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Commentary: Eclipses Are Thrilling and of Immense Scientific Value

Physics professor Paul Halpern PhD, spoke to the media about the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse, focusing on the cultural and scientific value of the rare celestial event.

Historically, scientists have trekked across the earth to conduct research during a solar eclipse, said Dr. Halpern. During World War I a team that organized an expedition was captured by the Russian army.  A solar eclipse offers a rare opportunity to study the solar corona, the outer envelope of the sun, the effect of reduced light on the Earth’s vegetarian and animal life, and gravity, including Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

Dr. Halpern, who specializes in the history of physics and cultural aspects of physics, theoretical astrophysics, and cosmology, is the author a more than a dozen books including The Quantum Labyrinth: How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler Revolutionized Time and Reality

Halpern spoke to Dave Heller, host of WHYY's Newsworks Tonight about the eclipse: 

He also penned an op-ed published in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the scientific value of eclipses: 

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