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Thread: Relativity

  1. #1 Relativity 
    Human wallplaster's Avatar
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    I am having trouble understanding general relativity and special relativity. I know they are important and play a part in understanding physics. I think some people have said it's simple, but I can't find a simple, exact definition. Can anyone explain general and special relativity, please?


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    Average Human guymillion's Avatar
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    A good (but fairly long) explanation of special relativity can be found here:

    http://www.thescienceforum.com/physi...ty-primer.html

    I have not taken the time to read the whole thing.

    Welcome to the forums!


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  4. #3  
    Average Human guymillion's Avatar
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    I know you don't like wikipedia, but I found a good quote from it that I think gives you a general idea of general relativity:

    "According to general relativity, objects in a gravitational field behave similarly to objects within an accelerating enclosure. For example, an observer will see a ball fall the same way in a rocket (left) as it does on Earth (right), provided that the acceleration of the rocket provides the same relative force."

    This goes along with an image:

    400px-Elevator_gravity.png
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  5. #4  
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    Thanks a lot! That was really helpful, but I have another question. What's the difference? That excellent thread explained special relativity, but it didn't explain general and I don't know the difference or what general relativity is at all. Any answers?
    Last edited by wallplaster; August 7th, 2012 at 02:41 PM. Reason: Error
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    Never mind my last post because I posted at 2:39 just after you posted so I didn't realize you posted. Thanks! Is your post at 2:34 general relativity?
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  7. #6  
    Average Human guymillion's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's about general relativity. Also, I should have mentioned in my first post that in general relativity, energy bends spacetime in order to cause gravity to happen. Here's a video describing it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rocNtnD-yI
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  8. #7  
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    Thanks Fen-man! (Fenlon/Feynman)
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