A special theory of relativity

Gribbin, John
September 1991
New Scientist;9/21/91, Vol. 131 Issue 1787, p1
The article describes the special theory of relativity. Although it was U.S. physicist Albert Einstein who developed the special theory of relativity at the beginning of the 20th century, the principle of relativity on which that theory is based goes back a further two centuries, to the time of mathematician Isaac Newton. That principle holds that the same laws of physics apply for all observers moving in straight lines at constant speeds relative to one another. Such individuals are known as inertial observers. Einstein's insight, which led to a new way of looking at the Universe, lay in applying the principle of relativity to the behavior of light. INSETS: The Michelson-Morley experiment;How time dilation delays decay.


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