner introduces the mixmaster universe.
- 1969 – Yvonne Choquet-Bruhat and Robert Geroch discuss global aspects of the Cauchy problem in general relativity.
^{ [166] } - 1965-70 – Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and colleagues develops the post-Newtonian expansions.
^{ [167] }^{ [168] }^{ [169] }^{ [170] }^{ [171] } - 1968-70 – Roger Penrose, Stephen Hawking, and George Ellis prove that singularities must arise in the Big Bang models.
^{ [172] }^{ [173] }

- 1970 – Vladimir A. Belinskiǐ, Isaak Markovich Khalatnikov, and Evgeny Lifshitz introduce the BKL conjecture.
- 1970 – Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose prove trapped surfaces must arise in black holes.
- 1971 – David Scott demonstrates that a hammer and a feather fall at the same rate on the Moon.
^{ [3] } - 1971 – Alfred Goldhaber and Michael Nieto give stringent limits on the photon mass.
^{ [174] }The strictest one is .^{ [175] } - 1971 – Stephen Hawking proves that the area of a black hole can never decrease.
^{ [176] }^{ [42] } - 1971 – Peter C. Aichelburg and Roman U. Sexl introduce the Aichelburg–Sexl ultraboost.
- 1971 – Introduction of the Khan–Penrose vacuum, a simple explicit colliding plane wave spacetime.
- 1971 – Robert H. Gowdy introduces the Gowdy vacuum solutions (cosmological models containing circulating gravitational waves).
- 1971 – Cygnus X-1, the first solid black hole candidate, discovered by Uhuru satellite.
^{ [42] } - 1971 – William H. Press discovers black hole ringing by numerical simulation.
- 1971 – Harrison and Estabrook algorithm for solving systems of PDEs.
- 1971 – James W. York introduces conformal method generating initial data for ADM initial value formulation.
- 1971 – Robert Geroch introduces Geroch group and a solution generating method.
- 1972 – Jacob Bekenstein proposes that black holes have a non-decreasing entropy which can be identified with the area.
^{ [177] }^{ [42] } - 1972 – Sachs introduces optical scalars and proves peeling theorem.
- 1972 – Rainer Weiss proposes concept of interferometric gravitational wave detector in an unpublished manuscript.
^{ [178] } - 1972 – Joseph Hafele and Richard Keating perform the Hafele–Keating experiment.
^{ [179] }^{ [180] }^{ [181] } - 1972 – Richard H. Price studies gravitational collapse with numerical simulations.
- 1972 – Saul Teukolsky derives the Teukolsky equation.
^{ [182] } - 1972 – Yakov B. Zel'dovich predicts the transmutation of electromagnetic and gravitational radiation.
- 1972 – Brandon Carter, Stephen Hawking, and James M. Bardeen propose the four laws of black hole mechanics.
^{ [183] }^{ [42] } - 1972 – James Bardeen calculates the shadow of a black hole.
^{ [184] }This was later verified by the Event Horizon Telescope.^{ [185] } - 1973 – Charles W. Misner, Kip S. Thorne and John A. Wheeler publish the treatise
*Gravitation*, a textbook that remains in use in the twenty-first century.^{ [186] }^{ [187] } - 1973 – Stephen W. Hawking and George Ellis publish the monograph
*The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time*.^{ [42] } - 1973 – Robert Geroch introduces the GHP formalism.
- 1973 – Homer Ellis obtains the Ellis drainhole,
^{ [188] }the first traversable wormhole. - 1974 – Russell Hulse and Joseph Hooton Taylor, Jr. discover the Hulse–Taylor binary pulsar,
- 1974 – James W. York and Niall Ó Murchadha present the analysis of the initial value formulation and examine the stability of its solutions.
- 1974 – R. O. Hansen introduces Hansen–Geroch multipole moments.
- 1974 – Stephen Hawking discovers Hawking radiation.
^{ [189] }^{ [190] } - 1975 – Stephen Hawking shows that the area of a black hole is proportional to its entropy, as previously conjectured by Jacob Bekenstein.
^{ [191] } - 1975 – Roberto Colella, Albert Overhauser, and Samuel Werner observe the quantum-mechanical phase shift of neutrons due to gravity.
^{ [192] }Neutron interferometry was later used to test the principle of equivalence.^{ [193] }^{ [194] }^{ [195] } - 1975 – Chandrasekhar and Steven Detweiler compute the effects of perturbations on a Schwarzschild black hole.
^{ [196] } - 1975 – Szekeres and D. A. Szafron discover the Szekeres–Szafron dust solutions.
- 1976 – Penrose introduces Penrose limits (every null geodesic in a Lorentzian spacetime behaves like a plane wave),
- 1978 – Penrose introduces the notion of a
*thunderbolt*, - 1978 – Belinskiǐ and Zakharov show how to solve Einstein's field equations using the inverse scattering transform; the first gravitational solitons,
- 1979 – Dennis Walsh, Robert Carswell, and Ray Weymann discover the gravitationally lensed quasar Q0957+561.
^{ [197] } - 1979 – Jean-Pierre Luminet creates an image of a black hole with an accretion disk using computer simulation.
^{ [198] }^{ [199] } - 1979 – Steven Detweiler proposes using pulsar timing arrays to detect gravitational waves.
^{ [200] } - 1979-81 – Richard Schoen and Shing-Tung Yau prove the positive mass theorem.
^{ [201] }^{ [202] }Edward Witten independently proves the same thing.^{ [203] }

