#1 Where are we and where are we going?
In 1916 Albert Einstein finally finished his masterpiece of work, publishing his theory of general relativity 11 years after publishing his older theory of special relativity. Special relativity relates to all physical entities, other than gravity, while general relativity was created to deal with the latter. At it's simplest level relativity deals with the structure of "space-time", which is to say that the dimensions of space and time are integrated and both should always be considered in any calculations regarding either. The theory of relativity states that measurements of physical quantities are relative to the motion and velocities of the observer(s). The theory also postulates that the speed of light is the same for all observers, regardless of their motion.
I am going to focus on Special Relativity over a series of 5 posts and discuss in more detail some of … Continue reading
This is a tricky subject and one with, as yet, no fully accepted solution. Most discussions of time usually revolve around the concept of entropy. Entropy is the natural tendency for systems to move toward an increasingly disordered state. For example, when you drop an egg on the floor it changes from it's ordered, in-tact state, to a very much more disordered mess. In the same way it is generally believed that (before the Big Bang) the Universe was in it's most ordered state and since the Big Bang has progressed, unerringly, towards a more disordered state.
Can this process of entropy be reversed. Physically, there is no real reason why not. The law of entropy states that systems have a tendency to become more disordered but it is not impossible for a system to become more ordered - it is just much more unlikely. And, eventually, disorder wins. This movement … Continue reading
Physics involves a LOT of mathematics. Mathematics involves a lot of arbitrary concepts. One of those concepts is the idea of infinity. This is the idea that something can go on and on forever, with no ending and it is the basis for a lot of modern theoretical science. It is speculated that the Universe itself may even be infinite in size and that time may also go on for ever. But is such a thing really possible? I would argue that it is not - although it can sometimes feel like it's real when you're at the back of the queue in the post office..
Let's take a standard 30cm ruler. It is divided into centimetres, and between those, millimetres. I assert that these divisions can only exist as they do BECAUSE there is no such thing as infinity. It's difficult to explain concepts such as infinity in words, … Continue reading