I’ve been really into reading Einstien’s “Meaning of Relativity” (and other books on physics, as well) recently.

This stuff is incredibly deep, and I honestly only understand bits and pieces of it. Fortunately for me, Stephen Hawking has been an incredible help in understanding some of the deep stuff I’ve come across.

Outside of Einstein (too many equations and math in his books) and Hawking, is there ANY other authors out there that might offer me a better understanding of things like the Special & General theories of relativity, Time & Space, etc…

I’ve read a bit of Hawking, but I feel I could use some other authors, as well. Any suggestions?

I donâ€™t have any good answers for you. But I thought that Iâ€™d say that itâ€™s nice to have you back.

All the stuff I know came from IT classes in Physics and Math. But from my perspective, Special Theory is relatively simple. (No pun intended). I was told by someone that Einsteinâ€™s Book was probably the best on the subject, though I did not personally use it. (I have since added it to my collection, however). Special Theory actually requires nothing above high school math (this was pointed out by Einstein himself). You might consider taking a crack at it.

General Theory on the other hand, requires some extensive knowledge of Differential Geometry.

Iâ€™m pretty sure that I have not helped, but I am still glad to see that you are back.

I personally feel that Einstein is one of the most authoritative persons on this subject. I just wish I could understand all of his math. I mean, he really, really, gets into some deep stuff.

I am definitely going to look into that book my real name recommended. I’m not terrible at math by any stretch, it’s just that I can’t handle Einstein’s level of mathematics, if you catch my drift.

Besides, I’ve come to realize that I can usually get something out of virtually any book — even if I am not able to understand everything it says (like with Wiggenstein’s Tractatus Logico Philosophicus, for example).

There is a book titled “The Evolution of Physics” which is written by Einstein and some other guy I can’t remember at the moment. It’s an interesting, non-mathematical overview of the transition of classical physics to modern physics, and gives some good written and intuitive examples of relativity and how it’s conclusions can be reached.

Brian Greene’s “The Elegant Universe” may be just what you’re looking for. The latter half of the book is about string theory which you may or may not care about, but the first half has some helpful, elementary exposition on relativity and quantum mechanics that keeps the conceptual depth at a maximum and the mathematics at a minimum.

I have my own opinion about the “essence” of relativity, synthesized from that book and various other sources. I have a BS in physics so you can probably trust I’m not full of shit

Newtonian physics assumes that no matter where or how fast a clock is moving, it will tick away in much the same way that any other clock will. To be specific, suppose I have two identically prepared clocks, one moving with respect to me and one that I’m holding on to. Newton confidently tells us that no matter how fast that other clock is moving with respect to me, I will observe the clocks to be ticking at the same rate. (Actually Newton would only say this if the observer had compensated for ordinary effects like the finite travel velocity of the light by which I’m observing the clocks tick.) At no time, during no observation, will I observe one clock to have ticked more than the other.

But if you believe that the laws of physics hold in all non-accelerating reference frames, and you believe electromagnetic theory, this once-logical belief becomes logically impossible. Therefore you must discard the assumption that clocks tick the same way in all reference frames to preserve the consistency of physics. In fact, Einstein showed that there is one unique way to resolve the contradiction, and it involves assuming I will observe (again observe in the sense above, compensating for ordinary effects) clocks to tick slower if they are moving with respect to me. That’s all there is to relativity if you step away from the technicalities.

The most important step in understanding relativity is to suspend your ordinary belief that time is a fundamental physical quantity which clocks measure to varying degrees of accuracy. Relativity says that time is nothing more than the tickings of whatever clock or clocks you are using to make observations. Relativity then tells you how to relate your ticking clock to the rest of the world you observe in a way that makes physics logically self-consistent. As such, relativity must be one of the greatest successes of the logical law of non-contradiction!

Another thing that I understand from a very brief introduction to this topic in my text for physics is that an event that occurs will be seen happening at different times by two different people. One reason is that it takes time for light to travel to the observer from the event, and if the event is closer to one observer than the other observer (assuming there is nothing that will interact with this light) the event will seem to happen sooner to the closer observer than the observer which is furthur away.

Hence “relativity”.

Also, events occur at the time you see them, reason being that no matter which dimension light travels in (including time), nothing can move faster than it–don’t ask me to explain, I only had a brief intro to this from the text. I’ll be taking relativity next year and I can’t wait! It’s so interesting and exciting!!

Even if you account for the finite travel time of light for observers at different distances away from an event, there’s still a difference in the observed times. The time of travel for the light is not what relativity is about. Good luck with your studies

i think the question that needs to be answered is why does the speed of light always go at that speed no matter what your speed relative to it is.

if you watch a train go to the right at ten miles an hour and im on it walking to the right at five miles an hour, you will see me go by at 15 miles an hour. if i turn on a flashlight while moving by at 15 miles an hour, i, on the train will see the light come out at the speed of light, and you will see it come out at exactly the speed of light, not sol+15.

why? whats your theory aporia? mine is that the mysterious zero point field of which we know almost nothing (and therefore i can theorize wildly about it with no way to be disproven) has something to do with it. im not exactly sure how my theory goes, but im sure that it would change a lot of our assumptions about things that are happening far away in the universe. but those assumptions are based on light and the ways it moves and the way we see it, so thats not surprising. also not surprisingly, my theory involves no math, which i feel has no place in physics.