Einstein's theory of relativity

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

  1. A falling apple made Newton to think about gravity. What made Einstien to think and develop his theory of relativity ?
  2. What devices/apparatus/equipment did he use for his theory of relativity ?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
QuantumQuest
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  • #3
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I moved the thread.
The name is Einstein, not Einstien. And the story about Newton is a nice myth...
What made Einstien to think and develop his theory of relativity ?
The problems with the existing theories, in particular Maxwell's laws of electrodynamics which don't work well together with Newtonian physics and experimental results about the speed of light.
What devices/apparatus/equipment did he use for his theory of relativity ?
Einstein did not do experiments, but he knew about experimental results from others. Therefore: pen and paper.
 
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Ibix
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Therefore: pen and paper.
...and, with the way theory development tends to go, probably a large waste paper bin.
 
  • #5
I moved the thread.
The name is Einstein, not Einstien. And the story about Newton is a nice myth...
The problems with the existing theories, in particular Maxwell's laws of electrodynamics which don't work well together with Newtonian physics and experimental results about the speed of light.Einstein did not do experiments, but he knew about experimental results from others. Therefore: pen and paper.
So, what made others to think in this direction ? And what device/equipments they used for this ?
 
  • #6
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So, what made others to think in this direction ? And what device/equipments they used for this ?
Which others, which direction?
Probably the most important experiment that lead to special relativity was the Michelson–Morley experiment.

You can find all those things in the corresponding Wikipedia articles.
 
  • #7
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A falling apple made Newton to think about gravity. What made Einstien to think and develop his theory of relativity ?
For the general theory of relativity, read about the Equivalence Principle. It illustrates the type of thought experiments that Einstein used.
 
  • #8
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Hy Anjum S Khan, my belated welcome to PF Forum

I moved the thread.
The name is Einstein, not Einstien. And the story about Newton is a nice myth...
The problems with the existing theories, in particular Maxwell's laws of electrodynamics which don't work well together with Newtonian physics and experimental results about the speed of light.Einstein did not do experiments, but he knew about experimental results from others. Therefore: pen and paper.
What? It's a myth?
A falling apple made Newton to think about gravity. What made Einstien to think and develop his theory of relativity ?
  1. What devices/apparatus/equipment did he use for his theory of relativity ?
One stone (ein stein) didn't use any devices, mostly he used thought experiments,
But GPS clock synchronization is the proof of Einstein theory. And you can read something about muon.
Muon particle, as I read, should decay in about 2 microsecond. Yet from 16 km above the atmosphere, some of them can reach ground.
<<Mentor note: Link deleted>>
But, they're just the proof of this theory not the devices to develop this theory.
Sincerely
 
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  • #9
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Einstein's primary motivation came from reading Lorentz's 1904 paper, "Electromagnetic Phenomena in a System Moving with any Velocity less than that of Light", which contains the Lorentz transformation and length contraction equations, and asserted the undetectability of "ether": "It will therefore be impossible to detect the influence of the Earth's motion on any optical experiment". He also was motivated by Poincare's 1904 "Sur la dynamique de l'electron", who stressed the subtleties of synchronizing clocks by speed-of-light signals and the idea of "local time" (time seeming to be dilated), and concluded that it was "as though" the ether didn't exist. Einstein's 1905 paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" borrowed their equations, adding the concept of relativity of simultaneity, explicit time dilation, velocity addition formula, and rejection of "ether".

Lorentz and Poincare were motivated by the experiments of Michelson-Morley and Trouton-Noble; and the work of Fitzgerald, Voigt, Rayleigh and Brace, and many others, who figured out most of the basic concepts between 1882 and 1900, starting from Maxwell's equations. Unlike Einstein, none of these physicists dreamed about riding on a light beam.
 
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  • #10
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What? It's a myth?
He probably saw apples falling, but a large fraction of the population does that. It's not like he saw an apple falling and thought "oh, gravitational force is Mm/r2". Wikipedia discusses this in some detail.
But GPS clock synchronization is the proof of Einstein theory.
You cannot prove a theory. You can only fail to disprove it, and if you do that thousands of times with increasing precision, you realize that a theory is good.
Muon particle, as I read, should decay in about 2 microsecond. Yet from 16 km above the atmosphere, some of them can reach ground.
The 2 microseconds are an average, but more muons reach the ground than you would expect in classical mechanics.
 
  • #11
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Einstein's primary motivation came from reading Lorentz's 1904 paper, "Electromagnetic Phenomena in a System Moving with any Velocity less than that of Light", which contains the Lorentz transformation and length contraction equations, ...
1 year for SR. 10 years for GR
 

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