The theory of relativity of Albert Einstein was created at the beginning of the twentieth century and works for predicting events. But already from previous years the principle of relativity would be formulated.
The theory of the German physicist is not based on overly complex mathematical systems. The physicist used his imagination to visualize his ideas , perform experiments, and generate algebraic equations.
The result of these studies resulted in the proposal of the theory of special relativity and the theory of general relativity.
These hypotheses explain why astronauts experience different time units in space than ours on Earth, among other events.
History of Einstein’s theory of relativity
From 1895 Einstein began to develop his theory of relativity using a ray of light as an experiment and contradicting the principles of relativity expressed by Galilei and Newton.
The scientist thought that if he ran next to a beam of light at the speed of 299,792 meters per second, he could see the magnetic and electric fields oscillating next to it, which in space would appear static. But this idea of fields goes against Maxwell’s laws which state that any wave in magnetic fields moves at the speed of light and cannot remain static under any conditions.
The principles of relativity known until the time (1895) affirmed that the laws of physics could not depend on the speed at which a subject moves; you can only measure the speed of one object relative to another.
It was 10 years later, in 1905, when Einstein came up with a thought experiment that would solve the problem that relativity posed: anything that an observer could see if it ran next to a ray of light, is the same as can be generated in a laboratory, even static fields.
Einstein’s ideas established that light moves at a constant speed , no matter where it is headed. But the problem with Maxwell’s equations was that they would only work if you proved such uniformity in the speed of light, otherwise the equations couldn’t be applied to everything.
The German’s experiment was based on the idea that a lightning strike a moving train at two different points, while two observers see such an event: both would have a different perspective for the same instant of time and their experiences would have a logical and coherent explanation. .
Example of theory of relativity
This Einstein experiment is a clear example of the theory of relativity that is accepted as valid today:
Albert Einstein proposed the following experiment:
An individual is standing next to the railroad tracks while the train passes. When the center car passes in front of your eyes, the first and last cars are struck by lightning at the same time. Since both impacts occur at the same distance from the subject, their light hits your eyes at the same time. That is why the subject can affirm that both impacts occurred simultaneously.
On the other hand, there is another subject sitting in the central car and right in the middle of the train. Therefore, the light you will see after impacts will also have to travel the same distance to reach your eyes, as did the subject in the first part of the example.
When the impacts occur and as the train is in motion, the light that comes from the beam that hit the last car travels further to the subject, reaching it a few moments later than the light that comes from the first car. This is because the light pulses arrive at different times. At first glance the person in question can only say that the impacts were not simultaneous and that the impact on the first car happened first.