This book provides the original Einsteins Theory of Relativity papers translated into English.The theory of relativity, or simply relativity, generally encompasses two theories of Albert Einstein: special relativity and general relativity.ConceptsMoreThis book provides the original Einsteins Theory of Relativity papers translated into English.The theory of relativity, or simply relativity, generally encompasses two theories of Albert Einstein: special relativity and general relativity.Concepts introduced by the theories of relativity include: Measurements of various quantities are relative to the velocities of observers.
In particular, space and time can dilate. Spacetime: space and time should be considered together and in relation to each other.The speed of light is nonetheless invariant, the same for all observers.The term theory of relativity was based on the expression relative theory (German: Relativtheorie) used by Max Planck in 1906, who emphasized how the theory uses the principle of relativity.
In the discussion section of the same paper Alfred Bucherer used for the first time the expression theory of relativityThe theory of relativity transformed theoretical physics and astronomy during the 20th century.
When first published, relativity superseded a 200-year-old theory of mechanics stated by Isaac Newton.The theory of relativity overturned the concept of motion from Newtons day, by positing that all motion is relative. Time was no longer uniform and absolute. Physics could no longer be understood as space by itself, and time by itself. Instead, an added dimension had to be taken into account with curved spacetime.
Time now depended on velocity, and contraction became a fundamental consequence at appropriate speeds.In the field of physics, relativity catalyzed and added an essential depth of knowledge to the science of elementary particles and their fundamental interactions, along with ushering in the nuclear age.
With relativity, cosmology and astrophysics predicted extraordinary astronomical phenomena such as neutron stars, black holes, and gravitational waves.The theory of relativity was representative of more than a single new physical theory. There are some explanations for this. First, special relativity was published in 1905, and the final form of general relativity was published in 1916.Second, special relativity fits with and solves for elementary particles and their interactions, whereas general relativity solves for the cosmological and astrophysical realm (including astronomy).Third, special relativity was widely accepted in the physics community by 1920.
This theory rapidly became a significant and necessary tool for theorists and experimentalists in the new fields of atomic physics, nuclear physics, and quantum mechanics. Conversely, general relativity did not appear to be as useful.
There appeared to be little applicability for experimentalists as most applications were for astronomical scales. It seemed limited to only making minor corrections to predictions of Newtonian gravitation theory. Its impact was not apparent until the 1930s.Finally, the mathematics of general relativity appeared to be incomprehensibly dense.
Consequently, it was thought a small number of people in the world, at that time, could fully understand the theory in detail, but this was discredited by Richard Feynman on video recording available on YouTube. Then, at around 1960 a critical resurgence in interest occurred which has resulted in making general relativity central to physics and astronomy. New mathematical techniques applicable to the study of general relativity substantially streamlined calculations. From this, physically discernible concepts were isolated from the mathematical complexity.
Also, the discovery of exotic astronomical phenomena in which general relativity was crucially relevant, helped to catalyze this resurgence.