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Einstein's relativity in simple language Einstein's relativity in simple language
by Joseph Gatt
2021-02-04 10:07:50
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You'll notice how when people explain Albert Einstein's theory of relativity they use all kinds of complex language. From “speed of light” to “light years” to “space-time conjecture” to other words you'll need a dictionary to understand. And often times the dictionary's definition will only leave your head scratching even more.

So let's use simple language.

Imagine that you and I “walk” through space for 200,000 kilometers. Quite a walk indeed. I walk towards the Sun and you walk towards Neptune (let's not get into technicalities). Basically we walk the same distance, the same 200,000 kilometers, different directions.

einreal0001_400Let's imagine that we both have a watch. We both walk exactly 100,000 kilometers at the exact same speed. Then we come back to Earth. On my watch, it says 5 years, 123 days and 6 hours. On your watch it will say something like 8 years, 310 days and 8 hours.

How's that possible?

Let's use an even more realistic example. I board a space ship. You board another one. We fly 1 million kilometers before heading back to Earth. So 1 million kilometers, and then 1 million kilometers back.

But we take different directions.

We both have the same Seiko or Festina or Swatch watch to keep track of time.

On your watch it says 15 years. On mine it says 10 years.

How come we travelled the exact same distance at the exact same speed in very similar spaceships and we arrive at the exact same time on Earth, and yet, your trip lasted 15 years, and my trip lasted 10 years?

Let's put things simply. Isaac Newton believed that in space, in the universe, and even on Earth, the same laws of gravity apply.

Einstein saw things differently. Einstein had it that space is not made of the same substance. Space is not made of the same gravitational waves.

Just like here on Earth, as you know, the higher up in altitude you go, the less gravity there is. That's why long-distance runners and marathon runners prefer to train in altitude in Switzerland, in the Rift valley or in the Moroccan Atlas. Because gravity is lower, that means you need to put in more effort when your feet hit the ground, you need to apply more pressure to your steps, and that makes for great training. That's why Marathon champions are mostly Kenyans and Ethiopians. So same 42 kilometer marathon, but different types of step pressure applied depending on gravity.

In space, things kind of work the same. You have waves travelling at different speed.

Where does the speed of the waves come from?

It mainly depends on the presence of falling rocks or the radiation of stars, the presence of dust particles or the presence of dust winds and the like.

So if you travel and that you encounter the winds of a flying asteroid, your body is going to be pushed at a way faster speed.

If you travel and that you encounter too much of a star's radiation, your speed will slow down significantly.

So if you travel 100 kilometers bordering a star, you won't spend the same amount of time as that amount of time spent traveling 100 kilometers bordering the collateral winds of an asteroid.

There is of course the chemistry aspect and the mathematical aspect. The speed at which you travel can be calculated depending on the chemical waves that you encounter.

So if you find equations in the sit-com “the Big Bang Theory” on Sheldon Cooper's whiteboard, those equations usually involves the travel speed of different chemical components, of third-parties travel speed depending on which chemical components they encounter.

That sums it up. More science in the future!


    
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