An Article Describing Einstein’s two postulates of relativity, and the possibility of time travel.
Einstein’s theory of relativity is probably sciences most complex and theory, however it is relevant to almost everything we do.
If you are sitting down and you ask someone how fast you are moving, they will answer you with a speed of 0 miles per hour. This is true, but not always. What your friend excluded was that you were moving 0 mph relative to him.
Why does that matter? Because the earth spins at a speed of roughly 1000 miles per hour, and the earth rotates around the sun at a speed of 67,000 miles per hour. So relative to the sun, we are moving at 68,000 miles per hour in any direction at any time! But relative to your friend, in his “reference” that is, he doesn’t see you moving because hes moving in the exact same way as you are.
It’s like you’re in a race, if you and another racer are driving at 100 meters per second right next to each other, you wont feel that he’s moving at all, because you’re moving right next to him. Relative to you, he is moving at 0 mph because you are moving right along with him. You only notice how fast he’s going when you stop your car and see him zip by at 100 meters per second.
This is the first postulate or rule of relativity, that the laws of physics are the same in all frames of reference, speed will always be speed, regardless of where you are.
The second postulate goes something like this: Light’s speed is the only thing in the universe that is not relative. So the speed of light is always the speed of light.
This gets confusing because that means that if you were moving at the speed of light right next to a photon of light, the photon would still be moving away from you at the speed of light (3×10^8 m/s).
This however, has been found to be true by three experiments, the NASA flight experiment of 1971, Hafela Keating experiment, and the MUON experiment.
All three of them prove Einstein’s postulates to be correct.
However it is the second postulate that makes everything interesting. The fact that light always moves at the same speed, no matter the frame of reference, means that time can be slowed down.
Example: Two space ships fire a ray of light, one fires from a distance of 10 meters and the other from a distance of 5 meters, you see both rays at the same time. It can’t be that the ray of light from five meters away only moved at half the speed of light (because of the first postulate), so it must be that something has happened to time, in this case, the light slowed time down.
You can see where relativity becomes really complicated, and Einstein truly was a genius for coming up with these postulates of relativity in a time when no one really understood them.
Now, this is interesting nowadays, because of the fact that high speeds alter time, this means that time travel is effectively possible. Although this requires extremely high speeds, which we may only be capable of in the future.
This has already been proven, for example, if you and your friend synchronize your watches exactly, and he boards a plane and leaves at 500 miles per hour, his watch will actually move slower than yours by a fraction of a billionth of a second.
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