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KARACHI: Sir Sulaiman’s research papers

March 14, 2005

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KARACHI, March 13: A display of research papers of Sir Shah Mohammad Sulaiman started on Sunday, at the National Museum to commemorate his 64th death anniversary. The papers will remain on display till March 21.

The collection includes the original theories of “New Relativity” and “Rotational Theory of Light” presented by this great Muslim scientist of the British India.

Sir Sulaiman was critical of the postulate of relativity as formulated by Einstein and he thought that by modifying Newton’s theory to some extent, the results which were observed, could be deduced according to his own ideas.

He also proposed that the effect of gravitation does not spread with infinite velocity as proposed by Newton but with finite velocity nearer to the velocity of light.

In the field of quantum mechanics, Sir Sulaiman proposed that light was not a rare phenomenon but was particle consisting of two parts, one negative and the other positive.

According to him, both the parts revolved around each other while moving forward. He called this theory “Rotational Theory of Light” and claimed that with this assumption he could prove all the laws of light.

Sir Sulaiman pointed out that there was no reason why the velocity of gravitation should be infinite. Starting with a finite velocity, he had shown that the newtonian equations would require a slight correction on account of the motion of the source. By the application of the principle of retarded potential to Newton’s Laws he had deducted an equation which was identical to that of Einstein’s.

Accordingly he obtained the same value for rotation of the orbit of Mercury as Einstein had done, which the Newtonian theory was wholly unable to account for.

But in the case of a high velocity, like that of light, his equation differed from Einstein’s.

Confident of the soundness of his theory, Sir Sulaiman predicted before the solar eclipse of June 19, 1936 that in these two cases the values would be in excess of Einstein’s.

Light rays coming from distant stars which happen to be just behind the edge of the sun at the time of a solar eclipse are attracted by the Sun and therefore slightly bent towards it as compared to their straight paths six months later when the Sun does not intervene between the stars and the Earth.

Einstein’s value for such bending of light was just double of that under the Newton’s law. Sir Sulaiman’s value was even thirty per cent more than Einstein’s. Observations made at some previous eclipses had shown an excess over Einstein’s value, which in the absence of any other theory was attributed to errors of observation.

The results of the observation made by a Russian observer at the time of the 1936 eclipse supported the theory of Sir Sulaiman.

The then, government of India financed an expedition led by Dr T Royds, of Dodikanal to Japan to observe the total solar eclipse of that year.

Dr Royds observations were announced in July, 1937. It was a remarkable confirmation of Sir Sulaiman’s prediction that the extent of the spectral shift of light from the edge of the Sun was actually found to be just double of Einstein’s value.

Sir Sulaiman’s theory is now gradually obtaining recognition even from orthodox quarters and is considered to be an outstanding contribution towards the advancement of scientific knowledge. — APP