The Hunt for Vulcan …and How Einstein Destroyed a Planet, Discovered Relativity, and Deciphered the Universe
Penguin / Random House November 2015
For more than fifty years, the world’s top scientists searched for the “missing” planet Vulcan, whose existence was mandated by Isaac Newton’s theories of gravity. Countless hours were spent on the hunt for the elusive orb, and some of the era’s most skilled astronomers even claimed to have found it. There was just one problem: It was never there.
In The Hunt for Vulcan, Thomas Levenson follows the visionary scientists who inhabit the story of the phantom planet. It took Albert Einstein to discern that the mystery of the missing planet was a problem not of measurements or math but of Newton’s theory of gravity itself.