S. James Gates, "Proving Einstein Right: The Daring Expeditions that Changed How We Look at the Universe" (Harvard Science Book Talk)


Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 6:00pm


Science Center Hall C

In conversation with Delilah Gates.

People all over the world know of Albert Einstein. He’s a household name, synonymous with a brilliance and genius that extends far beyond scientific circles. But in 1916 he was a nealy unknown theoretical physicist who had developed a theory of relativity that he hadn’t yet been able to prove. To do that, he needed a photograph of starlight as it passed the sun during a total solar eclipse, and to get it, he would need the aid of some intrepid, determined astronomers. 

In this talk, theoretical physicist Sylvester James “Jim” Gates, Jr., will discuss his new book, Proving Einstein Right, which tells the incredible true story of seven determined astronomers, who traveled the world during five eclipses to determine if the stars’ light waves would follow Newton’s law of gravitation, or Einstein’s new theory of relativity.


Sylvester James “Jim” Gates, Jr. is a theoretical physicist most known for his work on supersymmetry, supergravity, and superstring theory. He is the Director of the Brown Theoretical Physics Center, Ford Foundation Professor of Physics, Affiliate Professor of Mathematics, and Faculty Fellow, Watson Institute for International Studies & Public Affairs at Brown University. In 2013, he was awarded the National Medal of Science, the highest award in the United States given to scientists. He is former president of the National Society of Black Physicists, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Institute of Physics in the United Kingdom. Professor Gates gives popular-level lectures regularly and makes frequent appearances in documentaries about science.

 For more information, go to Book Talks FRONT PAGE