Skip to main content
Library homepage
Loading table of contents menu...
Physics LibreTexts

1: Foundations of Relativity

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    • 1.1: The Relativity Principle
      Our journey begins with Einstein's big idea, and the greatest null experiment of all time.
    • 1.2: The Nature of Time
      We continue in the same manner as Einstein – with what he called "thought experiments." These are simply logical arguments that lead to inescapable conclusions if the relativity principle is correct. Some of the most startling of these conclusions are related to the nature of time.
    • 1.3: More Thought Experiments
      Considering how universally important the measurement of time is throughout physics, it shouldn't be too surprising that there many more interesting results to coax from thought experiments.
    • 1.4: Paradoxes
      When the counterintuitive results of relativity are pushed to their limits, the result can be apparent paradoxes. In the early days of relativity, these were used as "proofs" that it was an incorrect theory. Resolving them, as we will do here, gives even greater insight into this subtle theory.

    This page titled 1: Foundations of Relativity is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Tom Weideman directly on the LibreTexts platform.

    • Was this article helpful?