Einstein’s Relativity And Its Influences Essay

1254 words - 6 pages

The theory of relativity is the basic theory about space-time continuum and gravitation which was mainly established by the greatest theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. According to the areas it aims to describe, Einstein’s theory of relativity can be classified into special relativity (space-time) and general relativity (gravitation) 1. The theory of relativity, as do quantum mechanics, brought a revolutionary impact on the foundation of modern physics, and thus had an impact on modern technology. And it impacted the “common sense” understanding that people had of the universe by its new concepts such as four dimensional spaces and curved space.
The influence of relativity on the ...view middle of the document...

Under the guidance of Einstein’s mass-energy relation, scientists found the equation of neutron chain reaction by which process heavy atoms, such as uranium-235 and plutonium-2393, convert their mass to the massive energy through nuclear fission, which brought us the atomic bomb on 16th of July 1945. One fission bomb can release energy ranging from the equivalent of less than a ton of TNT upwards of 500,000 tons of TNT4. And a hydrogen bomb can produce even more.
Although Einstein’s mass-energy relation could bring destructive energy, it can also be contributive if we could control this violent power carefully and peacefully. Our nuclear power plants and controllable nuclear reactor heating system, for example, offer clean energy for us.
On the other hand, the special relativity has widespread application in our modern daily lives. In the department of radiotherapy in the hospital, they usually equip a particle accelerator which can produce energetic particles to create isotopes for medical purpose. Because the speeds of these particles are close to the speed of light, special relativity applies here. Another example is that the inner electrons of transition metals like platinum always moves at a super high speed, so when designing and researching new catalysts, the relativistic effects on electronic orbits should be taken into consideration. The more practical application is the lead-acid battery. The lead releases electrons while the lead dioxide gains electrons and they become lead sulfate (PbSO4). The combination of these two reactions results in a voltage difference of 2.1 volts between the two plates5. It offered the theoretical support to the technology of the lead-acid battery or other batteries. Additionally special relativity explained why mercury is liquid at room temperature6. Of course there are so many different voices against Einstein’s special relativity from the first day until now, but just because of those arguments our modern science could move forward.
Considering general relativity combined with special relativity, Einstein pointed out: time is just a relative concept. The traditional concept of time can only be determined in some sample conditions but is less useful when other more complex conditions are added in, such as a strong gravitational field which will slow down time. In 1956, Friedwardt Winterberg applied the general relativity to use atomic clocks placed inside artificial satellites. GPS (Global Position System) is the most remarkable and practical example. All the atomic clocks in the satellites of GPS are extremely accurate with the error being less than one in ten trillion when they report their time and positions. And GPS will locate the position by comparing the differences between 4 satellites’ signals. However the signal cannot stay...

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