- 1980 – Vera Rubin and colleagues study the rotational properties of UGC 2885, demonstrating the prevalence of dark matter.
^{ [204] }^{ [205] } - 1980 – Gravity Probe A verifies gravitational redshift to approximately 0.007% using a space-born hydrogen maser.
^{ [206] } - 1980 – James Bardeen explains structure in the Universe using cosmological perturbation theory.
^{ [207] } - 1981 – Alan Guth proposes cosmic inflation in order to solve the flatness and horizon problems.
^{ [208] } - 1982 – Joseph Taylor and Joel Weisberg show that the rate of energy loss from the binary pulsar PSR B1913+16 agrees with that predicted by the general relativistic quadrupole formula to within 5%.
^{ [209] } - 1983 – James Hartle and Stephen Hawking propose the no-boundary wave function for the Universe.
^{ [210] }^{ [42] } - 1983-84 – RELIKT-1 observes the cosmic microwave background.
- 1986 – Helmut Friedrich proves that the de Sitter spacetime is stable.
^{ [211] }^{ [212] } - 1986 – Bernard Schutz shows that cosmic distances can be determined using sources of gravitational waves without references to the cosmic distance ladder.
^{ [213] }Standard-siren astronomy is born. - 1988 – Mike Morris, Kip Thorne, and Yurtsever Ulvi obtain the Morris-Thorne wormhole.
^{ [214] }Morris and Thorne argue for its pedagogical value.^{ [215] } - 1989 – Steven Weinberg discusses the cosmological constant problem, the discrepancy between the measured value and those predicted by modern theories of elementary particles.
^{ [216] } - 1989-93 – The Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) identifies anisotropy in the cosmic microwave background.
^{ [217] }^{ [218] }

- 1992 – Stephen Hawking states his chronology protection conjecture.
^{ [219] } - 1993 – Demetrios Christodoulou and Sergiu Klainerman prove the non-linear stability of the Minkowski spacetime.
^{ [220] }^{ [212] } - 1995 – John F. Donoghue show that general relativity is a quantum effective field theory.
^{ [221] }This framework could be used to analyze binary systems observed by gravitational-wave observatories.^{ [222] } - 1995 – Hubble Deep Field image taken.
^{ [223] }It is a landmark in the study of cosmology. - 1998 – The first complete Einstein ring, B1938+666, discovered using the Hubble Space Telescope and MERLIN.
^{ [224] }^{ [225] } - 1998-99 – Scientists discover that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating.
^{ [226] }^{ [227] } - 1999 – Alessandra Buonanno and Thibault Damour introduce the effective one-body formalism.
^{ [228] }This was later used to analyze data collected by gravitational-wave observatories.^{ [229] }

