A introduction of Space, Time and Einstein :
Cup your hands together and peer down between your palms.
What is between them?
One answer is “air”. But we think of air as composed of separate
molecules, like isolated islands. What lies between the molecules?
The distances between the molecules differ. Could there be more
“nothing” between some, and less “nothing” between others? Could
nothing really exist?
The empty space does seem to be nothing. It is tasteless, colourless
and weightless. It does not move, and the gentlest breeze can pass
through it without resistance.Start Where You Are
This is our first question. What is between your cupped palms? Is it
space, a vacuum, a place? Is it there at all? Is it something or nothing?
Now pause silently for a moment until you can feel the blood
pulsing through your hands. Time is flowing. Your brain is sensitive to
the physical passage of time and as each second or so passes it rouses
itself and decides to stimulate your heartbeat, sending blood coursing
down through your palms.GIVE AND TAKE
Does time flow invisibly through the space between your palms, as
blood flows through your fingers or as a river flows past it banks? Can
you feel time flowing there? Is that the right metaphor?
Does time flow more slowly and more quickly, or at a steady rate?
If steady, then steady compared to what? Does it flow at a speed of
one hour per . . . hour? Space, Time and Einstein
If no body moves through a space does time still flow there? Can
time proceed without change? This is our second question.
What is the flow of time? Is it happening there in the empty space between your palms, or in the space your brain occupies? Is time the same as physical change, or is it the cause of change?
These questions about space and time seem idle at first. It is not
clear even how to begin, how to get a grip on them. But we have
learned otherwise.LAW OF SUCCESS
Consider one time and place. On 6 August 1945, early on a bright
sunny morning in the city of Hiroshima, tea was being made in
offices, children were being bundled off to school and a lonely,
propeller-driven plane buzzed unnoticed through the sky above.
When the atom bomb fell, the furious, boiling ball of fire killed some
one hundred thousand human beings at once. Quran in English
The city centre disappeared, rivers and criss-crossing canals were vaporized and buildings were blown apart for miles. Pedestrians walking across a distant bridge were suddenly sooty silhouettes on scarred concrete.
Many more who at first survived the initial blast soon died horribly as
their flesh peeled from their bones, and their organs were eaten away
by the radiation.LIVING IN THE LIGHT Space, Time and Einstein
The atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, like those
still poised and ready in missile silos around the world today, stand as
emblems of the power – of the depth and the danger – of our new
ideas about space and time. The basic theory of the bombs is given by
Albert Einstein’s famous equation that says that ordinary matter can
be converted into tremendous explosions of pure force and energy.
The following chapters will trace Einstein’s surprisingly simple
theories, showing how new ideas about time led to new ideas about
energy, and give instructions for constructing an atomic bomb. But
here we should pause to contemplate the power of ideas, the
possibility that seemingly idle questions may have far-reaching
consequences.Family Law Section Space, Time and Einstein
Modern answers to the two questions above mix great tragedy and
great beauty, and are known as the “philosophy of space and time”.
This subject has played a central role in European philosophy since
the time of the ancient Greeks. It is sometimes traditional to divide
philosophy – the “love of wisdom” – into three branches according to
the three leading questions: Space, Time and Einstein
- What is there? What exists? What is reality composed of? Does it include atoms, space, ghosts, souls, Beauty, God?
- What can we know? Which sorts of knowledge are reliable? Can we trust our senses? Who should we believe? What is truth?
- What should we do? What is good or evil? Is our aim successful survival or saving our souls? Should we tell lies? Should we be guided by reason or emotion, or both? Space, Time and Einstein
- For each question, the corresponding branch of philosophy is:
- Metaphysics – the study of reality
- Epistemology – the study of knowledge
- Ethics – the study of good and evil, of values.
Two theories of relativity
There are two Einsteins. For most of the world, Einstein (1879–1955)
is a cult figure: the pre-eminent icon of genius. With his wispy, wild
grey hair, missing socks and other-worldly idealism, he has replaced
the wizards of earlier times in the popular mind. This Einstein is
dangerous, a stereotype with a life of its own that distorts both the
man behind it and the nature of the science that so shapes our world.
Among physicists, Einstein is at times remembered as a grumpy,
cutting and arrogant fellow with little patience for family or
colleagues. He so annoyed his teachers at university that he failed to
secure a job in academia, and had to scramble to find low-paying
work in the Swiss patent office (although some say that being Jewish
hurt his chances too). During his twenties in Berne, Einstein was a
fashionable man about town.
His wit and violin playing brought him many dinner invitations, and he formed a reading group with friends to study the work of Kant, Schopenhauer and other philosophers. In 1905, his miracle year, he published several unrelated papers. One was good enough to win a Nobel prize, and another revolutionized our views of space and time. The 25-year-old patent clerk had remade physics in his own image.