relativity

Category archives for relativity

“Einstein’s gravitational theory, which is said to be the greatest single achievement of theoretical physics, resulted in beautiful relations connecting gravitational phenomena with the geometry of space; this was an exciting idea.” -Richard Feynman When we look out into the Universe, we normally gain information about it by gathering light of various wavelengths. However, there…

“Science, however, gives me the feeling of steady progress: I am convinced that theoretical physics is actual philosophy. It has revolutionized fundamental concepts, e.g., about space and time (relativity), about causality (quantum theory), and about substance and matter (atomistics), and it has taught us new methods of thinking (complementarity) which are applicable far beyond physics.”…

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” -Albert Einstein While it’s easy to look on Einstein’s general theory of relativity — which turns 100 today — as a revolutionary new way to interpret space and time, as well as their interplay with matter and energy,…

“Gravitational and electromagnetic interactions are long-range interactions, meaning they act on objects no matter how far they are separated from each other.” -Francois Englert Want a recipe for seeing as far into the distant Universe as you can? Because of how distance and brightness are inversely related, you need to make the most of every…

“Everyone has his dream; I would like to live till dawn, but I know I have less than three hours left. It will be night, but no matter. Dying is simple. It does not take daylight. So be it: I will die by starlight.” –Victor Hugo Whether you’re at rest or in motion, you can…

“To me there has never been a higher source of earthly honor or distinction than that connected with advances in science.” –Isaac Newton If Newton truly meant that sentiment, perhaps he would have been happy to find out that his theory of gravitation — which stood unchallenged for over 200 years — was superseded a…

“The total number of people who understand relativistic time, even after eighty years since the advent of special relativity, is still much smaller than the number of people who believe in horoscopes.” –Yuval Ne’eman It’s been 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang for us, and when we look out at a distant object in…

When it comes to the definition of “genius,” everything is relative, right? When a particularly bright young person performs an amazing feat of intellect or scores incredibly well on a standardized test like an IQ exam or the SAT, we often herald them with excessive praise, calling them “the next Einstein” or even “smarter than…

“One feels that the past stays the way you left it, whereas the present is in constant movement; it’s unstable all around you.” –Tom Stoppard You might best know Einstein for E=mc^2, but I would argue that the far greater contribution was the development of relativity. Think about the following: if you strike the upper…

“Oh leave the Wise our measures to collate. One thing at least is certain, light has weight. One thing is certain and the rest debate. Light rays, when near the Sun, do not go straight.” –Arthur Eddington While we know full well today that Newtonian gravity is just an approximation to a more correct theory…