Re: [asa] Predestined Fame:

From: <>
Date: Tue Jul 15 2008 - 21:13:03 EDT

This has nothing to do with numerology but I have to make my standard defence of the cosmological term. It's true that Einstein introduced it only to get a static universe in his 1917 paper. But in his basic general relativity paper 2 years earlier there is a footnote which in essence recognizes the possibility of including such a term in the field equations. & when he did introduce it he gave another argument for it, viewing it as an averaging of the "Poincare stresses" that were thought to be needed in classical electron theory.

If Einstein had not introduced the cosmological term for the reasons he did, someone else would eventually have introduced them for other reasons - of which several can be given. & of course now we know that it provides at least a first approximation to the effects of dark energy.

The popular designation of the cosmological constant as the quintessential fudge factor should cease.

George Murphy

---- Murray Hogg <> wrote:
> To offer an analogy pertinent to the scientific nature of the list, I
> see your approach as working ONLY if you are allowed to get away with a
> highly questionable "fudging" of the equations -- a bit like Einstein's
> addition of a cosmological constant to "fix" the theory of general
> relativity. Such a constant was required by Einstein's need to
> demonstrate a point, not because of any truly scientific motive.

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Received on Tue Jul 15 21:13:13 2008

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