By Bertrand Russell

First released in 1925, Bertrand Russell’s ABC of Relativity was once thought of a masterwork of its time, contributing considerably to the mass popularisation of technological know-how. Authoritative and available, it offers a amazing introductory advisor to Einstein’s idea of Relativity for a common readership. the most definitive reference courses of its style, and written through one of many 20th century’s so much influential philosophers, ABC of Relativity remains to be as proper at the present time because it used to be on first publication.

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I cannot be satisfied with this answer for the following reason. Supposing that as a result of ingenious considerations an able meteorologist were to discover that the lightning must always strike the places A and B simultaneously, 24 special theory of relativity then we should be faced with the task of testing whether or not this theoretical result is in accordance with the reality. We encounter the same difficulty with all physical statements in which the conception “simultaneous” plays a part.

On this point we are enlightened by a most important experiment which the brilliant physicist Fizeau performed more than half a century ago, and which has been repeated since then by some of the best experimental physicists, so that there can be no doubt about its result. The experiment is 41 42 special theory of relativity concerned with the following question. Light travels in a motionless liquid with a particular velocity w. How quickly does it travel in the direction of the arrow in the tube T (see the accompanying diagram, Fig.

General results of the theory energy of the body, the required energy of the body comes out to be ΂m + c ΃c E0 2 2 v2 1− 2 c . Ί ΂ ΃ E0 c2 moving with the velocity v. Hence we can say: If a body takes up an amount of energy E0 then its inertial mass increases by an E0 amount 2 ; the inertial mass of a body is not a constant, but c varies according to the change in the energy of the body. The inertial mass of a system of bodies can even be regarded as a measure of its energy. The law of the conservation of the mass of a system becomes identical with the law of the conservation of energy, and is only valid provided that the system neither takes up nor sends out energy.

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ABC of relativity by Bertrand Russell


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