Invited_talk abstract details

The conceptual and cultural history of gravitational lensing
David Valls-Gabaud


Based on a critical examination of the evidence available on the early ideas on the bending
of light due to a gravitational attraction, which led to the concept of
gravitational lenses, we attempt to present an undistorted
historical and cultural perspective of the subject. We show that, contrary to
a widespread belief, Newton did not ponder on this topic, and
that the earliest thoughts come from Marat and Cavendish. We
review the contributions by Soldner, Chwolson and Einstein and focus
on the role of F. Link, who was the true pioneer of the subject.
We review the role of the Soviet school starting from Tikhov in the conceptual development of gravitational lensing and conclude with a comparison of the different historical perceptions on the subject.