# Will someone please explain Einstein's theory of relativity to me? In language I might understand?

### 10 Answers

- D gLv 72 months ago
how do we know what your knowledge level is to explain it..you have given no reference

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- ZirpLv 72 months ago
It's too complex to do it on Y!A

You'd better try and find it on youtube

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- Andrew SmithLv 72 months ago
Special relativity applies to any inertial frame. It has these principles. a) the speed of light is c in any inertial frame. b) every inertial frame is equal to every other one. There is no such thing as absolute motion.

The theory is that therefore two observers in different frames, with some relative velocity, must measure both different times and different distances for any events.

General relativity adds in acceleration. That inside some space there can be no difference between a gravitational field and an acceleration.

ie that any experiment conducted in free fall must be identical to an experiment conducted in any inertial frame. And that an experiment which is stationary in a gravitational field must be identical to an experiment in an accelerated frame of reference. This also requires that time and distance will be measured differently in two frames that have differing accelerations.

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- JimLv 72 months ago
The theory of relativity usually encompasses two interrelated theories by Albert Einstein: special relativity and general relativity. Special relativity applies to all physical phenomena in the absence of gravity. General relativity explains the law of gravitation and its relation to other forces of nature.

They really only apply near the speed of light, so in our daily lives nothing changes.

- bigapple2 months agoReport
MY THOUGHTS ON DARK MATTER IS THAT GRAVETY ITSELF MIGHT SOME HOW CREATE DARK MATTER AS A BI PRODUCT OF GRAVETY ITSELF. JUST A THOUGHT.

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- nebLv 72 months ago
Space and time by themselves have no absolute meaning. Lengths of rulers and duration of clock ticks depend on relatives states of motion and/or different locations in gravitational fields.

How lengths of rulers and duration of clock ticks CHANGE as you move from point to point in a gravitational field is what you experience as the acceleration of gravity. So, gravity is the change in spacetime geometry due to mass/energy.

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- Anonymous2 months ago
I can try to explain general relativity to you, but you need to understand that the situation I set up is abstract and hypothetical because there are assumptions made.

Mass creates the force of the acceleration gravity, Galileo's equation F = ma, force equals mass times the acceleration of gravity. Gravity effects the fate of how fast or slow time goes by.

Assume you have 2 people each with a clock that is ticking at the correct rate. Assume one person is stationary, in a gravity well not moving at all. Each person can see both their own clock AND the other person's clock. One person is stationary, the other person is moving relative to the the first person. The person who is moving relative to the the stationary person looks at their own clock, which is ticking at the correct rate for them, but when they look at the stationary person's clock, that clock SEEMS to be ticking faster and faster the faster they move from the stationary person's location. When the satioary per son looks at the moving person's clock the moving person's clock SEEMS to be ticking slower and slower the faster the other person is moving. To each person, their own clock is ticking at the correct rate. It is the OTHER person's clock that is wrong.

That is general relativity. Of course, in the real Universe, both people are moving. That is where special relativity comes in.

Source(s): Max Norm's "Theory of Relativity"- Log in to reply to the answers

- DixonLv 72 months ago
People can explain it to you and there are any number of quite good YouTube videos introducing Special Relativity. However, it is never going to make sense in the way that Newton's physics makes sense. Don't expect to understand why that two objects I see heading toward each other, each at 0.9 the speed of light relative to me, will still judge their own relative velocity to be less than the speed of light. You can learn to do the mathematics (it isn't hard) and you can learn to accept that is how things are, but it will never make sense as such.

In Newtonian physics, if you have the right mental model and a bit of intuition you can kind of make sense of everything. But part of modern physics seems to be breaking your spirit to the point where you realise it will never make sense the way you want to, So you have get on with understanding what you can about how it actually is.

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You may be right (although the OP was only about SR :-) ) but I'm increasingly of the opinion that we have heuristic brains honed by evolutioned to understand a Newtonian world. I think it quite possible that below QM is something completely incomprehensible - like string theory, lol.

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- FiremanLv 72 months ago
Albert Einstein, in his theory of special relativity, determined that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers, and he showed that the speed of light within a vacuum is the same no matter the speed at which an observer travels.

The theory of relativity usually encompasses two interrelated theories by Albert Einstein: special relativity and general relativity. Special relativity applies to all physical phenomena in the absence of gravity. General relativity explains the law of gravitation and its relation to other forces of nature. It applies to the cosmological and astrophysical realm, including astronomy.

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Michelson/Morley, not Einstein, showed that light speed was the same regardless of the reference frame used to measure it. And Maxwell actually predicted it in his famous Maxwell Equations.

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