The Meaning of Reality

This research paper looks at the literature on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. It examines the assertion that the idea of relativity is not a creation of revolutionary minds as perceived. According to the literature sources, spatial relativity that was coined by Galilean about relative motion should not be confused with Einstein’s theory. This is because Galilean had simply proposed that an observer would see things in motion differently from those that are stationary due to what he termed as “the reference frame”.

This is miles away from Einstein’s Relativity in that Einstein looked at the aspect quite differently such that an hour in one part of the world would not necessarily be the same hour in another part of the world or even on another planet. (Lackoff, 1908). According to Einstein, physical objects are not absolutely in space but are spatially extended, a fact that nullifies the idea of empty space. In this respect, the spatial extension becomes the simplest element of description in physics as contained in Newton’s theory of matter. This concept defines the physical reality as the space that is represented by a type of field whose physical components are functions of the co-ordinates of time and space.

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In light of this, the particle in question emerges only as a small region in space that has markedly high concentration of energy density or field strength. This often brings into focus the question as to whether light is a wave or a particle. In the scientific view of the young French Physicist, De Broglie, the phenomenon or the idea of interplay that occurs between radiations and matter can be more comprehensible if electrons were not treated as individual particles but rather as waves that form a definite pattern or system in space. (Einstein, Lorentz, Minkowski and Weyl, 1952). The two fundamental theories that form the pillars of modern physics remain the “Special and General Relativity” and the “Quantum theory” by Albert Einstein.

The relativity theory in particular laid the technological foundations for the modern physics of Cosmology that emphasizes the idea of gravity being a phenomenon that extends all across the universe. He laid this foundation to a great extent when he rejected the previous assumptions that glorified continuous fields that existed in space and time. (Barnett,1948). Indeed, it appears that even the aspects of continuous field concept that he has incorporated into his works are actually incorrect. It simplifies the idea to the extent that it gives a better description of space and its different properties that include the medium for physical waves that actually make up matter.

As Newton puts it, all the laws of mechanical physics are similar regardless of the motion of the observer through space. Essentially, a constant K defines the movement of a uniform co-ordinate system that is not undergoing any rotation such that the said phenomenon proceeds with respect to K in accordance to the same laws of physics as regards the constant K. This is the principle behind relativity. (Italo, 1976). It is, however, one aspect of his relativity theory that continues to baffle historians and physicists alike.

That is the idea that energy has mass. According to Einstein in this aspect of relativity, the idea of mass increase with velocity has the most scientific as well experimental back up. As a matter of fact, its application by Physicists has seen the emergence of the idea that electrons moving in a region of markedly powerful electrical fields or even particles that have been ejected from the nucleus of a radionuclide eventually attains a velocity that is up to 90% that of light. (Barnett,1948). Further, scientists dealing with the different properties of the atom especially the great speeds associated with it condemn any form of argument over the increase in mass and stress that any mathematical calculations cannot possibly ignore it. Indeed, the mechanics related to proton synchrotron as well as other emerging forms of super energy machines have been made such that they cater for the eventual mass increases of the physical particles when their speeds tend towards that of light.

As if that was not enough, he further worked on the same principle of relativity regarding mass reaching what he termed the incalculable significant position. According to him, the fact that mass of a moving object increases with motion and by extension that motion is a kinetic form of energy meant that the increasing energy of the object was actually the cause of the mass increase since energy has mass. This simple principle is summed up in the energy equation that multiplies the mass and the square of velocity as being the equivalents of energy. (Abbott, 1998).