Putting the Theory of Special Relativity Into Practice

Spacetime Special Relativity Concept

The theory of relativity usually encompasses two interrelated theories by Albert Einstein: special relativity published in 1905 and general relativity published in 1915. Special relativity applies to all physical phenomena in the absence of gravity. General relativity explains the law of gravitation and its relation to other forces of nature.

The theory of relativity was developed by Albert Einstein in the early 1900s due to the inability of classical physics to explain certain observations. It has two components, special relativity and general relativity.

Special relativity is based on the key concepts of a constant speed of light and physical events must look the same to all observers and applies to all physical phenomena without significant gravitation. General relativity is the idea that space and time are two aspects of spacetime, and what we perceive as gravity is the warping of spacetime.

Scientists who study the cosmos have a favorite philosophy known as the “mediocrity principle,” which, in essence, suggests that there’s really nothing special about Earth, the Sun, or the Thousands of Galaxies Hubble Space Telescope

This image made from a composite of September 2003 – January 2004 photos captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows nearly 10,000 galaxies in the deepest visible-light image of the cosmos, cutting across billions of light-years. Credit: Image courtesy of NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), HUDF Team

“What this research is telling us is that we have a funny motion, but that funny motion is consistent with everything we know about the universe—there’s nothing special going on here,” said Darling. “We’re not special as a galaxy or as observers.”

Roughly 35 years ago, researchers discovered the cosmic microwave background, which is electromagnetic radiation left over from the universe’s formation during the Jeremy Darling

Astrophysics professor Jeremy Darling studies galaxy…

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