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The general theory includes the earlier special theory of relativity but goes on to explain accelerated frames of reference. Also, it extends the special theory by proposing a general theory of gravitation.
Einstein understands gravity as arising from a curvature of space and time. The general theory presents the universe as a four-dimensional space-time continuum. So the presence of mass ‘curves’ space so as to create the effect of gravity.
Perhaps even more radical, the special theory predicts that as objects move, time slows down. And the general theory predicts that gravity effects the passage of time. Both of these hypotheses have been supported by atomic clocks and GPS measurements.¹
So, quite unlike idle speculation and imaginary fantasies, Eisntein’s seemingly “weird” ideas are supported by empirical evidence. While other theories of gravitation exist, they tend to have much in common with Einstein’s.
- Top 100 Stories of 2011: #83: Gravity Probe B Gives Einstein an A (discovermagazine.com)
- New telescope array will capture the first-ever photograph of a black hole (dailymail.co.uk)
- The Einstein Theory of Relativity: a 1923 Silent Animated Film (singularityweblog.com)
Special Theory of Relativity
This is one of Albert Einstein‘s theories developed in 1905 which, in its most basic form, says:
- in non-accelerated (i.e. inertial) frames of reference, physical laws always and everywhere apply regardless of the frame of reference and
- the speed of light is constant independent of the speed of the observer
Because the speed of the observer is a frame of reference, the above statements seem to conflict. To resolve these apparently conflicting statements, complex equations were developed, leading to the famous e=mc², where ‘e’ is energy, ‘m’ is matter, and ‘c’ is the constant speed of light.
According to this equation, mass increases with velocity and decreases with a loss of energy.
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Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was a German, Swiss and US physicist, born in Ulm, Bavaria. Einstein became a Swiss national in 1901 and held the position of examiner at the National Patent Office (1902-5). During this time he published papers on theoretical physics. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics for his work on the photoelectric effect (i.e. the observation that electrons are released from specific metals when exposed to ultraviolet light), which spearheaded quantum theory.
Einstein is best known for his special theory of relativity (1905) and general theory of relativity (1916). He also produced the equation, e=mc² where ‘e’ is energy, ‘m’ is matter, and ‘c’ is the speed of light, which is a constant.
Professor at Zürich and Prague, and Director of Berlin’s Kaiser Wilhelm Physical Institute, Einstein escaped persecution from the Nazis by emigrating to the USA, where he lectured at Princeton in 1934. He gained US citizenship and a professorship at Princeton in 1940. After World War II, Einstein advocated international regulation of the atomic bomb. In 1952 he was courted by Israel to become its second President but declined the offer.
Einstein has been accused of plagiarizing from several sources. He himself says that he didn’t have time to fully reference some of the ideas that contributed to this theories.
- General Theory of Relativity (earthpages.wordpress.com)
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- Albert Einstein by Frieda Wishinsky. (encinolibrary.wordpress.com)
- Inside The Office Of Albert Einstein (gizmodo.com.au)
- Happy Birthday, Einstein (Part 4) (letsplaymath.net)
- The Myth of Matter, p. 7 (antennaguru.wordpress.com)
- Einstein’s explanation is better than my – compare my recent blog – but, of course…. (akeeckerwall.wordpress.com)
- Inside the Office of Albert Einstein (gizmodo.co.uk)
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- Inside the Office of Albert Einstein [Image Cache] (gizmodo.com)
Mercury is the closest planet to the sun in our solar system.
Until recently, our knowledge of Mercury was based mostly on three flybys made by the American probe, Mariner 10¹ in 1974-75.
Another American probe, however, Messenger², did three flybys past the planet in 2008 and 2009, and is scheduled to leave the Sun’s orbit and enter Mercury’s in 2011:
One year from today, March 18, 2010 — starting at 12:45 a.m. UTC — MESSENGER will transition from orbiting the Sun to being the first spacecraft ever to orbit the planet Mercury (Source: NASA).
The planet is believed to have a dense iron core. Mercury is also the name of an element, a silver-white metal and the only metal that takes liquid form at room temperature.
This unique quality of the element mercury attracted medieval alchemists.
In Roman mythology Mercury is the god of merchants and traders and also a swift messenger somewhat akin to the Greek Hermes. From it’s mythological meaning, Merriam-Websters Dictionary notes these psychological meanings:
2 having qualities of eloquence, ingenuity, or thievishness attributed to the god Mercury or to the influence of the planet Mercury
3 characterized by rapid and unpredictable changeableness of mood <a mercurial temper>
For depth psychologists like C. G. Jung, Hermes’ well-known mythic role as a spiritual escort to the afterlife for the recently dead (called a psychopomp) is translated into meaning that he’s also a vitally symbolic bridge between the archetypes of the collective unconscious and consciousness.³
Search Think Free » Alchemy, Gemini, General Theory of Relativity, Virgo
- Whole New Mercury Promised by NASA Spacecraft (space.com)
- Mercury, the Incredible Shrinking Planet (amnh.org)
- A Double Planet Seen From Mercury (news.discovery.com)
- Earth and Moon from Mercury (openparachute.wordpress.com)
- Mercury’s comet-like appearance spotted by satellites looking at the Sun (sciencedaily.com)
- Mercury’s comet-like appearance spotted by satellites looking at the Sun (physorg.com)
- How To Handle Your Relationship When Mercury Goes Retrograde (thefrisky.com)
- The View From Mercury [Starts With A Bang] (scienceblogs.com)
- Mercury’s Comet-Like Tail Spotted by Amateur Astronomer (space.com)
- MESSENGER Spacecraft Reveals New Information About Mercury (spacefellowship.com)
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Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was an English physicist, mathematician and alchemist, educated at Cambridge.
In 1665 he developed a form of calculus, an achievement shared with Gottfried Leibniz.
Around 1666 he observed an apple falling in his garden. This prompted musings that lead to his Law of Universal Gravitation.
Newton’s Three Laws of Motion are still taught in just about every high school around the world.
In his studies of light he found that white light contains the entire spectrum. Newton also invented the first reflecting telescope.
Newton also had a slightly unorthodox religious side that many New Age writers are concerned to bring to light. He once said:
Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done.¹
And concerning his achievements, he was unusually modest, echoing sentiments found in a popular medieval metaphor:
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.²
Today, pop science and New Age theorists often contrast Newton with Einstein. Newton is sometimes and almost disparagingly said to represent mechanistic ‘old thought’ while Einstein is lauded as the herald of ‘new thought.’ However, Newton was a rare genius whose influence has been profound. And it’s likely that someday another innovative thinker (or group) will come along to replace Einstein’s iconic role as the great genius who revolutionized our way of seeing the world.
- 5 reviews of Isaac Newton (rateitall.com)
- Newton and the Counterfeiter, By Thomas Levenson (independent.co.uk)
- Isaac Newton’s apple tree to defy gravity in space (newslite.tv)
- Astronauts Give Isaac Newton a Zero G Tribute (space.com)
- ‘Sir Isaac would have loved to see this, assuming he wasn’t spacesick’ (dvice.com)
- Isaac Newton and Physics for Kids (wired.com)
Search Think Free » Alchemy, Deism, Energy, Enlightenment, General Theory of Relativity, Max Plank, Power, Alfred North Whitehead
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