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Relativity Albert Einstein Outline of Chapters by Jacob Elfrink, May 2012 Background Info Under the old theory

ry of electrostatics electrical action was assumed to be instantaneous. The electrodynamic theory (the relating of electrical and optical phenomena) began when Maxwell noticed that the mathematical conversion factor between the two was equal to the velocity of light. Pursuing this Maxwell came up with several revolutionary equations relating distance, work, and energy; as well as a theory that light and electricity were generically the same. Twenty years later Hertz verified these equations experimentally by using electric inhibitors to clock the speed of an electric current, which happened to be the speed of light. He also found that radio waves travel at this speed. Thus the theory of electrodynamics, where light, radio waves, electricity, etc. are all just parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. The Lorentz transformations were only possible because of Maxwell's equations. Preface The intention here is to present the theory of relativity simply and clearly to those who are generally interested from a scientific and philosophical point of view. SPECIAL THEORY Section 1 Redefining Truth Most readers of this book will have a grounding in Euclid. What do we mean by saying Euclid is true? A proposition is true when it is correctly derived from one's principles. Thus the truth of axioms has no meaning. Further, geometry cannot be true in the sense of corresponding to reality because geometry is not concerned with how its objects exist in reality, but only their logical association in the mind. Geometry should therefore refrain from trying to conform to reality so it can have the largest possible logical unity. Therefore we will supplement geometry with the postulate that a distance corresponds to two points on a rigid body. Geometry now becomes physics, and we can ask about its truth, or correspondence to reality. Note that there are actually no rigid bodies, but we will assume so until we get to the general theory. Section 2 Measurement and Coordinate Systems Measurement of length is essentially the addition of units. We designate location by coincidence with a point on a rigid body. Together these (coincidence and measurement) make up a coordinate system. We don't actually build a Cartesian grid, rather we rely on optics and the propagation of light to measure and locate. Section 3 Finding Position The purpose of mechanics is to describe how bodies change their position in space with 'time'. Position in space is dependent on one's reference-frame/coordinate system. Position in a motion must also take into account time, and this will rely on the propagation of light for its observation (which is requisite to call a thing real in physics). Section 4 Galileian Coordinates Galileian coordinates and transformations presuppose inertia, and thus require a fixed reference frame.

Section 5 Motion Motion is a uniform translation of objects within a given system. Translation is the mathematical conversion of the observed motion into the actual motion, I.e. making sense of what is happening for another while maintaining the same laws of nature. This universality of nature's laws is the principle of relativity. Newtonian mechanics did a pretty good job of upholding the principle of relativity, but cannot explain why the velocity of the earth and its rotation/orbit does not affect sub-lunar phenomena (since, after all, a point on the surface of the earth is not moving inertially, but in a looping circle with respect to the immobile reference frame of the sun). Section 6 Vector Composition Explanation of vector/velocity composition. This won't hold in all cases, as will be shown in the case of light. Section 7 Argument for Special Relativity The speed of light is the same for all colors independent of the emitting body's speed. This is a verified scientific fact (like the Michelson-Morely experiment). Thus light cannot conform with vector composition in Newtonian mechanics. Therefore we must either scrap relativity or the laws of the propagation of light. But the principle of relativity is necessary for any rational study of nature. And the law for light is upheld by observation, experiment, and the electromagnetic theory. To keep both these laws Einstein proposes the Special Theory of Relativity. Section 8 Simultaneity How to measure simultaneity is a problem. The time of an event is the reading on the clock in the immediate vicinity of that event. Simultaneous events are events that occur when their clocks have identical readings. E.g. if I see light A ahead of me and light B in my rear-view mirror at the same time, these are simultaneous for me. Section 9 Train Illustration When motion is involved, simultaneity will be dependent on reference frame... E.g. two flashes of light do not appear simultaneous depending on whether you are on the bank or on the train. This is because the observer on the bank is moving toward one of the flashes and running away from the other, since the train is the immobile reference, not because light is going any faster or slower. Thus time has no meaning unless we are also given a reference-body. Therefore we must disregard absolute time to keep the law of light propagation in vacuo and the principle of relativity. Section 10 Length Warpage Nor will length translate simply between reference frames that are in relative motion. Section 11 Lorentz Transformations The last two sections have shown that neither space nor time are independent of reference frame. But by the Galileian transformations these were translated simply between reference frames, therefore we need a new transformation if we want to uphold the principle of relativity. The answer is the Lorentz transformation. In addition to our normal 3-D x, y, z coordinates, we will add a fourth t for time. The transformation from location x in reference-frame K to a

location x1 in reference-frame K1 is x1 = (x-vt)[(1-v2/c2)-1/2] and for t1... t1 = (t-vx/c2)[(1-v2/c2)-1/2] The important thing to notice is that velocity, speed, and position enter into the composition of each other and time. This is a step beyond Maxwell's equations. Also notice that when c approaches infinity the Lorentz transformations approach the Galileian transformations (x1 = x-vt and t1 = t, respectively).

