Category Archive: Relativity

Oct 17 2011

Relativity-5: Galilean and Einsteinian relativity

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) In the previous post in this series, I posed the situation where, seated in my office, I observe two events on the sidewalk outside my window and measure the locations and time of two events and deduce the distance between them and the time interval according to …

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Oct 13 2011

Relativity-4: Measuring time and space

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) To get a better grip on what is involved in the theory of relativity, we need to think in terms of ‘events’, things that occur instantaneously at a point in space and which every observer will agree happened and is unique. An example of an event might …

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Oct 12 2011

Relativity-3: The elusive neutrino

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) Neutrinos are very elusive particles that are produced in nuclear reactions. They interact hardly at all with anything, which enables them to penetrate anything easily. In any given second, tens of billions of neutrinos are coming from the Sun and passing though each square centimeter of our …

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Oct 11 2011

Relativity-2: The CERN-Gran Sasso experiment

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) The nice feature about the experiments involved in the recent reports of faster than light neutrinos is that the basic ideas are so simple that anyone can understand them. It involved producing neutrinos at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland and detecting them at the Gran Sasso laboratory …

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Oct 10 2011

Relativity-1: Going backwards in time

Part of the reason that recent reports of the detection of neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light aroused such excitement is because of claims that such a discovery would overthrow Einstein’s venerable theory of relativity and that if you could send a signal faster than the speed of light, you could go backwards …

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