- 2003 – Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin prove the Borde–Guth–Vilenkin theorem.
^{ [230] }^{ [231] } - 2002 – First data collection of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).
- 2002 – James Williams, Slava Turyshev, and Dale Boggs conduct stringent lunar test of violations of the principle of equivalence.
^{ [232] } - 2005 – Daniel Holz and Scott Hughes coin the term "standard sirens".
^{ [233] } - 2009 – Gravity Probe B experiment verifies the geodetic effect to 0.5%.
^{ [234] }^{ [235] }

- 2010 – A team at the U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) verifies relativistic time dilation using optical atomic clocks.
^{ [236] }^{ [237] } - 2011 – Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) finds no statistically significant deviations from the ΛCDM model of cosmology.
^{ [238] } - 2012 – Hubble Ultra-Deep Field image released. It was created using data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope between 2003-2004.
^{ [239] } - 2013 – NuSTAR and XMM-Newton measure the spin of the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy NGC 1365.
^{ [240] } - 2015 – Advanced LIGO reports the first direct detections of gravitational waves, GW150914
^{ [241] }and GW151226,^{ [242] }mergers of stellar-mass black holes. Gravitational-wave astronomy is born.^{ [243] }No deviations from general relativity were found.^{ [244] }^{ [245] } - 2017 – LIGO-VIRGO collaboration detects gravitational waves emitted by a neutron-star binary, GW170817.
^{ [246] }The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the International Gamma-ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) unambiguously detect the corresponding gamma-ray burst.^{ [247] }^{ [248] }LIGO-VIRGO and Fermi constrain the difference between the speed of gravity and the speed of light in vacuum to 10^{−15}.^{ [249] }This marks the first time electromagnetic and gravitational waves are detected from a single source,^{ [250] }^{ [251] }and give direct evidence that some (short) gamma-ray bursts are due to colliding neutron stars.^{ [246] }^{ [247] } - 2017 – Multi-messenger astronomy reveals neutron-star mergers to be responsible for the nucleosynthesis of some heavy elements,
^{ [252] }^{ [253] }^{ [254] }^{ [255] }such as strontium,^{ [256] }via the rapid-neutron capture or r-process.^{ [257] } - 2017 – MICROSCOPE satellite experiment verifies the principle of equivalence to 10
^{−15}in terms of the Eötvös ratio .^{ [258] }The final report is published in 2022.^{ [259] }^{ [260] } - 2017 – Principle of equivalence tested to 10
^{-9}for atoms in a coherent state of superposition.^{ [261] } - 2017 – Scientists begin using gravitational-wave sources as "standard sirens" to measure the Hubble constant, finding its value to be broadly in line with the best estimates of the time.
^{ [262] }^{ [263] }Refinements of this technique will help resolve discrepancies between the different methods of measurements.^{ [264] } - 2017 – Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) arrives on the International Space Station.
^{ [154] } - 2017-18 – Georgios Moschidis proves the instability of the anti-de Sitter spacetime.
^{ [212] } - 2018 – Final paper by the Planck satellite collaboration.
^{ [265] }Planck operated between 2009 and 2013. - 2018 – Mihalis Dafermos and Jonathan Luk disprove the strong cosmic censorship hypothesis for the Cauchy horizon of a uncharged, rotating black hole.
^{ [266] } - 2018 – Advanced LIGO-VIRGO collaboration constrains equations of state for a neutron star using GW170817.
^{ [267] }^{ [268] } - 2018 – Luciano Rezzolla, Elias R. Most, and Lukas R. Weih used gravitational-wave data from GW170817 constrain the possible maximum mass for a neutron star to around 2.17 solar masses.
^{ [269] } - 2018 – Kris Pardo, Maya Fishbach, Daniel Holz, and David Spergel limit the number of spacetime dimensions through which gravitational waves can propagate to 3 + 1, in line with general relativity and ruling out models that allow for "leakage" to higher dimensions of space.
^{ [270] }^{ [271] }Analyses of GW170817 have also ruled out many other alternatives to general relativity,^{ [272] }^{ [273] }^{ [274] }^{ [275] }and proposals for dark energy.^{ [276] }^{ [277] }^{ [278] }^{ [279] }^{ [280] } - 2018 – Two different experimental teams report highly precise values of Newton's gravitational constant that slightly disagree.
^{ [281] }^{ [282] }^{ [283] } - 2019 – Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) releases an image of supermassive black hole M87*, and measures its mass and shadow.
^{ [284] }^{ [285] }Results are confirmed in 2024.^{ [286] } - 2019 – Advanced LIGO and VIRGO detect GW190814, the collision of a 26-solar-mass black hole and a 2.6-solar-mass object, either an extremely heavy neutron star or a very light black hole.
^{ [287] }^{ [288] }This is the largest mass gap seen in a gravitational-wave source to-date.