Section 12 Length and Time Warpage Thus rigid bodies contract in the direction of motion (from the immobile reference-frame), approaching no size as their speed approaches c. Thus also clocks approaching the speed of light slow as their speeds approach c. Section 13 Fizeau Velocity addition can deal with light under the special theory. [elfrink: this chapter is vague, so don't get upset if my summary is vague] Fizeau experiment: testing the speed of light going against the speed of water running through a tube. The conclusion vindicated the Special Theory of relativity in some way or another. Section 14 Heuristic heuristic: adjective, enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves Apparently the heuristic value of the theory is that it can be a litmus test for the truth of general laws. [elfrink: Einstein is giving himself a tummy-rub.] Section 15 Practically Speaking The special theory has grown out of electrodynamics and optics Practically speaking this theory won't change anything in your day-to-day life. The objects this will effect in any substantial way are those objects going near the speed of light, which will only be things like ions, photons, etc. Notice that E = mc2[(1-v2/c2)-1/2] approaches E=mc2 as c approaches infinity. Thus the conservations laws of mass and energy are reduced to the same law. Also explains why radiation absorption increases inertial mass. Section 16 Experimental Evidence The special theory of relativity has crystallized out of the Maxwell-Lorentz theory of electromagnetic phenomena. The special theory is verified by the experience of astronomical phenomena, like color shift, which turns out to be a doppler effect of the spectral lines from the radiation of stars. Also something having to do with beta-rays confirms the theory, but he's not specific. Lorentz was trying to explain the ether drift by showing that electrons contracted in the direction of motion during the Michelson-Morely experiment. In fact, the special theory shows that there is no ether-drift and no electron contraction within the frame of the apparatus. Thus for a coordinate system moving with the earth the mirror system of Michelson and Morely is not shortened, but it is shortened for a coordinate system which is at rest relatively to the sun. Section 17 Four Dimensions Space-time events must be understood as occurring in four-dimensional space. The equations for 4-

D space-time events reduce to those of 3-D events if -11/2 is substituted for the time-coordinate. GENERAL THEORY Section 18 Shortcomings of Special Theory In the special theory we had to assume perfect convertibility of motions and reference-frames. But this cannot always be done, e.g. with gravitational fields, accelerating motions, and curvilinear motions. Thus we need a general theory, going beyond what even Newton set out to do (his special theory of inertial movement necessitated non non-chaotic behavior). Section 19 Gravitational Mass = Inertial Mass After the electromagnetic theory science has thrown out the idea of action at a distance. Therefore magnets, gravity, electricity, and the like do not act at a distance or instantaneously, but in magnetic fields, gravitational fields, or electric fields. Gravitational fields produce accelerations independent of the physical state of the body affected, and thus gravitational acceleration is interchangeable with normal acceleration, and gravitational mass is equal to inertial mass. Section 20 Flying-Chest-on-a-Hook Illustration Illustration is showing the interchangeability of gravity and acceleration. Similarly in the train example we could attribute the action of braking to the sudden appearance of a gravitational field. Section 21 No Favorites To give some sort of preference to one frame over another we look for a cause. E.g. when two pots are next to each other and one is boiling, we think we have found a cause if we see a blue flame under one. So also with reference frames and chaotic frames, there is no reason to give preference to one or the other since we find no observable reason to make us do so. But the laws of Newton and the Special Theory gave preference to inertial reference-frames. That is, the laws of natures were only true in inertial frames who knows (or cares) what is going on in chaotic frames? Therefore we need to revert to a general theory where all frames are equal. Section 22 Light isn't Straight Anymore Light is propagated curvilinearly in gravitational fields, and this is verified by astronomical observations. Don't worry, though, Special Relativity is still true, but only as a limit-case of general relativity. Section 23 Spinning Disc Illustration, Lines aren't Straight Anymore The spinning disc shows that the Special Theory cannot, in fact, preserve the principle of relativity. This is because the clocks/lengths on the disc are at rest relative to each other, so everyone should agree there is no warpage between them. But these clocks/lengths are not at rest relative to each other to an immobile observer. Therefore nobody agrees anymore about where the laws of nature are true. Also the compromising of length will necessarily destroy pi, and thus the circle, and thus Euclidean geometry on the astronomical scale. The straight line also loses its meaning Section 24 Marble Table Illustration, the Continuum isn't Straight Anymore The Euclidean continuum is able to receive a Cartesian coordinate system because it can be marked

off into a perfect grid of squares. But if the table warps, as when it heats, the squares will no longer close, and thus we must find a new coordinate system which can handle the warping of 4-D space-time.

Section 25 Description of Gaussian Coordinates The system we need is the Gaussian coordinate system. This is a coordinate system made up of arbitrary curves, where the only rule is that curves of the same dimension cannot intersect. This system is as general as it is possible to get: Gauss coordinates are nothing more than the association of two sets of numbers with the points of the surface considered. But at the limit (all non-astronomical areas), the Gauss coordinates become Euclidean coordinates. Section 26 Einstein Repeats Himself Section 27 Ramifications of Gaussian Coordinates, We're not in Kansas Anymore Gaussian coordinates do not need to have any direct physical significance. We get continuity in this system, and thus reality, from the infinite precision which we can freely create (cf Dedekind). The only way we gather data or make observations is by noting coincidence/simultaneity within a Gaussian coordinate. That is, we get equivalent values after a mathematical transformation. Every physical description resolves itself into a number of statements, each of which refers to the space-time coincidence of two events. Section 28 Definition of General Relativity Definition: All Gaussian coordinate systems are essentially equivalent for the formulation of general laws of nature. In gravitational fields there are no such things are rigid bodies, but time is still as close as we need it to be to observe simultaneity. Section 29 General Theory of Gravity Gravity does not operate strictly by the inverse-square law at astronomical levels, as we can see from the orbit of Mercury, but this anomaly is accounted for by general relativity.

[Quackism: When we change we exchange our space-time components. E.g. we give a time-part to gain a velocity-part. Light has no time since it is all velocity.] [Quackism: Gravity is being perfectly at rest in space of this shape. Likewise, an orbit is moving in a straight path through space of this shape.]