Brainy Quote of the Day

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Relativity Speaking...

Science Universe blog
Einstein is lauded for Special and General Relativity, but he stood on the shoulders of giants before him: Sir Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, Albert Abraham Michelson and Edward Williams Morley; Minkowski, Joseph Larmor, Hendrick Antoon Lorentz and Jules Henri Poincaré.

Jules Henri Poincaré said that "... we have no direct intuition about the equality of two time intervals."

Poincaré came very close to special relativity: "... as demanded by the relativity principle the observer cannot know whether he is at rest or in absolute motion."

On June 5, Poincaré finished an article in which he stated that there seems to be a general law of Nature, that it is impossible to demonstrate absolute motion. On June 30, Einstein finished his famous article On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, where he formulated the two postulates of special relativity. Furthermore, in September, Einstein published the short article Does the Inertia of a Body Depend upon Its Energy-Content? In which he derived the formula E0=mc2.

1905 being Einstein's annus mirabilis (Latin: Year of Wonders), which contributed to his considerable celebrity and our understanding of the universe.

Forgive the history lesson. In other areas of my life, I run into what I like to term "walls of willed ignorance," especially when I'm cornered in a social setting as "the science guy" on a question I'm sincerely not thinking about at the particular moment, or at least can't recall as quickly as "The Google": literally a Hail Mary out of "left field." (Clarification: the question was about quantum mechanics, but I decided to go here 1st - more next Sunday.) I do know when to call BS on persons that merely want to hear themselves pontificate and perform, versus inform. Thus, here is my info for the "walls" and their next spellbinding performance...

Nobel Prize: History of Special Relativity
Physics arXiv: Henri Poincaré and Relativity Theory, by A. A. Logunov

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