- 2020 – Principle of equivalence tested for individual atoms using atomic interferometry to ~10
^{-12}.^{ [289] }^{ [290] } - 2021 – Jun Ye and his team measure gravitational redshift with an accuracy of 7.6 × 10
^{−21}using an ultracold cloud of 100,000 strontium atoms in an optical lattice.^{ [291] }^{ [292] } - 2021 – EHT measures the polarization of the ring of M87*,
^{ [293] }and other properties of the magnetic field in its vicinity.^{ [294] } - 2021 – EHT releases an image of Sagittarius A*, the central supermassive black hole of the Milky Way,
^{ [295] }^{ [296] }measures its shadow,^{ [297] }and shows that it is accurately described by the Kerr metric.^{ [298] }^{ [299] } - 2022 – Chris Overstreet and his team observe the gravitational Aharonov-Bohm effect
^{ [300] }^{ [301] }^{ [302] }using an experimental design from 2012.^{ [303] }^{ [304] } - 2022 – James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) publishes its first image, a deep-field photograph of the SMACS 0723 galaxy cluster.
^{ [305] } - 2022 – Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory detects GRB 221009A, the brightest gamma-ray burst recorded.
^{ [306] }^{ [307] }^{ [308] } - 2022 – JWST identifies several candidate high-redshift objects, corresponding to just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.
^{ [309] }^{ [310] } - 2023 – James Nightingale and colleagues detect Abell 1201, an ultramassive black hole (33 billion solar masses), using strong gravitational lensing.
^{ [311] } - 2023 – Matteo Bachetti and colleagues confirm that neutron star M82 X-2 is violating the Eddington limit, making it an ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX).
^{ [312] }^{ [313] } - 2023 – Team led by Dong Sheng and Zheng-Tian Lu found a null result for the coupling between quantum spin and gravity to 10
^{−9}.^{ [314] }^{ [315] } - 2023 – The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), the European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA), the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (Australia), and the Chinese Pulsar Timing Array report detection of a gravitational-wave background.
^{ [316] }^{ [317] }^{ [318] }^{ [319] }^{ [320] } - 2023 – Geraint F. Lewis and Brendon Brewer present evidence of cosmological time dilation in quasars.
^{ [321] }^{ [322] } - 2024 – The Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory (LHAASO) collaboration imposes stringent limits on violations of Lorentz invariance proposed in certain theories of quantum gravity using GRB 221009A.
^{ [323] }^{ [324] }

A **black hole** is a region of spacetime where gravity is so strong that nothing, not even light and other electromagnetic waves, is capable of possessing enough energy to escape it. Einstein's theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform spacetime to form a black hole. The boundary of no escape is called the event horizon. A black hole has a great effect on the fate and circumstances of an object crossing it, but it has no locally detectable features according to general relativity. In many ways, a black hole acts like an ideal black body, as it reflects no light. Quantum field theory in curved spacetime predicts that event horizons emit Hawking radiation, with the same spectrum as a black body of a temperature inversely proportional to its mass. This temperature is of the order of billionths of a kelvin for stellar black holes, making it essentially impossible to observe directly.

