In the Theory of Relativity, Einstein proposed that two very basic principles of physics are both OK. The problem he was addressing was that it seemed, even to the best physicists and mathematicians, that there was a contradiction between the two, so that one would have to go. But which one?
These two principles are:
Einstein became convinced that Galilean Relativity is so firmly grounded in experience, and that Maxwell's Theory is so magnificently successful in its description of electric and magnetic effects, that both of these principles had to be retained, even though they appeared to contradict one another.
In order for this contradiction to be reconciled, it required the abandonment of our idea that time is separate from space. Nobody but Einstein thought this was a tolerable solution to the conundrum.
Einstein proposed to see what letting time and space tangle and tango would mean for us, in order that Galilean Relativity and Maxwell's Laws about Electromagnetic Fields could both be retained.
It was an astounding proposal, but it has turned out to be correct
How do we know that it is correct? By testing out all of the implications of that proposal.
In chapters 6-14 we explore the implications. Strange as many of them seem, they have tested out for over 90 years, time after time. Never (not even once!) has any experiment failed to confirm any of these effects.
CLICK on the key words for a Preview of any of the chapters.
on to Contents III. Chapters 15-17 Transformations and spacetime
Back to the RELATIVITY BOOK home page
BOOKS home page
Return to the Web site home page.