He stayed there for 4 odd seconds.
That cop in the middle of the busy road staring at me.
Then put his head down and crossed the street.
What must have gone through his mind; I raced through.
Can’t give me a ticket for honking at him.
He stayed there for 4 odd seconds.
Aristotle believed that everything in the world was composed of four basic elements – earth, water, fire and air. He also suggested the nature of forces that acted upon these elements, gravity – which caused earth and water to sink, and levity – which caused fire and air to rise. No matter how primitive and vague his concept was, it is still very consistent with our division of particles of the universe into matter particles and force particles. Aristotle believed that matter particles were continuous and there was no stopping point at which matter could be divided further. Democritus and Leucippus on the other hand, considered matter to be discrete and being composed of small units called atom (atom in greek means indivisible).
For centuries there was no real evidence to prove whether matter was continuous or discrete. In 1803 a British physicist, John Dalton, hinted the fact that chemical compounds always combined in certain proportions could be explained by grouping together of atoms to form units called molecules. In 1897, another British physicist, J. J. Thomson demonstrated the existence of negative charge in matter particles with his cathode ray tube experiment. Still, the structure of atom was quite vague as one couldn’t comprehend the origin of the negative charge. But it was clear at this point that atom was not in fact the smallest unit.
One of the important pieces of physical evidence was provided by Einstein. In a paper written in 1905, a few weeks before the famous paper on special relativity, Einstein pointed out that what was called Brownian motion – the irregular, random motion of small particles of dust suspended in a liquid could be explained as the effect of atoms of the liquid colliding with the dust particles. Later in 1911, another British physicist, Ernest Rutherford corroborated the existence of elementary particles within an atom. With his alpha-particle bombarding experiment, he proposed that atoms comprise of a very small and dense region composed of positive charge – the positive charge being proton and the dense region being the nucleus. He inspired the idea of the structure of atom. After James Chadwick, in 1932, discovered neutron, the structure of atom became explicit, with proton and neutron forming the nucleus and electron spinning around the nucleus – the solar system model.
One thing worth contemplating is that until 1930 physicist like Einstein and Schrodinger didn’t even know how an atom looked like, however they were able to formulate theories that had ground breaking implications and far reaching and elegant enough to be still consistent with the model of atom, the universe and other theories. Perhaps, you do not need to know many things to revolutionize the world.
Reference: A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking
Special theory of relativity is an extension of Galilean relativity. In simple, Galilean relativity states that if you are in an object that is moving at a constant speed, you won’t be able to tell whether you’re at rest or motion. For instance, we don’t feel any motion sitting in a planet that is rotating around the sun at a speed of 30km/sec. Einstein special theory of relativity takes the relativity perspective to a different dimension by incorporating the speed of light and its effect on time and object. Some famous corollaries of this theory include the feasibility of time machine and time travel, a yard stick that would contract and expand depending on its velocity etc. This is the best video explanation of Einstein Theory of Relativity I’ve found in the web. Enjoy the video, it is worth the time:
PS: Feel free to can leave questions in the comment section.
Do you believe that your actions have already been fixed? In fact whatever you do in future is bound to happen irrespective of your will. For instance you are reading this article because you were destined to read it, and I wrote it because that was my destiny as well. The idea seems quite bizarre, but there’s a majority of physicists that believe it’s true. Since everything is made up of the same elementary particles just with different composition and concentration, the behavior of every matter and the way in which everything occurs must be explicable and defined. Therefore what you do, in fact whatever happens in this world – the atomic bomb, the world war, advent of computers, airplanes etc. has already been scripted 13 billion years ago, right at the time of the big bang.
Well if this happens to be true, things and cases it ensues can get quite complicated. One cannot be blamed (or accredited) for his actions, as he was destined to do it. For instance, a murderer or criminal should not be held responsible for the tragedy and must be exonerated from his crimes if this is true. Now the world can be a real disturbing place to live in. This created a huge contention among scientists of the 19th century. Einstein opined that a person should be no matter held responsible for his/her actions no matter bad or good, and a criminal should be punished accordingly. He said it was necessary to do so in order to maintain stability in the world. Otherwise, the world would run into riots.
This entails an interesting relation between religion and science. Now as religion, indeed every religion, believe in destiny and fate, and god deciding all the events and happenings that take place in this world – science seems to be justifying it. But with scientific reasoning, of course. Well I’m not an advocate of religion trying to impress or urge you to believe in it with my hypothesis. Personally, I won’t reject nor believe in the possibility of existence of god. If you ask me, throw me into the agnostic category.
So was Einstein a genius, or just an extremely lucky man to have been chosen to formulate those equations?
Tags: Particle physics, Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Space, Universe
Perplexed I am. Constantly. Eternally.
Absurd obsessions profoundly grounded.
Mystic is this star dancing around. Mystic is this world.
Only if you look closely, you’ll see.
Take my eyes, take my mind.
Comprehensible enigma toys me throughout,
Incessant thoughts turn into crazy dreams,
Seeking unobvious answers;
Willing to solve the missing elusiveness;
Willing to elucidate the prevalent ignorance,
Blinded by orthodoxy, blinded by lack of imagination.
Futile venture you may call,
Trivial you may call.
Trivial I am.