The first aircraft flew in 1903, and the first man reached the moon only sixty six years later. Over the past ten years, cell phones and computers have become part of everyday life, a stark contrast to what they had been merely forty years ago. What was science fiction in the sixties and seventies is now the technology of yesteryear.
Physics has changed along with technology. Scientists can now predict vents millions, even billions of years in the future. We’ve developed safer nuclear technology, and are striving toward energy through fusion in the coming years. We have developed all of these because of the theories of Albert Einstein. He ushered in modern physics, a model of observing our universe that left many scientists Theory of Relativity because it strayed so far from what was at the time considered orthodox. Albert Einstein completely rewrote the proverbial book of physics.
He was challenged many times, but he was always able to prove that his theories were more accurate. Even with the complexity of the math involved, Einstein was able to clearly explain his ideas to those who didn’t have the education required to understand the mathematical genius that lay behind his equations. The coming of modern physics has completely revolutionized our world, and the way we observe the universe around us. Over the past ten years we’ve discovered the Highs boson, different types of neutrinos and quarks, and we’ve observed the cosmic background radiation.
Because of the Special Theory of Relativity and Albert Einstein stance on Galileo Theory of Relativity, twentieth century European astrophysics has advanced in a such more sophisticated direction than it would have if the Special Theory of Relativity had never been published. One large part of the Special Theory of Relativity is energy-mass equivalence. One of the most famous equations ever postulated, , explains this. The E in this equation stands for energy (measured in joules), the m stands for mass (measured in kilograms), and co stands for the speed of light in a vacuum squared (measured in meters per second).
It states that all mass can be equitable to energy, and all energy can be equitable to mass. This equation has led us to the development of nuclear reactors, and nuclear arms. It states that the energy of an object is equal to the mass of the object multiplied by the speed of light in a vacuum squared. The speed of light in a vacuum is 299,792,458 meters per second, so even an object that has five kilograms of mass has so much energy that it could be equitable to a 1074 megaton bomb, which is easily enough power to destroy cities like New York, Tokyo, and Los Angles several times over.
As we learn to harness this power we develop more sophisticated uses for it, such as space travel. Astrophysicists all around the world yearn to see the day where a shuttle powered by fission or fusion engine takes off into space. The reason that fission and fusion are what we strive for is simple: it isn’t feasible for rockets with liquid fuel to travel far distances. The more fuel one puts into the rocket at launch, the more mass given to the spacecraft. If the mass grows, the amount of power required to launch into orbit increases. The more power needed, the more fuel consumed.
The reason chemical fuel cannot work is because it is simply too heavy. If we are able to achieve fission or fusion, however, it is possible to eliminate the need for such heavy methods of travel while carrying many times more energy. The problem we run into with this, however, is that fusion and fission engines require too much cooling to realistically achieve orbit without overheating. As foundations like the Weinberg Foundation of the United Kingdom develop alternative fission reactors such as liquid fluoride thorium reactors, this begins to become a more achievable goal.
The benefits of a thorium-based reactor are many, and they provide more efficiency, less danger, and higher operating temperatures. The concept of energy-mass equivalence is the most straightforward concept in the Special Theory of Relativity. The math that goes into calculating it is simple algebra, which is why this concept in particular is so famous. Einstein was always able to make his ideas at least understandable to the public, which is why he is so influential to the world of physics.
One of the hardest parts of Einstein was arguably the best at this; his ideas were the most complex yet his explanations were the most simplistic. Time dilation is another concept derived from special relativity. One of the most interesting implications of this concept is that time travel is certainly possible. The idea of time dilation is represented by the thematic equation in its simplest form. This equation means that the change in time for one observer is equal to the change in time of another observer divided by the square root of one minus velocity squared over the speed of light in a vacuum squared.
Put into even simpler terms, it says that if two people observe the same event from different locations, they see the event happen in different amounts of time based on the velocity of the object they are observing. For example: Jack has a clock, and is in a rocket going 180,000,000 meters per second. Jill, also holding a clock, s completely still, and is six light seconds away from Jack. Ten seconds passes on Sill’s clock, while only eight seconds have passed on Jacks clock. While it is an interesting concept, modern astrophysicists do not yet have the technology to fully harness this power.
