In a guilt intense afternoon of procrastination, through the combined help of the internet and a lovely Brian Greene documentary on the discovery channel, I’m proud and arrogantly going to admit that I understand Einsteins infamous theory of relativity.
It is something that has always intrigued me. One of the world’s most celebrated brains’ most celebrated theories that has culturally become synonymous with intelligence is known to the dog on the street. But with all this recognition, I’ve never had a fucking clue what it was. I’ve always seen it as being bit of a double whammy. Not only the actual understanding of E=mc2, but also the odd contradictory ignorance and esteem people can hold something in. Kind of weird if you think about it. But in order to remove my own contradictory ignorance, I decided to sit down and not do college work……..I mean, broaden my world.
Einsteins theory of relativity shook up the world of physics and astronomy when it was published in the early 20th century. This new theory superseded physic’s theory of mechanics that had been used for the past 200 years after it was stated as far back as Isaac Newton (RIP) blowing everyone’s minds. The thought process form Newtons day was effectively that time and space (not outer space, but the space around you) were separate entities, that time was absolute and uniformed. But Einstein proposed that the two were fixed together, that they were relative.
This opened up endless possibilities for physics as it now created a new dimension called spacetime (or the space time continuum to any fellow back to the future fans) which is where space is 3D and time acts as a fourth dimension. Anyway, effectively it’s where time is influenced by space and velocity, contradicting before where time and space were separate. It’s all very detailed and technical, and I seriously doubt I wouldn’t hold my own with a real scientist, but essentially it’s this.
Einstein believed that the more space you cover, the slower time is for you. Time will move faster for you when you stand still compared to when you move. This sounds mad, but the difference is immeasurable to us as its in millions of micro seconds, but they have proven it. they have done it with moving 2 clocks around the world. One by land, one by plane. Obviously taking into account speed etc back in the 60’s or some god forsaken time like that, tests found that since the plane was higher off the ground, it covered less space of the earth when travelling and in fact went forward in time compared to the clock that went on the ground. It was proven more recently when a Russian cosmonaut who had been in orbit for so long returned to earth to find that he had actually traveled 0.5 seconds into the future, Doc Brownski.
All in all, Einsteins theory of relativity is pretty interesting and a lot more detailed and confusing. But if this piece has been anything, to be honest its been one long elaborate set up for a cheesy punchline. You see the theory of relativity helps us to understand one of mankind’s most unanswered questions and phenomena……
……how did that last hour and half on the internet go so fast?