The Theory of Relativity

Most of what we know about space (at least in the modern sense) is due in large part to Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.  Relativity comes in two parts:  Special and General Relativity.  Special Relativity deals with objects moving at a constant speed (no acceleration).  General Relativity deals with objects that are accelerating.  Regardless of the type of relativity you enjoy learning about, both are remarkable and, at some times, completely bizarre.

The Special Theory of Relativity:

http://www.howstuffworks.com/relativity.htm – This link is a “crash course” in Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity.  What’s nice is that Special Relativity is not that difficult to understand.  In fact, the math used is no more difficult than high school algebra.  However, just because the math is easy to understand, it does not mean that Special Relativity should be taken lightly.  It is a monumental scientific achievement.

The General Theory of Relativity:

http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu/Cyberia/NumRel/GenRelativity.html – This link is a “crash course” in Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.  This is where Einstein’s genius really shows itself!

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/einstein/relativity – This link deals with Relativity and its relation to the universe.  There are some great animations demonstrating the physics of Relativity.

 Einstein and his Accomplishments:

http://www.thebigview.com/spacetime/relativity.html – This link is a nice summary of Einstein’s accomplishments in both Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.  In addition to the expected scientific information, there is also some historical information that puts his achievements into perspective.


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