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The Special theory of relativity

(Einstein’s theory of time and space)

Abstract: Einstein's general theory of the movement of small particles in a fluid

relativity provides a geometrical description (Brownian motion). The third paper on 1905
of gravity in terms of space-time curvature. was called On the electrodynamics of
The Einstein field equations pose fascinating moving bodies, it changed the face of
challenges that have stimulated a great deal physics and the way we understand nature.
of research in geometry and partial This paper starts with a very simple (and
differential equations. well known) example: if a magnet is moved
inside a coil a current is generated, if the
Keywords: These effects become more
magnet is kept fixed and the coil is moved
appreciable only at speeds equal to or
again the same current is produced This,
greater than one tenth of speed of light
together with the difficulties in detecting the
called Relativistic Speed.
motion with respect to the same laws of
INTRODUCTION electrodynamics and optics will be valid for
all frames of reference for which the laws of
The Special Theory of Relativity is a theory mechanics hold good which is known as the
of classical physics that was developed at Principle of Relativity. In order to
the end of the nineteenth century and the understand the implications of the Principle
beginning of the twentieth century. It of Relativity we need (again) the concept of
changed our understanding of older physical an inertial observer This is a person which,
theories such as Newtonian Physics and led when observing an object on which no
to early Quantum Theory and later the forces act, finds that it moves with constant
Theory of General Relativity. Special speed in a straight line, or else is at rest. In
Relativity is one of the foundation blocks of terms of inertial observers we can restate the
physics. This book will introduce the reader Principle of Relativity: all the laws of
to, perhaps, the most profound discovery of physics are the same for all inertial
the twentieth century and the modern world: observers. All the laws of physics are the
the universe has at least four dimensions. same for all inertial observers
I.ENTER EINSTEIN Galileo made a very similar statement but he
referred only to the laws of mechanics,
In 1905 Einstein published three papers. The
Einstein’s achievement was not only to
first (dealing with the so-called
provide a generalization, but to derive a host
“photoelectric effect”) gave a very strong
of strange, surprising, unexpected and
impulse to quantum theory, and got him the
wonderful consequences from it. The ether,
Nobel prize in 1921. The second dealt with
led Einstein to postulate that Maintaining the
Integrity of the Specifications
II .RELATIVITY. transmission medium is required, and that
light in space moves in a vacuum.).
The theory of special relativity explains how
space and time are linked for objects that are A General theory of relativity:
moving at a consistent speed in a straight
Einstein put forward general theory of
line. One of its most famous aspects
Relativity In 1916.
concerns objects moving at the speed of
light. Simply put, as an object approaches Statement: It is the branch of theory of
the speed of light, its mass becomes infinite relativity which deals with non inertial or
and it is unable to go any faster than light accelerated frames of reference. This theory
travels. This cosmic speed limit has been a treats problems relating to frames of
subject of much discussion in physics, and reference accelerating with respect to one
even in science fiction, as people think about another. In this branch gravitational field
how to travel across vast distances. does play some part.
HISTORY B. Special theory of relativity:
Before Einstein, astronomers (for the most Introduction:
part) understood the universe in terms of
three laws of motion presented by Isaac This theory was put forward by Albert
Newton in 1686. These three laws are: Einstein in 1905.

(1) Objects in motion (or at rest) remain in Statement: This theory deals with inertial or
motion (or at rest) unless an external force non-accelerating frames of references. In
imposes change. this theory gravitational field does not play
any part. This theory treats problems
(2) Force is equal to the change in involving inertial frames.
momentum per change of time. For a
constant mass, force equals mass times Postulates of Special theory of
acceleration. Relativity:
(3) For every action, there is an equal and Special theory of relativity is based upon
opposite reaction. two postulates which can be stated as
But there were cracks in the theory for
decades before Einstein's arrival on the • The laws of physics are the same in
scene, according to Encyclopedia all inertial frames. This postulate is the
Britannica. In 1865, Scottish physicist James generalization of the fact that all physical
Clerk Maxwell demonstrated that light is a laws are the same in frames of reference
wave with both electrical and magnetic moving with uniform velocity with respect
components, and established the speed of to one another. In laws of physics were
light (186,000 miles per second). Scientists differences for different observers in relative
supposed that the light had to be transmitted motions, the observer could determine from
through some medium, which they called this difference that which of them were
the ether. (We now know that no stationary in space and which were moving.
But such a distinction does not exists, so this
postulate implies that there is no way to depends upon the motion of the frame of
detect absolute uniform motion. reference Authors and Affiliations
• The speed of light in free space has Expression: Suppose an observer is
the same value for all observers, regardless stationary in an inertial frame. He measures
of their state of motion. This postulate time interval between two events in this
frame. Let it be "t0", This is known as
proper time.

D. Importance of Einstein
In our everyday life, we deal with extremely
small speeds, compared to the speed of light.
Even the earth's orbital speed is only 30
km/sec. On the other hand, the speed of light
in free space is 300000 km/ sec. This is the
reason why newton's laws are valid in an


Almost a century later, the General Theory
of Relativity remains the single most
• states an experimental fact that speed influential theory in modern physics, and
of light in free space is the universal one of the few that almost everyone, from
constant. Results of Special theory of all walks of life, has heard of (even if they
Relativity: may be a little hazy about the
details).Einstein’s General Theory predicted
Some Interesting results of special theory of the existence of black holes many years
relativity can be summarized as follows before any evidence of such phenomena,
without going into their mathematical even indirect evidence, was obtained, and
derivations. was highly suggestive of an origin of the
• C = 3 X 108m/sec universe beginning with a Big Bang type
event, although Einstein himself was highly
III.TIME DILATION suspicious of both of those possibility.
. According to classical physics time Conclusion
is an absolute quantity (i.e time interval
between two events occurred in same The implications of Einstein's most famous
position would be same, whoever measures theory are profound. If the speed of light is
it). But according to special theory of always the same, it means that an astronaut
relativity, Time is not absolute quantity. It going very fast relative to the Earth will
measure the seconds ticking by slower than
an Earthbound observer will — time we use today that demonstrate that Einstein
essentially slows down for the astronaut, was right. Here are some ways we see
a phenomenon called time dilation. relativity in action.

Any object in a big gravity field is

accelerating, so it will also experience time
dilation. Meanwhile, the astronaut's Reference
spaceship will experience length
• APA (American Psychological
contraction, which means that if you took a
picture of the spacecraft as it flew by, it Association)
would look as though it were "squished" in Special Theory of Relativity. (2017). In
the direction of motion. To the astronaut on Science Aid. Retrieved Jul 9, 2018, from
board, however, all would seem normal. In https://scienceaid.net/Special_Theory_of_Re
addition, the mass of the spaceship would
appear to increase from the point of view of
people on Earth. • MLA (Modern Language
Association)"Special Theory of Relativity."
But you don't necessarily need a Science Aid.
spaceship zooming at near the speed of
light to see relativistic effects. In fact, there
are several instances of relativity that we can
see in our daily lives, and even technologies