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Einstein's theory of special and general relativity

Albert einstein theory of special relativity

Albert einstein theory of special relativity

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Albert Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity

The theory of Special Relativity, written by Albert Einstein in 1905, describes the laws of motion at velocities close to and at the speed of light. It was written to make the laws of motion consistent with the laws of electromagnetism. Special relativity makes two postulates: the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers and the speed of light in a vacuum is constant, regardless of motion. One of the consequences of these postulates is that clocks run slower to an observer in motion, or time slows down. Special relativity also states that objects at high speeds always appear shorter in the direction of motion than they do at rest. However, length measurements transverse to the direction of motion are unaffected. Velocity addition is different for special relativity than for classical mechanics because according to special relativity, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Also, in order to retain the conservation of momentum as a general law consistent with Einstein's first postulate, a new definition of momentum must be used at relativistic velocities. The twin paradox is the famous example that uses time dilation and length contraction. Special relativity is not contradictory with classical mechanics because at low speeds, all of the laws of special relativity reduce to the laws of classical mechanics.

In 1905, Albert Einstein wrote his paper on the special theory of relativity (Prosper). This theory has the reputation as being so exotic that few people can understand it. On the contrary, special relativity is simply a system of kinematics and dynamics, based on a set of postulates that is different from those of classical mec...

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...pecial relativity has caused profound changes in the way we view our universe at its most fundamental level. The theory has had an effect on many areas of science, especially physics. Even though many people did not think that special relativity was anything more than a theoretical idea, it has been tested numerous times. In every case, the predictions of special relativity are upheld. Special relativity is a cornerstone upon which modern physics has been built, and it is one of the greatest discoveries of the twentieth century.

References

Einstein, Albert. Relativity: The Special and General Theory. Three Rivers Press, New York, New York. 1961.

Krane, Kenneth. Modern Physics, Second Edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1996.

Prosper, H. Introduction to Relativity: Special Relativity.

http://www.physics.edu/users/ProsperH/AST3033/relativity.htm

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