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Main article: Special relativity
USSR stamp dedicated to Albert Einstein
Special relativity is a theory of the structure of spacetime. It was introduced in Albert Einstein's 1905 paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" (for the contributions of many other physicists see History of special relativity). Special relativity is based on two postulates which are contradictory in classical mechanics:
The laws of physics are the same for all observers in uniform motion relative
to one another (principle of relativity), The speed of light in a vacuum is the same for all observers, regardless of
their relative motion or of the motion of the source of thelight. The resultant theory agrees with experiment better than classical mechanics, e.g. in the Michelson-Morley experiment that supports postulate 2, but also has many surprising consequences. Some of these are: Relativity of simultaneity: Two events, simultaneous for one observer, may not be
simultaneous for another observer if the observers are in relative motion. Time dilation: Moving clocks are measured to tick more slowly than an observer's
"stationary" clock. Length contraction: Objects are measured to be shortened in the direction that they Mass-energy equivalence: E = mc2, energy and mass are equivalent and
are moving with respect to the observer.
transmutable. Maximum speed is finite: No physical object or message or field line can travel faster
The solutions of the field equations are metric tensors which define the topology of the spacetime and how objects move inertially. energy. under which the states of accelerated motion and being at rest in a gravitational field (for example when standing on the surface of the Earth) are physically identical. The Universe is expanding.The defining feature of special relativity is the replacement of the Galilean transformations of classical mechanics by the Lorentz transformations. and momentum within it. The upshot of this is that free fall isinertial motion. he devised the Einstein field equations which relate the curvature of spacetime with the mass. the free encyclopedia For history and motivation. Technically. but objects in free fall do so. and the far parts of it are moving away from us faster than the speed of light. general relativity is a metric theory of gravitation whose defining feature is its use of the Einstein field equations. Some of the consequences of general relativity are: Clocks run more slowly in regions of lower gravitational potential. General relativity Main article: General relativity General relativity is a theory of gravitation developed by Einstein in the years 1907–1915. To resolve this difficulty Einstein first proposed that spacetime is curved. see History of special relativity. a phenomenon termed "frame-dragging". an object in free fall is falling because that is how objects move when there is no force being exerted on them. (This has been observed in the orbit of Mercury and in binary pulsars). See also Special relativity From Wikipedia. Orbits precess in a way unexpected in Newton's theory of gravity. . Rays of light bend in the presence of a gravitational field. In 1915. Rotating masses "drag along" the spacetime around them. The development of general relativity began with the equivalence principle. instead of this being due to the force of gravity as is the case in classical mechanics. This is incompatible with classical mechanics and special relativity because in those theories inertially moving objects cannot accelerate with respect to each other. (See Maxwell's equations ofelectromagnetism and introduction to special relativity). This is called gravitational time dilation.
e. (On the other hand.  including counter-intuitive ones such as length contraction. time dilation and relativity of simultaneity. whatever they may be. where c is the speed of light in a vacuum. One of the consequences of the theory is that it is impossible for any particle that has rest mass to be accelerated to the speed of light. This theory has a wide range of consequences which have been experimentally verified. Einstein developed general relativity to apply the principle in the more general case. specifically in experiments in which all velocities are small compared with the speed of light. to any frame so as to handle general coordinate transformations. The predictions of special relativity agree well with Newtonian mechanics in their common realm of applicability. also known as the special theory of relativity or STR) is the physical theory of measurement in inertial frames of reference proposed in 1905 by Albert Einstein (after the considerable and independent contributions of Hendrik Lorentz. frames of reference in uniform relative motion with respect to each other. and that theory includes . the two postulates of special relativity predict the equivalence of matter and energy. as expressed in the mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc2. that is. The theory is termed "special" because it applies the principle of relativity only to the special case of inertial reference frames. contradicting the classical notion that the duration of the time interval between two events is equal for all observers. which is invariant. and that there is no absolute and well-defined state of rest (no privileged reference frames)—from mechanics to all thelaws of physics. It generalizes Galileo's principle of relativity—that all uniform motion is relative. see Introduction to special relativity. Special relativity incorporates the principle that the speed of light is the same for all inertial observers regardless of the state of motion of the source. USSR postage stamp dedicated to Albert Einstein Special relativity (SR.) Combined with other laws of physics.For a generally accessible and less technical introduction to the topic. including both the laws of mechanics and of electrodynamics. i. Special relativity reveals that c is not just the velocity of a certain phenomenon—namely the propagation of electromagnetic radiation(light)—but rather a fundamental feature of the way space and time are unified as spacetime. it introduces the space-time interval. Henri Poincaréand others) in the paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies".
