Can someone interpret this Einstein quote?

1. Apr 4, 2013

Seminole Boy

End of chapter 28.

"The great power possessed by the general principle of relativity lies in the comprehensive limitation which is imposed on the laws of nature..."

Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
2. Apr 4, 2013

ash64449

Yes. It is because in order to describe Gravity, It went beyond the limitation of nature. Have you heard of Euclid's Geometry? It deals with space as being flat. Every experiment was done like this. Because the Space was considered flat, It assumes that only one straight line can go through two points,Angle sum property of triangle is 180 degrees. Two lines which was parallel always remain parallel. These are some laws of nature. Now Do you know what is the limitation of these idea? Can you tell me the limitation in only one straight line can pass through two points?

3. Apr 4, 2013

Seminole Boy

Ash, I cannot understand what you're trying to say.

Also, I believe many scientists think the universe (which includes space) is flat, so I'm not sure if I'm following you.

4. Apr 4, 2013

ash64449

Do you believe that in all cases angle sum property of triangle is 180 degrees? Do you believe that two parallel lines will never meet?

5. Apr 4, 2013

ash64449

Yes. The universe is flat. I am not saying anything about that. You want to understand What that quote means na? I am not talking about the universe.I am talking about Gravity.

6. Apr 4, 2013

ash64449

Yes. the space is flat.But on some circumstances it changes. Do you know how?

7. Apr 4, 2013

8. Apr 4, 2013

ash64449

Why not?? Do you think that Angle sum property of triangle will add up to 180 degrees in curved space?

9. Apr 4, 2013

Seminole Boy

I do not know what angle sum property of triangle means. I'm a graduate student in an English program. I think in language (and yes, I'm aware this is not a good thing when it comes to physics!). Do I believe that two parallel lines will never meet? Good question. If space has no boundaries and nothing affects the motion of these lines, I do not see how they will ever meet, if everything stays constant.

10. Apr 4, 2013

WannabeNewton

This has absolutely nothing to do with the quote Seminole Boy talked about so why are you even bringing it up?

11. Apr 4, 2013

ash64449

Well,think about two lights as parallel. Have you heard like this: Light bends in the presence of gravity?

12. Apr 4, 2013

Seminole Boy

Newton:

Straight from wikipedia: "The essential idea is that coordinates do not exist a priori in nature..."

What does this mean? Or, please explain it for the nonscientist (me).

13. Apr 4, 2013

WannabeNewton

Nature doesn't have some prescribed coordinate system specially adapted to the laws of physics so why should one coordinate system be any more special than another when writing down the laws of physics?

14. Apr 4, 2013

ash64449

Well i will explain.. These are some limitations of laws of nature such as Euclid's axioms. It states that Angle sum property of triangle is 180 degrees. There is only one straight line passing through two points. These are some limits of law of nature. Albert Einstein said that general relativity goes beyond the law of nature. It does!! Energy bends space-time. This curvature is gravity. When space is curved two parallel lines which where parallel is no longer parallel.. Angle sum property of triangle is more than 180 degrees like in surface of earth and less than 180 degrees in space curved in the shape of trumpet. See General Relativity went beyond the limitations set by Euclid. This was stated by Einstein in his quote.

15. Apr 4, 2013

espen180

It means that coordinates are artificial, so physical laws must be independent of the coordinates chosen to represent them. We make sure our equations respect this principle by using inherently geometric quantities, called tensors.

16. Apr 4, 2013

ash64449

Value of pi also changes!!!

17. Apr 4, 2013

ash64449

That is not the thing that quote meant. The answer that i was given is.

18. Apr 4, 2013

WannabeNewton

Whatever makes you happy.

19. Apr 4, 2013

ash64449

me happy??

20. Apr 4, 2013

ash64449

In the quote that you gave,it speaks about special theory of relativity. It stated the Principle of relativity. That quote meant General Theory of relativity. In GR,There is no co-ordinate system,just space-time. and the co-ordinate do not have the use of their own!!