I have trouble understanding two lines in an article in NYTimes.

Ever more so, it seems. The past few decades have seen “an amazing array of experimental tests of general relativity, all of them in agreement with the predictions,” Dr. Will said. But the quest continues: “There are still things we don’t fully understand. And that’s probably likely always to be the case.”

Here does the last line mean that it's very likely that scientists will always find something that they don't fully understand?

“The more we keep testing it, the more confidence we have in the theory,” he said. “And of course on the other hand, any sort of deviations from his predictions would surely tell us that there is something new to be investigated.

Here does the highlighted line means that any deviation from Einstein's predictions would make the scientists doubt themselves?

1 Answer 1


Your understanding of the first line is almost perfectly correct, the only change I would make to it would be to add "about the reality modelled by general relativity" after the word "something" giving

The last line means that it's very likely that scientists will always find something about the reality modelled by general relativity that they don't fully understand.

In respect of the second sentence I would say that deviations from Einstein's predictions would not cause the scientists to doubt themselves, or even the truth of Einsteinian physics. What they would then do is know that the theory of general relativity has limitations in its application to or explanation of the workings of the universe. In other words that general relativity is not the ultimate explanation of all aspects of reality.

This would place general relativity in a similar position to that of Newtonian physics which is still taught and used daily by engineers, architects and other people because for many purposes it is more than adequate. However new, powerful and fascinating fields of study would open up beyond general relativity as the discovery of phenomena like the non-Newtonian nature of light opened up physics to further insights which led to Einsteinian and quantum pysics.

  • Do you have any idea why did people down vote me? So that I could improve my question next time.
    – shiva
    Jun 1, 2019 at 8:32
  • @shiva Since neither downvote is accompanied by an explanatory comment I don't really know. I can only suspect that they think that you should show more evidence of your own research in your question.
    – BoldBen
    Jun 2, 2019 at 17:23
  • New contributors who write in full sentences, show effort, and who provide context and links should not be downvoted in my opinion. +1 for the OP in this case. Although the question is valid, it is a bit localized, maybe it will only help the OP and no one else but that's not a good enough reason to DV.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 3, 2019 at 7:57
  • @Mari-LouA I agree with you; and I always find anonymous downvotes lazy if not downright cowardly.
    – BoldBen
    Jun 3, 2019 at 19:32
  • @Mari-LouA Is there any way to contact you if I need to ask you a few questions regarding English? I needed some help.
    – shiva
    Jul 22, 2019 at 15:26

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