This does not have a major impact on a person's day-to-day life since we travel at speeds much slower than light speed. the theory of relativity states that objects will move slower and shorten in length from the point of view of an observer on Earth. .. Einstein received the Nobel Prize in 1921. which reveals the equivalence of mass and energy. When Einstein applied his theory to gravitational fields. the photoelectric effect and blackbody radiation.the effects of gravity. This aspect of relativity explained the phenomena of light bending around the sun.e.a discovery rendering fundamental anomalies in the classic Steady-State hypothesis. predicted black holes as well as the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) -. to first order). his major contribution was the recognition that the speed of light in a vacuum is constant and an absolute physical boundary for motion. is one of the most significant scientific advances of our time. Although the concept of relativity was not introduced by Einstein. and hence to any relativistic situation where gravity is not a significant factor. E = mc2. however. For his work on relativity. For objects travelling near light speed. he derived the "curved space-time continuum" which depicts the dimensions of space and time as a two-dimensional surface where massive objects create valleys and dips in the surface. Inertial frames should be identified with non-rotating Cartesian coordinate systems constructed around any free falling trajectory as a time axis. From the theory of general relativity it follows that special relativity will still apply locally (i. Einstein also derived the famous equation. proposed by the Jewish physicist Albert Einstein (1879-1955) in the early part of the 20th century. You are here: Science >> Theory Of Relativity Theory of Relativity – A Brief History The Theory of Relativity.
particularly due to gravitation. The General Theory of Relativity correctly reproduces all validated predictions of Newton’s theory. Newtonian physics had previously hypothesised that gravity operated through empty space. and the data has been shown to corroborate many key predictions. The total solar eclipse allowed astronomers to -. and with the consequences of Einstein’s conjecture that they are relative. The second is the General Theory of Relativity. predicting important new results for fast-moving and/or very massive bodies. It also predicted the rate at which two neutron stars orbiting one another will move toward each other. but expands on our understanding of some of the key principles. and acts as a radical revision of Newton’s theory.for the first time -analyse starlight near the edge of the sun. general relativity . which primarily applies to particles as they accelerate. for it shows that objects continue to move in a straight line in space-time. which had been previously inaccessible to observers due to the intense brightness of the sun. the most famous being the solar eclipse of 1919 bearing testimony that the light of stars is indeed deflected by the sun as the light passes near the sun on its way to earth. but we observe the motion as acceleration because of the curved nature of space-time. General relativity irons out this paradox. When this phenomenon was first documented. • Einstein’s theories of both special and general relativity have been confirmed to be accurate to a very high degree over recent years.Theory of Relativity – The Basics Physicists usually dichotomize the Theory of Relativity into two parts. • The first is the Special Theory of Relativity. but the theory lacked explanatory power as far as how the distance and mass of a given object could be transmitted through space. which essentially deals with the question of whether rest and motion are relative or absolute.
to date -. and implies that the future is -.the direction towards which the universe increases in size.by definition -. we can infer from the data that the further back into time one looks.proved itself accurate to better than a trillionth of a percent precision. The universe’s expansion helps us to appreciate the direction in which time flows. If . If the universe was eternal. showing beyond reasonable doubt that the Universe sprang into being a finite time ago. Hence it follows that at one point the entropy value was at absolute 0 (most ordered state at the moment of creation) and the entropy has been increasing ever since -. therefore. Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) demonstrated in 1928 that the Universe is expanding. Applying the principle of general relativity to our cosmos reveals that it is not static. this cannot be extrapolated indefinitely. the amount of usable energy available for work would have already been exhausted. the universe at one point was fully “wound up” and has been winding down ever since. and many creation physicists such as Russell Humphreys and John Hartnett have devised models operating with a biblical framework. However this is not the only plausible cosmological model which exists in academia. This has profound theological implications. which states that the overall entropy (or disorder) in the Universe can only increase with time because the amount of energy available for work deteriorates with time. thus making it one of the best confirmed principles in all of physics. The expansion of the universe also gives rise to the second law of thermodynamics.that is. Theory of Relativity – A Testament to Creation Using the observed cosmic expansion conjunctively with the general theory of relativity.have withstood the test of criticism from the most vehement of opponents. However. the universe ought to diminish in size accordingly. The most common contemporary interpretation of this expansion is that this began to exist from the moment of the Big Bang some 13. This is referred to as the Cosmological arrow of time. for it shows that time itself is necessarily finite.7 billion years ago. which -.
Discoveries in astronomy and physics have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did in fact have a beginning. personal. The big bang theory is an effort to explain what happened during and after that moment. and possess eternal. The very concepts of infinity and eternity infer a Creator because they find their very state of being in God. rendering no further work possible. and intelligent qualities in order to possess the capabilities of intentionally space. for infinity and eternity must necessarily exist from a logical perspective. matter -. who transcends both and simply is.The Premise The Big Bang theory is an effort to explain what happened at the very beginning of our universe. and thus the dimensions of time. we can infer that the uncaused first cause must exist outside of the four dimensions of space and time. the thermal energy in the universe would have been evenly distributed throughout the cosmos. the very physical nature of time and space also suggest a Creator. . The General Theory of Relativity demonstrates that time is linked.and indeed even time itself -. They must come into being at precisely the same instant. or related. Moreover. and matter constitute what we would call a continuum. to matter and space. Prior to that moment there was nothing. and the existence of space implies infinity. The existence of time implies eternity (as time has a beginning and an end).the universe were eternal. space. during and after that moment there was something: our universe. You are here: Science >> Big Bang Theory Big Bang Theory . Time itself cannot exist in the absence of matter and space. leaving each region of the cosmos at uniform temperature (at very close to absolute 0).into being. From this.
