Relativity Relatively Simple — by Professor R. Cywinski — 27th January 2014.

   Newton’s Laws of Physics – Rubbish!    He hadn’t got out much into the Universe or yet heard of Einstein’s the­or­ies of Special and General Relativity, even though Galileo was on the scent before Newton’s time.

Newton’s Laws are applic­able rel­at­ive to Earth but not related to a uni­verse 50 bil­lion years old, and bil­lions of light years across; formed by a vast amount of energy being trans­posed into a mass of solid matter which at the same time exploded. The bits are still spread­ing out in space now, and the light they emit­ted at the edges of the uni­verse bil­lions of light years ago is only reach­ing us today.

Some Other Facts I latched on to :-

  •  Einstein estab­lished that the speed of light (186279 miles /sec.) was the same in any situ­ation.
  • Space is not just an empty vacuum, it has some form of struc­ture which can bend due to the prox­im­ity of other masses, and it has photons in it which are mass­less particles of light.
  • Muons (sub­atomic particles) trav­el­ling in space should die in the upper atmo­sphere but reach the Earths sur­face, only because dis­tances and time shorten as the speed of light is approached.
  • Time is the fourth dimen­sion. We can go into the future but we can’t come back.
  • Small particles trav­el­ling near the speed of light have great mass, which the Hydron Collider is research­ing, with a view to har­ness the energy given off when small particles col­lide at great speed.
  • Energy and mass are inter­change­able which is why 0.6 grams of U235 when bom­barded, gave us the first atom bomb in which hydro­gen was con­ver­ted to helium with a lot of energy given off.

All this is a result of work by sci­ent­ists like Maxwell (who explained Electromagnetism), and Albert Einstein who, in 1905 explained the pho­to­elec­tric effect which won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1921, proved the exist­ence of atoms by watch­ing cam­phor on the sur­face of water, and intro­duced the Special Theory of Relativity; not to men­tion his most pro­found equa­tion, e=mc2.

They and others like them were men of ima­gin­a­tion, genius and vision in Theoretical Physics. Today Stephen Hawking con­tin­ues the work and talks of Black Holes and ……? (I’d lost it at this point.)

It’s mind-boggling. There must be a God. Where did the ini­tial energy and space come from ?

We were all in awe and con­cen­trated hard at this Monday’s talk; bril­liantly delivered by Professor Bob Cywinski from Huddersfield University. It was not his first visit to us, having talked us recently about thorium as an altern­at­ive fuel source for nuc­lear react­ors.

Relatively speak­ing the hour was extremely short!” and  we will cer­tainly invite Bob again.