Einstein is probably most known for his two major breakthroughs. The first was in 1905 with his Special Theory of Relativity, and the second was only ten years later with his General Theory of Relativity. Special relativity deals with high speeds, general relativity with gravity. For the beginning physics enthusiast, these can be very confusing, and at times counterintuitive. Here we will try to shed some light on two of the most profound realizations of our time.
Relativity






An observer is standing in a stationary frame of reference, M. He looks out his window and observes a rocket ship (with a transparent side) passing by. The ship represents a "proper" frame of reference (P). A "proper" light clock, whose photon moves straight up and straight down (when seen by an occupant of the rocket), is affixed to the wall of the rocket and can been seen by the observer in reference frame M. Inside the ship, a ball is moving in the xdirection with a speed, V_{P}, when viewed from reference frame P. The ship is moving past the observer in reference frame M with a speed, u. 



Updated 7/20/99


Relativity






In order for all of the laws of physics to "work" in all inertial frames of reference (Einstein's 2nd Postulate of Special Relativity), it is necessary to modify our formulation for mass. Why is this so?
***Note: This page is a followup on Mr. Burns's first paper above, and is very equationheavy***




Updated 8/7/99


