General Relativity at 100: Einstein’s Theory That Changed the World

The Sun is a big black circle with bursts of light protruding around its edge as it is eclipsed by the Moon.
Photograph of the solar eclipse by Arthur Eddington and Edwin Cottingham, Principe, 29 May 1919
Royal Astronomical Society
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Sign up for a special event at the Royal Astronomical Society celebrating the centenary of the confirmation of Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

Age: 16+
Tickets: £5
6.30 – 8 pm, Wednesday 6 November
Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BQ

Seats are limited. Please go to our Eventbrite page to get your tickets.


On 6 November 2019, exactly one hundred years after the announcement of this theory - which changed science for ever - the Royal Astronomical Society will host a special evening event to commemorate Einstein’s work.

Come along and hear from a panel of renowned astronomers, historians and science writers on how general relativity was discovered, how it changed our world, and how it impacts on cutting-edge science to this day.

Speakers include:

  • Professor Daniel Kennefick, University of Arkansas and author of “No shadow of a doubt: the 1919 eclipse that confirmed Einstein’s theory of relativity”
  • Ron Cowen, author of “Gravity’s century: from Einstein’s eclipse to images of black holes”
  • Dr Meghan Gray, Associate Professor, University of Nottingham
  • Dr Carolin Crawford, Public Astronomer, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge

100 years ago Albert Einstein, until then a relatively unknown physicist, became a global science superstar. On 6 November 1919 a joint meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Society heard the results of expeditions led by the British scientists Arthur Eddington, Frank Dyson and Andrew Crommelin who observed a total solar eclipse and tested Einstein’s general theory of relativity. These confirmed his new model describing the force of gravity and the motion of objects, and in the process overturned the work of Isaac Newton that dominated physics and astronomy for the previous two centuries.

Speakers at our event will look at how today general relativity underpins modern science. Astrophysicists use it to explain the motion of stars and planets, and understand how matter behaves in extreme environments like the regions around black holes. On the largest scales general relativity is crucial to our understanding of the beginning and ultimate fate of the universe we live in. And in everyday life, it makes possible navigation with satnavs and mobile phones.


To find out more information about the 1919 eclipse and the expedition that proved Einstein's theory, please go to:


The Royal Astronomical Society would like to express its gratitude to Mark Shuttleworth, whose support made this event possible.



Venue Address

The Royal Astronomical Society,Burlington House


51.5085763, -0.13960799999995