In the beginning of the last century, the Nobel physics subcommittee – made up of experimentalists detached from the dramatic developments of theoretical physics on the continent – was surprized both by the quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity, but the biggest problems unfolded with Einstein’s concept of space and time, concepts which was considered to lie within the regime of philosophy. The committee´s struggle with the concepts has been described by the philosopher pf science professor Aant Elzinga (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) who was given access to the archives of the Nobel committee (see A. Elzinga, Einstein´s Nobel prize, a glimpse behind closed doors).
One of the complaints in a special report was concerning the perihelion change of the planet Mercury. The report claims that the theory contained a constant – and that this constant was set to zero (and that therefore the predictions for the planet was not valid or at least flawed in some way).
My question is simply: could the constant referred to the report possibly be Einstein´s cosmological constant?
I have a new source: Gårding L., Mathematics and Mathematicians, American Mathematical Soc., 1998.
“Gullstrand examines Einstein's equations for the movements of bodies and his explanation of the movement of the perihelion of the planet Mercury. His criticism was that Einstein’s equations for this phenomenon permit several solutions. As remarked by Oseen in a subsequent paper, Gullstrand did not observe that the choice of coordinates must be adjusted to the observer and that this gives the correct result.”
It looks more like a simple error, missing the adjustment of a constant.