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The Special and General Theory of Relativity

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Emily Majluf

on 5 September 2016

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Transcript of The Special and General Theory of Relativity

As you know, we move through time second by second. But we're not just moving through time, we're moving through space-time. This is a toad, his name will be Garth.
Albert Einstein
Einstein, born in 1879, came up with two theories of relativity:
The special theory in 1905 and the general theory in 1915.
The universe does not exist in a certain part of space or a certain era in time. Space and time exist only within the universe. Einstein concluded that space and time are "two parts of one whole" called space-time.
Time Dialation
Time dilation is the stretching of time. We measure time with a clock, which can be any device that measures periodic intervals.
The Special and General Theories of Relativity
Emily K. Majluf
Special Relativity
First Postulate
Einstein reasoned that there is no specific reference point in the universe to motion should be measured relative to. All motion is relative.
The Special Theory of Relativity that Einstein developed rests on two fundamental assumptions.
"All laws of nature are the same in all uniformly moving frames of reference."
Second Postulate
"The speed of light in empty space will always have the same value regardless of the motion of the source or the motion of the observer."
The speed of light is always the same.
When Garth sits still on the rock, he is moving through time. If Garth decides to hop off the rock, then he will be traveling through space, but still mostly through time.
Garth is a clever toad and figures out a way to travel through space at the speed of light. Now Garth is only traveling through space, without traveling through time!
Garth is as ageless as light itself, because light is timeless and travels only through space.
Imagine two stationary clocks in which each has a set of parallel mirrors that have a beam of light bouncing back and forth between them. Both clocks will "tick" at precisely the same moment.
If clock A is put into motion, it will tick slower than clock B at rest. This is because both beams travel at the same speed, but the light beam of clock A has a longer way to travel. Remember, the speed of light is the same to any observer, so it would be more
that is measured.
A person watching the moving clock would notice it slowing down, but a person traveling along with the moving clock would notice no change in time.
From this guys point of view, flashes are moving along a diagonal path.
From this guys point of view, flashes are moving vertically up and down.
Space and Time Travel
"A person's heart beats to the rhythm of the realm of time it is in."
One realm of time will seem the same as any other to the person in it, but not to an outside observer.
An astronaut could travel at 99% the speed of light and go to the distant star Procyon. It would take 23 Earth years but only seem like 3 years for the astronauts because of time dilation.
It is impossible to do this because of the amount of energy it takes to put spaceships into these speeds. However, if it was possible, people could jump centuries into the future, stay there, then depart again to go further. But time can only go forward, no one can ever return to the time from which they came.
Hewitt, Paul G.
Conceptual Physics.
Boston, MA: Pearson, 2009. Print.

Science TV. "Time Dilation | Einstein's Relativity."
. YouTube, 30 July 2010. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.
General Relativity
"Gravity causes space to become curved and time to slow down."
The Principle of Equivalence
"Local observations made in an accelerated frame of reference cannot be distinguished from observations made in a Newtonian gravitational field."
There is no way to tell whether you are being accelerated or being pulled by gravity because the effects are equivalent.
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