20 March 1916
On this day in 1916 Einstein published his General Theory of Relativity.
According to general relativity, the observed gravitational attraction between masses results from their warping of space and time. Experiments and observations show that Einstein’s description of gravitation accounts for several effects that are unexplained by Newton’s law, such as minute anomalies in the orbits of Mercury and other planets. General relativity also predicts novel effects of gravity, such as gravitational waves, gravitational lensing and an effect of gravity on time known as gravitational time dilation. Many of these predictions have been confirmed by experiment.
General relativity has developed into an essential tool in modern astrophysics. It provides the foundation for the current understanding of black holes.
General relativity is also part of the framework of the standard Big Bang model of cosmology.