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The New York Times of November 10, 1919, reported on Einstein's confirmed prediction of gravitation on space, called the gravitational lens effect.

The concept of predictive power differs from explanatory and descriptive power (where phenomena that are already known are retrospectively explained by a given theory) in that it allows a prospective test of theoretical understanding.

Examples[edit]

A classic example of the predictive power of a theory is the Discovery of Neptune as a result of predictions made by mathematicians John Couch Adams and Urbain Le Verrier, based on Newton's theory of gravity.

Other examples of predictive power of theories or models include Dmitri Mendeleev's use of his periodic table to predict previously undiscovered chemical elements and their properties (though largely correct, he misjudged the relative atomic masses of tellurium and iodine), and Charles Darwin's use of his knowledge of evolution by natural selection to predict that because there existed a plant (Angraecum) with a long spur in its flowers, a complementary animal with a 30 cm proboscis must also exist to feed on and pollinate it (twenty years after his death Xanthopan morgani, a form of hawk moth, was found which did just that).[citation needed]

Another example of predictive power is the prediction of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity that the path of light would bend in the presence of a strong gravitational field. This was experimentally verified by an expedition to Sobral in Brazil and the Atlantic island of Príncipe to measure star positions during the solar eclipse of May 29, 1919, when observations made by the astrophysicist Arthur Eddington seemed to confirm Einstein's predictions.[1] Although the measurements have been criticized by some as utilizing flawed methodology,[2] modern reanalysis of the data[3][4] suggests that Eddington's analysis of the data was accurate. Later, more precise measurements taken by radio interferometry confirmed the predictions to a high degree of accuracy.

Applications[edit]

The predictive power of a theory is closely related to applications. [according to whom?]

General relativity not only predicts the bending of light, but also predicts several other phenomena. Recently, the calculation of proper time of satellites has been a successfully-measured prediction, now incorporated into the method used to calculate positions via GPS.

If a theory has no predictive power, it cannot be used for applications.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ F. W. Dyson, A. S. Eddington, and C. Davidson, "A Determination of the Deflection of Light by the Sun's Gravitational Field, from Observations Made at the Total Eclipse of May 29, 1919," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Volume 220 (1920) pp. 291-333 (available online from the Royal Society)
  2. ^ Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch, The Golem: What Everyone Should Know About Science, Cambridge University Press, 1993. (ISBN 0521477360)
  3. ^ Daniel Kennefick, "Not Only Because of Theory: Dyson, Eddington and the Competing Myths of the 1919 Eclipse Expedition," Proceedings of the 7th Conference on the History of General Relativity, Tenerife, 2005; available online from ArXiv
  4. ^ Phillip Ball, "Arthur Eddington Was Innocent," Nature, 7 September 2007, doi:10.1038/news070903-20 (available online 2007)

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predictive_power — Please support Wikipedia.
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City A.M.
Thu, 06 Aug 2015 08:53:06 -0700

What's more, Google's search engine is based on extraordinary modelling expertise and data processing capacity. In a sector where predictive power is king, Google already has a huge amount of data about us which they could translate into accurate – and ...
 
Zacks.com
Mon, 31 Aug 2015 05:56:15 -0700

Zacks Rank: Medtronic currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) which lowers the predictive power of ESP. Note that, we caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is ...

Seeking Alpha

Seeking Alpha
Wed, 26 Aug 2015 07:03:45 -0700

The low correlation between SKEW and the S&P 500, and especially the very substantial variability of the relationship (peak 0.63 and trough -0.17 around the 0.22 average) support my contention that SKEW has little predictive power for the S&P. This ...
 
Nasdaq
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 06:41:15 -0700

Dollar Tree's Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) increases the predictive power of ESP. However, we need to have a positive ESP to be confident about an earnings surprise. Factors Influencing this Quarter Dollar Tree is progressing well with its growth endeavors, ...

Foreign Policy (blog)

Foreign Policy (blog)
Wed, 26 Aug 2015 08:11:15 -0700

Our research suggests that, contrary to perception, China's stock prices have been surprisingly informative about future corporate earnings and have been generating useful signals for managers. Specifically, the predictive power of prices for future ...
 
CoinDesk
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 05:16:01 -0700

The best-capitalised mining firm in bitcoin has waded into the block size debate – stating it must be resolved by consensus. BitFury, previously silent on the hot-button issue, said it will join bitcoin's biggest mining pool in backing Jeff Garzik's ...

Medical News Today

Medical News Today
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 00:07:30 -0700

The authors found: "Classification based on automated analysis outperformed that based on clinical ratings, indicating that automated speech analysis can increase predictive power beyond expert clinical opinion." The features of speech that were found ...
 
Business Insider
Wed, 26 Aug 2015 07:02:31 -0700

And for many, the observation about valuations is just one component of a much more complex investment thesis. Furthermore, we'd add that valuations don't offer a lot of predictive power when it comes to next-12-month returns. Indeed, they tend to ...
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