As I posted in the Book Stop forum, I am reading a book by Gary Zukav called the Dancing Wu Li Masters, which attempts to explain quantum physics without all the math. Einstein himself said that the general concepts of what physicists are doing are completely explainable to nearly anyone, and Gary Zukav took that and ran with it.

This book is great. Totally interesting, and easy to understand, for the most part. It just explained Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity in a way that was so easy to understand!

The speed of light is a constant. This means that no matter what speed you're moving, the speed of light remains the same. This is totally different from how Newtonian Physics sees the world. If you're travelling at 60 mph and a car comes at you at 60 mph, then the car is moving toward your position at 120 mph. However, light travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second.

If you travelled directly at a light source at 4,000 miles per second, the light would be coming at you at 186,000 miles per second, but you would measure it exactly the SAME as if you were standing still. No matter at what rate you're travelling, the speed of light remains constant.

At it's most basic, measuring speed requires a ruler (rod) and a clock. (distance and time). In order for you to measure the same speed of light no matter how fast you're going, the INSTRUMENTS must change. What Einstein determined (and it's been proven), was that the length of the rod gets less as you approach the speed of light until at the speed of light, it disappears completely. Likewise, time slows down as you approach the speed of light until at the speed of light, it stops completely, and mass gets greater as you approach the speed of light until at the speed of light, mass becomes infinite. The length and time make total sense, when you think about it. You need length and time to measure speed, and if the speed remains constant, but should be changing, then the length and time must be changing.

What's wiggy about this is that to the person travlling really fast sees no difference in his length or time...the motionless observer sees the traveller's ruler get shorter and sees the traveller's clock slow down.

And this has been proven! In 1972, the most accurate atomic clocks known to man were put aboard aircraft and flown around the world at supersonic speeds. When the aircraft landed, the clocks were compared to their earthbound counterparts, and the clocks that flew around the world were slower than the ones that stayed motionless! There are other tests that prove the Special Theory of Relativity, but that just blows my mind!!!!

Well, have a good day!!!

-Chris