Relativity and the Nobel Response



Eugene Sittampalam


To:          Professor Vladimir A Krasnopolsky <>


Date:       Thursday 19 July 2007

Subject:   Your PT Letter


However, Albert Einstein is not the only author of the theory of special relativity. …and public opinion now erroneously assigns authorship of the theory only to him. However, both Lorentz and Einstein were nominated for the Nobel Prize for special relativity, and Lorentz was number one in that nomination. (The nomination was not supported by the Nobel Committee, probably because of the insufficient experimental confirmation of the theory at that time.) Therefore, it is fair to call it the Lorentz–Einstein theory of special relativity.

Vladimir A. Krasnopolsky, Physics Today, July 2007, page 8


Professor Vladimir A Krasnopolsky

Catholic University of America

Washington, DC


Dear Professor Krasnopolsky,

Language of science I: Theories and laws; Physics Today, July 2007

The above is indeed a well written letter and a commendable statement of some not-so-well-known historical facts. It is equally praiseworthy that a mainstream publication should carry it now.


The decision of the Nobel Committee is least surprising from what you, too, have highlighted here in plain language. The Committee must have further felt deep down that something radically was wrong with the entire theory or principle of not only special relativity but also general relativity, despite the hype.


In that context, you may find items (1) and (2) to be of interest. These and other pages linked therein should be of help also to your students coming into this, what I would now call – a veritable Nobel minefield!


Finally, the monetary offer mentioned both in (1) and (2) is still open. [Physics World in (2) has since declined to consider it.] Hope your students will take up the challenge, with you as the sole judge. (No hoax; no scam; my word of honor to you as a fellow Catholic!)

A response would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you and best regards,

Eugene Sittampalam 





– End of Letter –


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