Einstein.s book "Relativity"


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Are you trying to figure out how a bow bends in a space-time continuum?

 

Well Janito,

I always try, and have always have tried, to put my "violin - bow" knowledge - in line with other, and "universal" knowledges, of an Einstein-ian sort of context.

After all, the final say rests on, or in, a context that demands a "universal" acknowledgement by virtue of either it's "work-ability", or lack thereof.

 

Call it mental weakness if you will. But I am continuously reading and re-reading this man's writings - of which, I will recommend his writings to any other violin - bow maker... 

 

ct

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In the course of one's life, one invariably encounters an unreadable book.

For me, it has been books filled with short statements that are so profound, I get lost in thought, and make no progress in reading the book. But that's ok... it's the thought that counts. ;)

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Here's a link to a PDF of the book in question.  https://www.ibiblio.org/ebooks/Einstein/Einstein_Relativity.pdf  As Einstein's little book is tensor-free, I recommend that those wanting to confront general relativity in all its terrors scare up a copy of Misener, Thorne, and Wheeler's Gravitation.  Once you've done that you'll realize that "simplicity" is relative.  :lol:

 

Here's links to a couple of also non-mathematical explanations

http://www.space.com/17661-theory-general-relativity.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_relativity

 

Without intending to start a riot, and admitting the number of observational scalps that GR has hanging from its belt, it's still a continuum theory incompatible with quantization and IMHO unlikely to be the last word on gravity and inertia.  This, however, is not the best place to argue about it.  :)

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I fail to grasp the full simplicity of the theory.

 I used to have a book that presented it in illustrated format, maybe 50 pages or so.  It starts with some early equations, maybe Newton, and goes through Maxwell's equations and ends with a formula which after cancelling a couple of terms ends up as E=mc^2 .  Purely mathematical, but still for the absoute mathematical layman.  It presents it in the right context which is proceeding from one famous equation to the next one.  Very good.  Unfortunately I have no idea of the name of the book....

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Whenever I read this book, and I'm on, re-read # 3...

I fail to grasp the full simplicity of the theory.

 

Anyone else?

Anyone care?

What's simple for one, may be complex for another, and conversely, it can be the other way around, Some people see Elmer J Fudd, millionaire, who owns a mansion and a yacht, other people just see a rabbit, even if the point of reference remains relative.

 

For example, from my perspective, my cat is "my" pet , I "own" him, from his perspective, I am his puke mopping slave who is there to serve him and provide him with a variety foods that he desires as well as on call massage therapy with free health care with drugs{catnip}  Perception in this case may be in the eye of the beholder

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Whenever I read this book, and I'm on, re-read # 3...

I fail to grasp the full simplicity of the theory.

 

Anyone else?

Anyone care?

Relax Craig! You need a bit of time to grasp it!! When the alians landed in Rosewell people around knew straightaway,however it took some "time" for the news to reach London!
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Whenever I read this book, and I'm on, re-read # 3...

I fail to grasp the full simplicity of the theory.

 

Anyone else?

Anyone care?

 

Yes Craig, often Einstein is considered a genius only because nobody can explain what he said. If we are no scientists we want substance explained in simple words, right? I still think that the Relativity is not well written and not well explained, and that there are things that don't make any sense (time is not a dimension, it's just a sequence of movements). But at least I am happy to have understood (or at least I am convinced to have understood...) that there is substance in the theory. This substance can be explained in a few words: gravity bends the light (see eclipse 1919, in the photos the stars behind the sun changed their usual position). Light is bent by gravity, you might say even Newton and Von Soldner knew that. But Einstein had the brilliant idea of inviting the astronomers to take photos during the eclipse. Since then he became a science rockstar. To understand further, just think about the clocks, why do they differ from place to place? And how can you calculate those difference in the clocks? That's what Einstein did, he calculated this, and our GPS still relies on those calculations. I understood that a combination of gravity and speed, alter the state of clocks, bodies, or any subatomic particle. Lack of gravity accelerates the clocks, and speed (of a travelling satellite etc) decelerates the clocks. This is why clocks on a satellite give a different reading than clocks on the ground. And this is why an atomic clock upstairs is slightly ahead of an atomic clock downstairs. So our heads get older a bit faster than our feet :). So, big deal?...you might think? Hope this helps you, you and all the common mortals like me.

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Not really related, but my brother is a photographer and just did a photo session with Freeman Dyson at the Institute for Advance Study in Princeton.  He asked professor Dyson if he knew Einstein. Dyson said he saw him many times  at the Institute but Einstein never interacted with the younger scientists.

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There was a lovely little Penguin paperback on Relativity that had a super cartoon of an astronomer gazing through a large telescope only to be seeing the microbes crawling on the top of his bald head.

 

Great book!

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Not really related, but my brother is a photographer and just did a photo session with Freeman Dyson at the Institute for Advance Study in Princeton.  He asked professor Dyson if he knew Einstein. Dyson said he saw him many times  at the Institute but Einstein never interacted with the younger scientists.

 

Very cool!  Dyson is one of my favorite scientists.  One of the few brilliant minds who gives me hope for the future (he believes that we will be able to engineer ourselves safe from Climate Change... here's hoping he's right).