It continues to expand and cool to this day and we are inside of it: incredible creatures living on a unique planet. all of which is inside of an expanding universe that began as an infinitesimal singularity which appeared out of nowhere for reasons unknown. imagine a balloon expanding: an infinitesimally small balloon expanding to the size of our current universe. For example. going from very.a singularity. our universe sprang into existence as "singularity" around 13. These zones of infinite density are called "singularities. circling a beautiful star clustered together with several hundred billion other stars in a galaxy soaring through the cosmos.7 billion years ago. Where did it come from? We don't know. it apparently inflated (the "Big Bang"). The pressure is thought to be so intense that finite matter is actually squished into infinite density (a mathematical concept which truly boggles the mind). very small and very. infinitely dense. ." Black holes are areas of intense gravitational pressure." Our universe is thought to have begun as an infinitesimally small. very hot. After its initial appearance. Rather than imagining a balloon popping and releasing its contents. What is a "singularity" and where does it come from? Well. expanded and cooled. Why did it appear? We don't know.Common Misconceptions There are many misconceptions surrounding the Big Bang theory. there was (and continues to be) an expansion. This is the Big Bang theory. Singularities are zones which defy our current understanding of physics. Big Bang Theory . to the size and temperature of our current universe. infinitely hot. something . we tend to imagine a giant explosion. we don't know for sure. They are thought to exist at the core of "black holes. to be honest.According to the standard theory. Experts however say that there was no explosion.
Another misconception is that we tend to image the singularity as a little fireball appearing somewhere in space. we are reasonably certain that the universe had a beginning. In 1968 and 1970. This is called "Hubble's Law. So where and in what did the singularity appear if not in space? We don't know. According to the many experts however. rather. We don't know where it came from.1." named after Edwin Hubble (18891953) who discovered this phenomenon in 1929. Radioastronomers .nothing. time. why it's here. not space. Big Bang Theory . "three British astrophysicists. In 1965. Second. very hot as the Big Bang suggests. time and space had a finite beginning that corresponded to the origin of matter and energy. galaxies appear to be moving away from us at speeds proportional to their distance. if the universe was initially very. Back in the late '60s and early '70s. Steven Hawking. All we really know is that we are inside of it and at one time it didn't exist and neither did we. This observation supports the expansion of the universe and suggests that the universe was once compacted. they published papers in which they extended Einstein's Theory of General Relativity to include measurements of time and space. we should be able to find some remnant of this heat. Third. space didn't exist prior to the Big Bang."3The singularity didn't appear in space. George Ellis. Prior to the singularity. 2 According to their calculations. or even where it is. when men first walked upon the moon. matter. and Roger Penrose turned their attention to the Theory of Relativity and its implications regarding our notions of time. nothing existed. space began inside of the singularity. or energy .Evidence for the Theory What are the major evidences which support the Big Bang theory? • • • First of all.
Internationally renown Astrophysicist George F.For instance.6 Other high-profile .765 degree Fahrenheit. Ellis explains: "People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations…. In my view there is absolutely nothing wrong in that. R. Penzias and Wilson shared in the 1978 Nobel Prize for Physics for their discovery. it's just the most popular one. an alternative which also accounts for the evidences listed above.• Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered a 2. What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. the abundance of the "light elements" Hydrogen and Helium found in the observable universe are thought to support the Big Bang model of origins." Gentry has published several papers outlining what he considers to be serious flaws in the standard Big Bang model.425 degree Celsius) Cosmic Microwave Background radiation (CMB) which pervades the observable universe. This is thought to be the remnant which scientists were looking for.You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds. Physicist Robert Gentry proposed an attractive alternative to the standard theory. -270. I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center. and you cannot disprove it based on observations…. Gentry claims that the standard Big Bang model is founded upon a faulty paradigm (the Friedmann-lemaitre expandingspacetime paradigm) which he claims is inconsistent with the empirical data. He chooses instead to base his model on Einstein's static-spacetime paradigm which he claims is the "genuine cosmic Rosetta.725 degree Kelvin (-454.The Only Plausible Theory? Is the standard Big Bang theory the only model consistent with these evidences? No.5 Dr. Big Bang Theory . Finally."4 In 2003. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.
is there a master Architect out there? We know that this universe had a beginning. Was God the "First Cause"? We won't attempt to answer that question in this short article.dissenters include Nobel laureate Dr.What About God? Any discussion of the Big Bang theory would be incomplete without asking the question. who is accredited with first coining the term "the Big Bang" during a BBC radio broadcast in 1950. and the renowned British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle. Creation was a supernatural event. Professor Geoffrey Burbidge. Hannes Alfvén. Halton Arp. We just ask the question: Does God Exist? . Dr. That is. Big Bang Theory . it took place outside of the natural realm. This fact begs the question: is there anything else which exists outside of the natural realm? Specifically. what about God? This is because cosmogony (the study of the origin of the universe) is an area where science and theology meet.
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