Theory of relativity

Two-dimensional projection of a three-dimensional analogy of spacetime curvature described in general relativity

The theory of relativity usually encompasses two interrelated theories by Albert Einstein: special relativity and general relativity.[1] Special relativity applies to elementary particles and their interactions, describing all their physical phenomena except gravity. General relativity explains the law of gravitation and its relation to other forces of nature.[2] It applies to the cosmological and astrophysical realm, including astronomy.[3]

The theory transformed theoretical physics and astronomy during the 20th century, superseding a 200-year-old theory of mechanics created primarily by Isaac Newton.[3][4][5] It introduced concepts including spacetime as a unified entity of space and time, relativity of simultaneity, kinematic and gravitational time dilation, and length contraction. In the field of physics, relativity improved the science of elementary particles and their fundamental interactions, along with ushering in the nuclear age. With relativity, cosmology and astrophysics predicted extraordinary astronomical phenomena such as neutron stars, black holes, and gravitational waves.[3][4][5]

  1. ^ Einstein A. (1916), Relativity: The Special and General Theory (Translation 1920), New York: H. Holt and Company 
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference londontimes was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ a b c Will, Clifford M (August 1, 2010). "Relativity". Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  4. ^ a b Will, Clifford M (August 1, 2010). "Space-Time Continuum". Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  5. ^ a b Will, Clifford M (August 1, 2010). "Fitzgerald–Lorentz contraction". Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 

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