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The problem with relativity is that it is non-intuitive.  We live in a 99.99999% Newtonian world, where F=MA, speeds add and subtract, and time marches on at a steady pace.  Only when you try to make sense of the speed of light being constant regardless of the speed of the source or observer does this world get bollixed up, and it takes some elegant math to figure out how things must be for that fact to fit in.

 

It's probably easier than violin acoustics, however.

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(time is not a dimension, it's just a sequence of movements). But at least I am happy to have understood (or at least I am convinced to have understood...) that there is substance in the theory. 

 

I have never read any Einstein but I for one have worked outside for nearly the past 30 years.  For the most part all the streets and roadways run N, S, E, and W.  where I'm at.  

  As I have gotten older I have noticed the Sun returning, or has returned, to a path overhead that I recognized in my younger years.  If I remember rightly, it's a path or time period that lasts about 8-12? years.  For example, what I perceived as a sunset over central CA for 10 years or so would eventually move northwards to what I perceived to be a sunset over southern Oregon.  So that's the way it is until the last past few years.  I notice it's coming back southward and I will try to pay more attention to see what happens in the future.  I also believe the Sun crosses paths that it has been through the solar system previously,  maybe far fetched there but just thinking why not-  I've been here before. :rolleyes: 

 

After a little thought a roofer who never relocates would know more about what I mentioned.  

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Not on topic, but it brings to mind a favorite quote. 

 

"A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit, and a violin;what else does a man need to be happy?

 

-Albert Einstein

 

I would like the quote even better if "pint of stout" was substituted for the "bowl of fruit". :D

 

Cheers,

Jim

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http://www.briangreene.org/

 

 

Sorry that this post or thread isn't exactly 'violin or bow' related but - I found this interesting. "Reality Since Einstein".

 

Einstein did play the violin.

Quite well, apparently.

 

So - I am making the association here, in order to "legitimize" my (this particular) thread here on Mnet.

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Don Noon is spot on when saying relativity is non-intuitive for people who live mostly in a Newtonian world, that is, mass and time seem independent of how fast you are going.

 

For some time I taught college level physics to gifted middle and high schoolers. The best I could do with Special Relativity is start with the independence of the speed of light to the viewing reference frame and have them derive what the governing equations would have to be if one assumed that was true. All could then handle the mathematics, but still had problems wrapping their heads around the concept. The math is mostly algebra until you get to more advanced problems. This disconnect between concept and math is expressed in how elementary problems are named: they are frequently called "paradoxes" because conceptually they seem unbelievable.

 

General Relativity is the opposite: I could get them to conceptualize the foundations of the theory, however, all but the most gifted got hopelessly lost in the equations. Einstein, a gifted student of mathematics himself, needed the assistance of a long time friend and theoretical mathematician, Marcel Grossman, to develop a mathematical model of General Relativity.

 

General Relativity basically says that if you are free-falling in a gravitational field, you cannot detect the presence of any force. So you are moving according to an "inertial" system. An inertial system is one where your motion can only be observed locally to be constant and in the shortest distance possible in the time traveled. Normally, we think of this, like Newton, as a straight line.

 

But since a distant observer can see non-linear/non-constant-velocity motion, we conclude that locally, straight lines are curved, expanded or compressed by gravity in such a way that we cannot "feel" the gravitational force. In other words, space-time gets warped so the free-falling person has no sensation of force or acceleration.

 

This is a bit more intuitive than special relativity because it is possible to construct simple experiments and make observations where objects falling in uniform gravity fields cannot detect any forces, yet ourside observers clearly see the objects accelerating.

 

Mass and massless objects, like light, all experience the warping of time-space due to gravity so the objects think they are traveling inertially without any external reference points to tell them otherwise. So light "bends" around massive objects, like the sun just like mass objects do, like the planets.

 

Trying to express this in equations has the added difficulty of also obeying Special Relativity. The resulting equations are very complicated space-time systems called manifolds that also obey the equations of special relativity at every point. The equations are carefully constructed to minimize the distance traveled between two points. Thus with very little gravity, the distance between two points are straight lines. But as gravity increases, these straight lines start to curve, compress or stretch depending on the gravitational field and how the particle is traveling.

 

It is analogous to my violin intonation. An approaching butterfly warps the time-space near my fingers and causes them to move without any sensation of being forced to a bad position. Anyway, that's my explanation as to why my intonation is so inconsistent. I blame Einstein.

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Don Noon is spot on when saying relativity is non-intuitive for people who live mostly in a Newtonian world, that is, mass and time seem independent of how fast you are going.

 

 

I agree. For whatever reason Don usually does have all of the bases covered.

"Non- intuitive", interesting point...

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 Anyway, that's my explanation as to why my intonation is so inconsistent. I blame Einstein.

 

Your tuning that goes by the formula E+2, D-2, G-4 and A 440 isn't bad at all until it's doublestop or octave playing time.  Doublestops can work but octave playing is better with all strings tuned to their respective zero points.  I tried to make it work until I could go no further though for 1st and 2nd position playing the tunings sounds very good.        

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The concepts of relativity are not that difficult in general.  It starts with two basic principles.  The speed of light is the same in all reference frames and the laws of physics are the same in all frames.  The rest follows from those two principles.   A couple years ago I took a college level class in it.   My math was a bit rusty though.  

 

I have the book signed by the author.  (where's the thumbs up smiley)

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