In classical physics, mass is defined as a property that determines an object’s resistance to being accelerated upon by a force. In the Special Theory of Relativity, however, mass is different. Mass in the Special Theory of Relativity is based on this equation: . This means that the mass of an object is equal to the square root of the object’s energy squared minus the momentum of the object times the speed of light in a vacuum squared over the speed of light in a vacuum squared.
This formula allows astrophysicists to accurately measure the mass, velocity, and chemical makeup of large objects Because of this astrophysicists have been able to accurately observe objects far and beyond , such as dark nebulae, neutron stars, galaxies, superstructures, and black holes. All of these help astrophysicists to learn even more about the way in which our universe works. We know the largest object in our universe is the Large Quasar Group. It is a large cluster of quasars, four billion light years across, nearly a quarter of our universe.
We are currently trying to explain why it exists, because so far we haven’t been able to figure out a reason why. This is puzzling to astrophysicists because it should be a simple problem about the mass of each individual quasar, but so far there have been no connections between any information gathered about the quasars and the mathematics behind their positions. Now that some of the core concepts of Special Relativity have been explained, we should consider all the discoveries made because of it.
We know that stars are almost entirely made up of helium and hydrogen, and that in turn, these are the two most abundant fuels in the universe. Before Special Relativity it was common belief that stars were made of “earth-like materials”, and we had no idea about their lifespan. Of course, we know that they are luminous for millions of years. We know that our universe is expanding, and we know it has an ending point, when all heat in the universe is equal. It’s also known that our universe as we know it came into existence 13. 4 billion years ago.
We’ve even observed the universe in its earliest stages, in the form of cosmic background radiation. European astrophysicists have contributed most significantly to the unified effort to increase our knowledge about the universe, with people such as Stephen Hawking of the United Kingdom discovering Hawking link the theory of relativity with quantum theory. Bruno Rossi of Italy, pioneered the discovery of x-ray telescopes, and participated in the creation of the first one ever made, which is significant because x-ray telescopes let us see further into space than any sort of normal telescope.
Bart Book of the Netherlands discovered Book globules, which are collections of gas that collapse in on themselves and create stars, helping s understand why stars are made of helium and hydrogen, also helping us realize that they are the most abundant resources in the entire universe. Victor Embarrassment of Russia, conducted research to prove that the universe is expanding, which is significantly profound because now we know that eventually our universe is going to have a death due to the total amount of energy being equally spread out over every object.
Karl F. Von Wicker of Germany proved the way in which our solar system formed, helping astrophysicists determine the actual location of many objects in our solar system with incredible precision. Richard Canning of Italy observed the first object outside of our galaxy through x-ray astronomy, and led the development of ultraviolet astronomy, allowing us to observe objects much more clearly, due to the amount of x-ray radiation given off by our earth.
Sir Roger Penrose helped immensely in the formation of the General Theory of Relativity, and conducted research that lead to the discovery of black holes, rocketing science further into the future again, and leading to the discovery of Hawking radiation. Jocosely Bell of Britain discovered the first pulsar, fueling the research of the astrophysical anomalies involved with pulsars. Every single one of these discoveries is due to the Special Theory of Relativity.
Because Einstein was able to prove his radical theories, we have a much more developed concept of time, energy, and mass today. Although we haven’t created a “theory of everything”, we now know that the answer to this question lies in the form of creating a bridge between quantum gravitation and modern relativity. In the following twenty years it is suspected that we will have sustainable fusion, and therefore have nearly infinite, clean power. Eventually humans will have made a hurry of everything, and we will understand everything there is to know about the universe.
When this day comes, and when we look back on all of the physicists that paved the way for us to come to that moment, we will look back at Albert Einstein, and every physicist that used his equations and theories to benefit everyone. For now, astrophysics will continue to develop, and we still have much to learn and discover about the universe, but because of Albert Einstein and the people intelligent enough to teach and use his theories we continue to accelerate the rate at which we learn about our universe.
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