The Meaning of Relativity

The Meaning of Relativity

The Meaning of Relativity

The Meaning of Relativity

Synopsis

The world would be a very different place if it were not for Albert Einstein. Like Newton and Galileo before him, this remarkable scientist changed forever mankind's understanding of the universe. In 1921, five years after proclaiming his general theory of relativity, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in recognition of his remarkable achievements. In the same year he travelled to the United States to give four lectures that consolidated his theory and sought to explain its meaning to a new audience. These lectures were published the following year as The Meaning of Relativity , which he revised with each new edition until his death. It remains a key work for anyone wishing to discover at first hand the workings of one of the most inspiring minds of the twentieth century.

Excerpt

The theory of relativity is intimately connected with the theory of space and time. I shall therefore begin with a brief investigation of the origin of our ideas of space and time, although in doing so I know that I introduce a controversial subject. The object of all science, whether natural science or psychology, is to co-ordinate our experiences and to bring them into a logical system. How are our customary ideas of space and time related to the character of our experiences?

The experiences of an individual appear to us arranged in a series of events; in this series the single events which we remember appear to be ordered according to the criterion of ‘earlier’ and ‘later’, which cannot be analysed further. There exists, therefore, for the individual, an I-time, or subjective time. This in itself is not measurable. I can, indeed, associate numbers with the events, in such a way that a greater number is associated with the later event than with an earlier one; but the nature of this association may be quite arbitrary. This association I can . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.