Howard Percy Robertson’s rejection of Einstein’s scientific paper helped in some way

Howard Percy Robertson’s rejection of Einstein’s scientific paper helped in some

Gravitational waves have been detected finally, the concept which was first time revealed by Albert Einstein. But not many knew that after predicting about these waves in his theory of relativity, Einstein was himself having doubts about the same.

In fact, he even came up with another paper to quash his predictions but physicist Howard Percy Robertson, who was the editor of the journal Physical Review, rejected the paper.

Enraged by Robertson’s move, Einstein did not publish any of his paper in that journal in future. But the point is if Einstein would have been present today, he might have thanked Robertson for taking that step. Finally, researchers have found convincing proof of gravitational waves.


In 1915, Einstein published the general theory, which changed the way scientists thought about gravity. In 1916, Einstein again came up with a novel prediction stating that if space and time could have lumps and bumps then they could move.

Einstein knew the gravitational waves would be subtle and only something dramatic could emit a signal strong enough to detect them. But Einstein was doubtful about the existence of black holes. At one point, Einstein decided to take back his gravitational-wave prediction in a high profile journal article.

After Robertson rejected the paper, Einstein was furious and submitted the paper to another journal. Before Einstein could reject his gravitational waves idea, Robertson indirectly influenced Einstein to change his mind.

Robertson became acquainted with one of Einstein's assistants, Leopold Infeld. He tried to convince as why he thinks Einstein is right and discussions took place between Einstein and Infeld. Before the paper published, Einstein made such changes that supported rather than cancelling gravitational waves.

In a recent project, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has detected the gravitational waves. The researchers expect to find something completely unexpected.


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