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# ALBERT EINSTEIN

Relativity." When people say, "relativity," they mean that there are different points of view that make things "relative." Let's begin with an easy example. If I'm standing far away from you, and you see me, I look really small, don't I? That's because my size is relative to you. In my point of view, I'm the same size I always am, but to you I look very small. Mr. Einstein took his knowledge of these different points of view and constructed a theory that applied the idea of different points of view to the world of physics. He made advancements because he saw that it was impossible for time, space, and mass to remain the same from very different points of view. If a person is traveling at the speed of light, then they will see the world in a very different way than people who are standing still do. Einstein believed that at very high speeds, things will shrink. Take the case of two rocket ships, both fifty feet in length. One is flying over the other, which is stationary on the ground. The ship that is flying at a very fast speed will have shrunk if measured while it is flying over (you couldn't see it with your eyes though...it would be going too fast). The pilot of the flying ship wouldn't notice, though, because everything in the ship will have shrunk.

Einstein also theorized that you could also look at such a situation from a different point of view. Say that you were the pilot in the rocket flying over the other. Could you imagine that the rocket ship on the ground is flying backwards? It could be. Einstein thought that the way you see things is a matter of which point of view you take. Here's another example that Einstein himself was fond of using. Imagine a building that is infinitely tall. That means that it goes up and up and up forever. Now imagine that you are in an elevator that is falling in that building. Don't worry. Since this is an infinitely tall building, you won't crash at the bottom because there is no bottom. Now, while you are in the elevator, you can walk around, talk to a friend, or drop something on the ground. Everything will be just like normal. You won't fell like you're being pulled on anymore than gravity usually does. If people outside the building were able to see this elevator through the walls however, it would seem that you were falling the whole time. You don't think you're falling because there is no change in what you can do. You certainly don't feel like you're falling. In fact, from your point of view, it might seem that the people outside are flying up if you could see them, because it all depends on your point of view, also called your perspective.

Friends outside might get concerned! If you don't think this works, try a little experiment of your own one day if you're in a train or a subway or some other sort of train. When you pull into a station, look at the train next to you if there is one. If that train pulls out before yours does, think real hard and imagine that the train is standing still and that your train is leaving. It your train leaves first, try to imagine that you are still sitting there, and that the other train is the one that is leaving. If you don't ride in trains much, try this in a car in a parking lot with your parents. Sit in the car, and when a car next to you is backing out, imagine that you are going forward, and that the car pulling out is standing still. It really works! You may not be able to see it on the first try, but you should be able to see it eventually. Another part of Einstein's theory of relativity dealt with the speed of light. He had asked himself as a boy, "What would it be like to travel along side a wave of light?" When he got older, he discovered that it would be very difficult to do so. He discovered that light moves very fast, at