**General relativity**, also known as the **general theory of relativity**, and as **Einstein's theory of gravity**, is the geometric theory of gravitation published by Albert Einstein in 1915 and is the current description of gravitation in modern physics. General relativity generalizes special relativity and refines Newton's law of universal gravitation, providing a unified description of gravity as a geometric property of space and time or four-dimensional spacetime. In particular, the *curvature of spacetime* is directly related to the energy and momentum of whatever matter and radiation are present. The relation is specified by the Einstein field equations, a system of second-order partial differential equations.

A **wormhole **is a hypothetical structure connecting disparate points in spacetime, and is based on a special solution of the Einstein field equations.

The **no-hair theorem** states that all stationary black hole solutions of the Einstein–Maxwell equations of gravitation and electromagnetism in general relativity can be completely characterized by only three independent *externally* observable classical parameters: mass, electric charge, and angular momentum. Other characteristics are uniquely determined by these three parameters, and all other information about the matter that formed a black hole or is falling into it "disappears" behind the black-hole event horizon and is therefore permanently inaccessible to external observers after the black hole "settles down". Physicist John Archibald Wheeler expressed this idea with the phrase "black holes have no hair", which was the origin of the name.

**Jorge Pullin** is an Argentine-American theoretical physicist known for his work on black hole collisions and quantum gravity. He is the Horace Hearne Chair in theoretical Physics at the Louisiana State University.

The **Shapiro time delay** effect, or **gravitational time delay** effect, is one of the four classic Solar System tests of general relativity. Radar signals passing near a massive object take slightly longer to travel to a target and longer to return than they would if the mass of the object were not present. The time delay is caused by time dilation, which increases the time it takes light to travel a given distance from the perspective of an outside observer. In a 1964 article entitled *Fourth Test of General Relativity*, Irwin Shapiro wrote:

Because, according to the general theory, the speed of a light wave depends on the strength of the gravitational potential along its path, these time delays should thereby be increased by almost 2×10

^{−4}sec when the radar pulses pass near the sun. Such a change, equivalent to 60 km in distance, could now be measured over the required path length to within about 5 to 10% with presently obtainable equipment.

**PSR J0737−3039** is the first known double pulsar. It consists of two neutron stars emitting electromagnetic waves in the radio wavelength in a relativistic binary system. The two pulsars are known as PSR J0737−3039A and PSR J0737−3039B. It was discovered in 2003 at Australia's Parkes Observatory by an international team led by the Italian radio astronomer Marta Burgay during a high-latitude pulsar survey.

**Tests of general relativity** serve to establish observational evidence for the theory of general relativity. The first three tests, proposed by Albert Einstein in 1915, concerned the "anomalous" precession of the perihelion of Mercury, the bending of light in gravitational fields, and the gravitational redshift. The precession of Mercury was already known; experiments showing light bending in accordance with the predictions of general relativity were performed in 1919, with increasingly precise measurements made in subsequent tests; and scientists claimed to have measured the gravitational redshift in 1925, although measurements sensitive enough to actually confirm the theory were not made until 1954. A more accurate program starting in 1959 tested general relativity in the weak gravitational field limit, severely limiting possible deviations from the theory.

**Numerical relativity** is one of the branches of general relativity that uses numerical methods and algorithms to solve and analyze problems. To this end, supercomputers are often employed to study black holes, gravitational waves, neutron stars and many other phenomena described by Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. A currently active field of research in numerical relativity is the simulation of relativistic binaries and their associated gravitational waves.

