A better version of this article is — THEORY OF RELATIVITY IN BRIEF which is also a featured article on our blog. So, we recommend you to read that article instead of this, and, also that article describes RELATIVITY completely.
INTRODUCTIONUsing some Mathematics, which will not discussed here due to technicality, many equations which describe some ‘Relativistic Effects’ can be derived. RELATIVISTIC EFFECTS are the effects which are relative. These tell us, mathematically, that nothing is absolute except the speed of light. These are —
- TIME DILATION — This effect tells us that for a moving object, time slows down.
- LENGTH CONTRACTION — This effect tells us that the size of a moving object decreases.
- RELATIVISTIC MASS — This tells us that the mass of a moving object increases.
- MASS-ENERGY EQUIVALENCE — This is a quite different effect from the above three. It tells us that mass and energy are same thing, and, are inter-convertible. The nuclear (atom bomb) and thermonuclear (hydrogen bomb) bombs are based on this principle of the special theory of relativity.
1. TIME DILATION – STRETCHED TIME
2. LENGTH CONTRACTION – SQUEEZED SPACE
3. THE FAMOUS EQUATIONAccording to special relativity, the mass of a moving object increases. But according to the law of conservation of mass, mass remains conserved (that is, it doesn’t changes). According to Einstein’s Energy-Mass Equivalence, mass can be converted into energy and energy can be converted into mass. When a body is in motion, it possesses some energy called ‘Kinetic Energy’. This is the energy which is converted into mass when a body is in motion. This increased mass can’t be observed in our daily life (because, in our daily life, the speeds of objects are very slower than that of light), it can be observed when objects travel near to the speed of light because when velocities are near the speed of light, there is a huge amount of Kinetic Energy, leading to large amount of increase in mass. The relation between increased mass and original mass is given by the equation:
and when an object will travel equal to the speed of light, its velocity, v = c when we will put c at the place of v in the above formula, after doing some mathematics, we will get ⇒ m = m0 / 0 ⇒ m = infinity (when any non-zero number is divided by 0, the result is infinity)So, now if we put this value of m in the relation of mass and energy, we found that the value of energy, E becomes infinite. So, we can conclude that to accelerate anything to the speed of light, one would require an INFINITE amount of energy which actually can’t happen.