Relativity

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Astronomers routinely use this method to study stars and galaxies behind massive objects. Einstein's Cross, a quasar in the Pegasus constellation , is an excellent example of gravitational lensing. The quasar is about 8 billion light-years from Earth, and sits behind a galaxy that is million light-years away. Four images of the quasar appear around the galaxy because the intense gravity of the galaxy bends the light coming from the quasar. Gravitational lensing can allow scientists to see some pretty cool things, but until recently, what they spotted around the lens has remained fairly static.

However, since the light traveling around the lens takes a different path, each traveling over a different amount of time, scientists were able to observe a supernova occur four different time s as it was magnified by a massive galaxy.

relativity

In another interesting observation, NASA's Kepler telescope spotted a dead star, known as a white dwarf, orbiting a red dwarf in a binary system. Although the white dwarf is more massive, it has a far smaller radius than its companion. Changes in the orbit of Mercury : The orbit of Mercury is shifting very gradually over time, due to the curvature of space-time around the massive sun.

In a few billion years, it could even collide with Earth.

Frame-dragging of space-time around rotating bodies : The spin of a heavy object, such as Earth, should twist and distort the space-time around it. The precisely calibrated satellite caused the axes of gyroscopes inside to drift very slightly over time, a result that coincided with Einstein's theory. GP-B confirmed two of the most profound predictions of Einstein's universe, having far-reaching implications across astrophysics research. Gravitational redshift : The electromagnetic radiation of an object is stretched out slightly inside a gravitational field.

Think of the sound waves that emanate from a siren on an emergency vehicle; as the vehicle moves toward an observer, sound waves are compressed, but as it moves away, they are stretched out, or redshifted. Known as the Doppler Effect, the same phenomena occurs with waves of light at all frequencies.

The mechanical universe

Supposedly, this medium permeated all space without impeding the motion of planets and stars; yet it had to be more rigid than steel so that light waves could move through it at high speed, in the same way that a taut guitar string supports fast mechanical vibrations. Despite this contradiction, the idea of the ether seemed essential—until a definitive experiment disproved it. In the German-born American physicist A. This could only mean that the ether had no meaning and that the behaviour of light could not be explained by classical physics.


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relativity - Wiktionary

Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Written By: Sidney Perkowitz. See Article History. Start Your Free Trial Today. As he worked out the equations for his general theory of relativity, Einstein realized that massive objects caused a distortion in space-time. Imagine setting a large body in the center of a trampoline. The body would press down into the fabric, causing it to dimple.

Electromagnets

A marble rolled around the edge would spiral inward toward the body, pulled in much the same way that the gravity of a planet pulls at rocks in space. Although instruments can neither see nor measure space-time, several of the phenomena predicted by its warping have been confirmed. Gravitational lensing : Light around a massive object, such as a black hole, is bent, causing it to act as a lens for the things that lie behind it.

Astronomers routinely use this method to study stars and galaxies behind massive objects.

Special relativity

Einstein's Cross, a quasar in the Pegasus constellation , is an excellent example of gravitational lensing. The quasar is about 8 billion light-years from Earth, and sits behind a galaxy that is million light-years away. Four images of the quasar appear around the galaxy because the intense gravity of the galaxy bends the light coming from the quasar.

Gravitational lensing can allow scientists to see some pretty cool things, but until recently, what they spotted around the lens has remained fairly static. However, since the light traveling around the lens takes a different path, each traveling over a different amount of time, scientists were able to observe a supernova occur four different time s as it was magnified by a massive galaxy.

In another interesting observation, NASA's Kepler telescope spotted a dead star, known as a white dwarf, orbiting a red dwarf in a binary system. Although the white dwarf is more massive, it has a far smaller radius than its companion. Changes in the orbit of Mercury : The orbit of Mercury is shifting very gradually over time, due to the curvature of space-time around the massive sun.

In a few billion years, it could even collide with Earth.