An **exotic star** is a hypothetical compact star composed of exotic matter, and balanced against gravitational collapse by degeneracy pressure or other quantum properties.

**Gravitational-wave astronomy** is a subfield of astronomy concerned with the detection and study of gravitational waves emitted by astrophysical sources.

In classical theories of gravitation, the changes in a gravitational field propagate. A change in the distribution of energy and momentum of matter results in subsequent alteration, at a distance, of the gravitational field which it produces. In the relativistic sense, the "speed of gravity" refers to the speed of a gravitational wave, which, as predicted by general relativity and confirmed by observation of the GW170817 neutron star merger, is equal to the speed of light (*c*).

**Hořava–Lifshitz gravity** is a theory of quantum gravity proposed by Petr Hořava in 2009. It solves the problem of different concepts of time in quantum field theory and general relativity by treating the quantum concept as the more fundamental so that space and time are not equivalent (anisotropic) at high energy level. The relativistic concept of time with its Lorentz invariance emerges at large distances. The theory relies on the theory of foliations to produce its causal structure. It is related to topologically massive gravity and the Cotton tensor. It is a possible UV completion of general relativity. Also, the speed of light goes to infinity at high energies. The novelty of this approach, compared to previous approaches to quantum gravity such as loop quantum gravity, is that it uses concepts from condensed matter physics such as quantum critical phenomena. Hořava's initial formulation was found to have side-effects such as predicting very different results for a spherical Sun compared to a slightly non-spherical Sun, so others have modified the theory. Inconsistencies remain, though progress was made on the theory. Nevertheless, observations of gravitational waves emitted by the neutron-star merger GW170817 contravene predictions made by this model of gravity. Some have revised the theory to account for this.

A **binary black hole** (**BBH**), or **black hole binary**, is a system consisting of two black holes in close orbit around each other. Like black holes themselves, binary black holes are often divided into stellar binary black holes, formed either as remnants of high-mass binary star systems or by dynamic processes and mutual capture; and binary supermassive black holes, believed to be a result of galactic mergers.

**Tsvi Piran** is an Israeli theoretical physicist and astrophysicist, best known for his work on Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs) and on numerical relativity. The recipient of the 2019 EMET prize award in Physics and Space Research.

The **first direct observation of gravitational waves** was made on 14 September 2015 and was announced by the LIGO and Virgo collaborations on 11 February 2016. Previously, gravitational waves had been inferred only indirectly, via their effect on the timing of pulsars in binary star systems. The waveform, detected by both LIGO observatories, matched the predictions of general relativity for a gravitational wave emanating from the inward spiral and merger of a pair of black holes of around 36 and 29 solar masses and the subsequent "ringdown" of the single resulting black hole. The signal was named **GW150914**. It was also the first observation of a binary black hole merger, demonstrating both the existence of binary stellar-mass black hole systems and the fact that such mergers could occur within the current age of the universe.

**Manuela Campanelli** is a professor of astrophysics of the Rochester Institute of Technology. She also holds the John Vouros endowed professorship at RIT and is the director of its Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation. Her work focuses on the astrophysics of merging black holes and neutron stars, which are powerful sources of gravitational waves, electromagnetic radiation and relativistic jets. This research is central to the fields of relativistic astrophysics and gravitational-wave astronomy.

**Horndeski's theory** is the most general theory of gravity in four dimensions whose Lagrangian is constructed out of the metric tensor and a scalar field and leads to second order equations of motion. The theory was first proposed by Gregory Horndeski in 1974 and has found numerous applications, particularly in the construction of cosmological models of Inflation and dark energy. Horndeski's theory contains many theories of gravity, including General relativity, Brans-Dicke theory, Quintessence, Dilaton, Chameleon and covariant Galileon as special cases.

**Christopher John Pethick** is a British theoretical physicist, specializing in many-body theory, ultra-cold atomic gases, and the physics of neutron stars and stellar collapse.

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