— According to Einstein's Special Law of Relativity (1905),
as speed increases,time slows down and the length of objects contracts.
— Also, according to this theory, at extremely high speeds, matter and energy canbe and are interchangeable (E=MC
— According to Einstein's General Law of Relativity (1915),
space is curved
andtime slows down in strong gravitational fields.
— According to Slipher (1913-1916), red shift evidence shows that galaxies aremutually receding from one another.
— Furthermore, according to Hubble (1929), the farther away the galaxies are, thefaster they are receding.
— According to Heisenberg (1929), one cannot know both the position and themomentum (= mass
velocity) of a particle simultaneously.
— According to de Broglie (1925), matter has a dual nature, so that particles,including electrons, have the properties of and behave like waves.
— And, building upon the work of de Broglie, according to New Quantum (Wave)Theory (1920s to the present [Schrödinger, Born, Eddington, Dirac, etc.]): — electrons are not best seen as discrete bodies with negative charges in cleanorbits but, rather, as waves which are only mathematical abstractions;
— there are no certainties in observation and analysis, only probabilities (e.g., as to thelocation of an electron);
— and, according to the so-called "Copenhagen interpretation," physical properties have noobjective reality independent of the act of observation.
Now, which of these systems/these perspectives is correct, the traditional one of Newton orthe contemporary one of Einstein, et al.? The answer is that both are correct, depending uponyour point of view. We do not feel ourselves receding from other galaxies at nearly the speed oflight. We do not understand it to be impossible to determine the position and momentum ofobjects we perceive. Matter seems very solid. Time is, to us, a constant. We might put it this
Roger S. Jones,
Physics for the Rest of Us: Ten Basic Ideas of Twentieth-Century Physics That Everyone Should Know...and How They Have Shaped Our Culture and Consciousness
(Chicago:Contemporary Books, 1992), 7-29.
George Smoot and Keay Davidson,
Wrinkles in Time
(New York: Avon, 1993), 50.
Stephen W. Hawking, A
Brief History of Time from the Big Bang to Black Holes
(New York: Bantam,1988), 54-55, and Jones,
Physics for the Rest of Us,
In Search of Schrödinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality
(New York: Bantam,1984), 86-91.
Physics for the Rest of Us,
Ibid., 162-166; Gribbin,
160-161. The following quote from Gribbin (160) is typical:"...whereas in classical physics we imagine a system of interacting particles to function, like clockwork,regardless of whether or not they are observed, in quantum physics the observer interacts with thesystem to such an extent that the system cannot be thought of as having independent existence."