A depiction of relativity as the curving of spacetime around mass, according to American physicist John Wheeler. [3]
In science, relativity, distinguishing between the special theory of relativity (1905) and the general theory of relativity (1915), is the conception of space and time as joined variables, namely space-time, dependent on the constancy of the speed of light, according to which the Cartesian coordinate system is upgraded to to the Gaussian coordinate system and gravity is defined as a distortion in the geometry of space-time. [1]

In 1632, Italian physicist Galileo Galilei, in his Dialogue Concerning the two Chief World Systems, asked something along the lines of: If you are in the cabin of a boat docked (and immobile), a cabin with windows hidden so we cannot see outside, results of mechanical experiments (shot put, study of a pendulum, etc.) will they be different from the results of the same experiments carried out in the boat on the move, provided that this movement is done in a straight line at a constant speed? Another way of saying this is: is it possible mechanical experience to distinguish between the state of uniform motion and stillness of a vehicle without using a landmark outside (i.e. without looking out the window)? His response, was that this is impossible, and that the results of mechanical experiments will be the same as in the other cases. The principle of relativity therefore said that the laws of mechanics are the same in two Galilean frames. (Ѻ)

The first step towards the theory of relativity is the postulate of length contraction, generally know as Lorentz contraction—the phenomenon of a decrease in length measured by an observer of objects which are traveling at any non-zero velocity relative to the observer—first postulated by George FitzGerald (1889) and Hendrik Lorentz (1892) in response to the findings of the Michelson-Morley experiment (1881), one example being that a ruler pointed toward the sun will be measurably longer than one pointed in the direction in which the earth is moving about the sun.

In 1895, sixteen year old Albert Einstein had contemplated the following, as he would later write: [2]

“Such a principle [relativity] resulted from a paradox upon which I had already hit at the age of sixteen: If I pursue a beam of light with a velocity c (velocity of light in a vacuum), I should observe such a beam of light … at rest. However, there seems to be no such thing, whether on the basis of experience or according to Maxwell’s equations.”

In circa 1903-05, Einstein, while working at the Swiss patent office, as a third-class examiner, received a proposed invention of a device to synchronize clocks, e.g. by sending light or a radio wave between, say, Bern, Basel, or Zurich, thereby insuring that each strike an hour at the exact same moment. On this question, Einstein imagined a person standing half way between two distant clocks, each send out a signal at the same time, say seven, will say the clock strikes are simultaneous; but if someone is moving past the person—say on a train—really fast toward one of the clocks, that person will receive the signal from that clock first. From this thought experiment, Einstein deduced that since all motion is relative, neither observer was right or wrong: the speed of light is constant, but what is “simultaneous” is relative, which means time is relative, depending on one’s motion. (Ѻ)(Ѻ)

On 29 May 1919, Arthur Eddington to take a trip to the island of Principe (off the west coast of Africa) to measure the solar eclipse, to test the validity of Einstein’s mass bends light conjecture:

Eddington expedition 1919


See main: Social relativity theory
In the 1940s, American physical historian Morris Zucker attempted to outline a relativity like field theory of history; the result, however, amounted to a lot of talk, but without much meat.

In 1983, Paul Sporn, an American English professor, in his “The Modern Physics of Contemporary Criticism” chapter, attempted to outline how various authors employed relativity, field, and or spacetime logic to create “text-reader-intertext fields” resembling energy-mass conceptions from general relativity; the resulting arguments, however, seemed to have little substance them. [1]

In 2018, Mateo Gil, in his film The Laws of Thermodynamics, devoted a certain number of scenes to attempts at relativity theory applied socially, such as a guy falling off a bus, who is observed falling by two lovers, one on the bus, one on the ground.

The following are related quotes:

“An hour sitting with a pretty girl on a park bench passes like a minute, but a minute sitting on a hot stove seems like an hour.”
Albert Einstein (c.1925), “explanation of relativity given to his secretary for use when answering inquiries”; cited by Jamie Sayen (1985) in Einstein in America (Ѻ)

Space tells matter how to move and matter tells space how to curve.”
John Wheeler (1998), Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam (Ѻ)

“If we are to make a family tree analogy of the genesis of the mathematical aspect of the theory of relativity: the great grandfather would be Leibnitz; the grandfather would be Gauss; the father would be Riemann, and the son would be Einstein.”
Monydit Malieth (2013), The Future Affects the Past [5]

1. Hsieh, Ching-Yao, and Ye, Meng-Hua. (1991). Economics, Philosophy, and Physics (pgs. 76-77). M.E. Sharpe.
2. Kaku, Michio. (2005). Einstein’s Cosmos: How Albert Einstein’s Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time (pg. 44). W.W. Norton & Co.
3. Wheeler, John. (1998). Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam (pg. 235). W.W. Norton & Co, 2010.
4. Sporn, Paul. (1983). “The Modern Physics of Contemporary Criticism”, Conference on Science, Technology, and Literature, Feb, Long Island University, New York; in: Beyond the Two Cultures: Essays on Science, Technology, and Literature (editors: Joseph Slade and Judith Lee) (§10:201-22), Iowa State University Press, 1900.
5. Malieth, Monydit (aka Tonnerre). (2013). The Future Affects the Past: What Destination is Time Rushing To? (pg. 61). Red Lead Books.

External links

Theory of relativity – Wikipedia.

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