Space, Time and Gravitation: “An Outline of the General Relativity Theory”

Space, Time and Gravitation: “An Outline of the General Relativity Theory”

Printed: 14.99 $eBook: 4.99 $
Series: Orange Line Academic Books, Book 0
Genres: Academics, Physics & Cosmology & Astronomy, Science & Nature & Philosophy Books
Tag: Recommended Books
Publisher: e-Kitap Projesi & Cheapest Books
Publication Year: 2014
Format: (eBook + Printed)
Length: English, 8.5" x 11" (17 x 27 cm), 210 pages
ASIN: 1505496454
ISBN: 9781505496451

Einstein has succeeded in separating far more completely than hitherto the share of the observer and the share of external nature in the things we see happen. The perception of an object by an observer depends on his own situation and circumstances; for example, distance will make it appear smaller and dimmer. We make allowance for this almost unconsciously in interpreting what we see. But it now appears that the allowance made for the motion of the observer has hitherto been too crude|a fact overlooked because in practice all observers share nearly the same motion, that of the earth. Physical space and time are found to be closely bound up with this motion of the observer; and only an amorphous combination of the two is left inherent in the external world. When space and time are relegated to their proper source|the observer|the world of nature which remains appears strangely unfamiliar; but it is in reality simplified, and the underlying unity of the principal phenomena is now clearly revealed.

About the Book

The deductions from this new outlook have, with one doubtful exception, been confirmed when tested by experiment. It is my aim to give an account of this work without introducing anything very technical in the way of mathematics, physics, or philosophy. The new view of space and time, so opposed to our habits of thought, must in any case demand unusual mental exercise. The results appear strange; and the incongruity is not without a humorous side. For the first nine chapters the task is one of interpreting a clear-cut theory, accepted in all its essentials by a large and growing school of physicists|although perhaps not everyone would accept the author's views of its meaning. 

Chapters x and xi deal with very recent advances, with regard to which opinion is more uid. As for the last chapter, containing the author's speculations on the meaning of nature, since it touches on the rudiments of a philosophical system, it is perhaps too sanguine to hope that it can ever be other than controversial. 

A non-mathematical presentation has necessary limitations; and the reader who wishes to learn how certain exact results follow from Einstein's, or even Newton's, law of gravitation is bound to seek the reasons in a mathematical treatise. But this limitation of range is perhaps less serious than the limitation of intrinsic truth. There is a relativity of truth, as there is a relativity of space. 

" For is and is-not though with Rule and Line 

And up-and-down without, I could define." 

Alas! It is not so simple. We abstract from the phenomena that which is peculiar to the position and motion of the observer; but can we abstract that which is peculiar to the limited imagination of the human brain? We think we can, but only in the symbolism of mathematics. As the language of a poet rings with a truth that eludes the clumsy explanations of his commentators, so the geometry of relativity.. 

But the mind is not content to leave scientific Truth in a dry husk of mathematical symbols, and demands that it shall be alloyed with familiar images. The mathematician, who handles x so lightly, may fairly be asked to state, not indeed the inscrutable meaning of x in nature, but the meaning which x conveys to him. 

Although primarily designed for readers without technical knowledge of the subject, it is hoped that the book may also appeal to those who have gone into the subject more deeply. A few notes have been added in the Appendix mainly to bridge the gap between this and more mathematical treatises, and to indicate the points of contact between the argument in the text and the parallel analytical investigation. It is impossible adequately to express my debt to contemporary literature and discussion. The writings of Einstein, Minkowski, Hilbert, Lorentz, Weyl, Robb, and others, have provided the groundwork; in the give and take of debate with friends and correspondents, the extensive ramifications have gradually appeared.

About the Author
Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington

Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, (1882 – 1944) was a British astronomer, physicist, and mathematician of the early 20th century who did his greatest work in astrophysics. He was also a philosopher of science and a popularizer of science.

The Eddington limit, the natural limit to the luminosity of stars, or the radiation generated by accretion onto a compact object, is named in his honour.

He is famous for his work regarding the theory of relativity. Eddington wrote a number of articles that announced and explained Einstein's theory of general relativity to the English-speaking world. World War I severed many lines of scientific communication and new developments in German science were not well known in England. He also conducted an expedition to observe the Solar eclipse of 29 May 1919 that provided one of the earliest confirmations of relativity, and he became known for his popular expositions and interpretations of the theory.

He died from cancer in the Evelyn Nursing Home, Cambridge, on 22 November 1944 and was cremated at Cambridge Crematorium (Cambridgeshire) on 27 November 1944 and his cremated remains were buried in the grave of his mother at the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge.

Eddington was born in Kendal, Westmorland, England, the son of Quaker parents, Arthur Henry Eddington and Sarah Ann Shout. His father taught at a Quaker training college in Lancashire before moving to Kendal to become headmaster of Stramongate School. He died in the typhoid epidemic which swept England in 1884. His mother was left to bring up her two children with relatively little income. The family moved to Weston-super-Mare where at first Stanley (as his mother and sister always called Eddington) was educated at home before spending three years at a preparatory school.

In 1893 Stanley entered Brynmelyn School. He proved to be a most capable scholar, particularly in mathematics and English literature. His performance earned him a scholarship to Owens College, Manchester (what was later to become the University of Manchester) in 1898, which he was able to attend, having turned 16 that year. He spent the first year in a general course, but turned to physics for the next three years. Eddington was greatly influenced by his physics and mathematics teachers, Arthur Schuster and Horace Lamb. At Manchester, Eddington lived at Dalton Hall, where he came under the lasting influence of the Quaker mathematician J. W. Graham.

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