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Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein

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Author Topic: Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein  (Read 498 times)
Jean
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« Reply #60 on: May 03, 2009, 05:58:39 am »

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Jean
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« Reply #61 on: May 03, 2009, 05:59:13 am »

When is small compared with unity, the third of these terms is always small in comparison with the second,

which last is alone considered in classical mechanics. The first term mc2 does not contain the velocity, and requires no consideration if we are only dealing with the question as to how the energy of a point-mass; depends on the velocity. We shall speak of its essential significance later.
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« Reply #62 on: May 03, 2009, 05:59:27 am »

The most important result of a general character to which the special theory of relativity has led is concerned with the conception of mass. Before the advent of relativity, physics recognised two conservation laws of fundamental importance, namely, the law of the conservation of energy and the law of the conservation of mass these two fundamental laws appeared to be quite independent of each other. By means of the theory of relativity they have been united into one law. We shall now briefly consider how this unification came about, and what meaning is to be attached to it.
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Jean
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« Reply #63 on: May 03, 2009, 05:59:37 am »

The principle of relativity requires that the law of the conservation of energy should hold not only with reference to a co-ordinate system K, but also with respect to every co-ordinate system K ' which is in a state of uniform motion of translation relative to K, or, briefly, relative to every " Galileian " system of co-ordinates. In contrast to classical mechanics; the Lorentz transformation is the deciding factor in the transition from one such system to another.
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« Reply #64 on: May 03, 2009, 06:00:14 am »

By means of comparatively simple considerations we are led to draw the following conclusion from these premises, in conjunction with the fundamental equations of the electrodynamics of Maxwell: A body moving with the velocity v, which absorbs * an amount of energy E0 in the form of radiation without suffering an alteration in velocity in the process, has, as a consequence, its energy increased by an amount

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« Reply #65 on: May 03, 2009, 06:00:54 am »

In consideration of the expression given above for the kinetic energy of the body, the required energy of the body comes out to be

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Jean
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« Reply #66 on: May 03, 2009, 06:01:23 am »

Thus the body has the same energy as a body of mass

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« Reply #67 on: May 03, 2009, 06:01:56 am »

moving with the velocity v. Hence we can say: If a body takes up an amount of energy E0, then its inertial mass increases by an amount

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« Reply #68 on: May 03, 2009, 06:02:33 am »

the inertial mass of a body is not a constant but varies according to the change in the energy of the body. The inertial mass of a system of bodies can even be regarded as a measure of its energy. The law of the conservation of the mass of a system becomes identical with the law of the conservation of energy, and is only valid provided that the system neither takes up nor sends out energy. Writing the expression for the energy in the form

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« Reply #69 on: May 03, 2009, 06:03:08 am »

we see that the term mc2, which has hitherto attracted our attention, is nothing else than the energy possessed by the body ** before it absorbed the energy E0.

A direct comparison of this relation with experiment is not possible at the present time (1920; see *** Note, p. 48), owing to the fact that the changes in energy E0 to which we can Subject a system are not large enough to make themselves perceptible as a change in the inertial mass of the system.
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« Reply #70 on: May 03, 2009, 06:03:34 am »


is too small in comparison with the mass m, which was present before the alteration of the energy. It is owing to this circumstance that classical mechanics was able to establish successfully the conservation of mass as a law of independent validity.
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« Reply #71 on: May 03, 2009, 06:03:46 am »

Let me add a final remark of a fundamental nature. The success of the Faraday-Maxwell interpretation of electromagnetic action at a distance resulted in physicists becoming convinced that there are no such things as instantaneous actions at a distance (not involving an intermediary medium) of the type of Newton's law of gravitation. According to the theory of relativity, action at a distance with the velocity of light always takes the place of instantaneous action at a distance or of action at a distance with an infinite velocity of transmission. This is connected with the fact that the velocity c plays a fundamental role in this theory. In Part II we shall see in what way this result becomes modified in the general theory of relativity.
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« Reply #72 on: May 03, 2009, 06:04:01 am »

Notes
 *) E0 is the energy taken up, as judged from a co-ordinate system moving with the body.

 **) As judged from a co-ordinate system moving with the body.

 ***[Note] The equation E = mc2 has been thoroughly proved time and again since this time.
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« Reply #73 on: May 03, 2009, 06:04:18 am »

Section 16 - Experience and the Special Theory of Relativity
To what extent is the special theory of relativity supported by experience? This question is not easily answered for the reason already mentioned in connection with the fundamental experiment of Fizeau. The special theory of relativity has crystallised out from the Maxwell-Lorentz theory of electromagnetic phenomena. Thus all facts of experience which support the electromagnetic theory also support the theory of relativity. As being of particular importance, I mention here the fact that the theory of relativity enables us to predict the effects produced on the light reaching us from the fixed stars. These results are obtained in an exceedingly simple manner, and the effects indicated, which are due to the relative motion of the earth with reference to those fixed stars are found to be in accord with experience. We refer to the yearly movement of the apparent position of the fixed stars resulting from the motion of the earth round the sun (aberration), and to the influence of the radial components of the relative motions of the fixed stars with respect to the earth on the colour of the light reaching us from them. The latter effect manifests itself in a slight displacement of the spectral lines of the light transmitted to us from a fixed star, as compared with the position of the same spectral lines when they are produced by a terrestrial source of light (Doppler principle). The experimental arguments in favour of the Maxwell-Lorentz theory, which are at the same time arguments in favour of the theory of relativity, are too numerous to be set forth here. In reality they limit the theoretical possibilities to such an extent, that no other theory than that of Maxwell and Lorentz has been able to hold its own when tested by experience.
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« Reply #74 on: May 03, 2009, 06:04:27 am »

But there are two classes of experimental facts hitherto obtained which can be represented in the Maxwell-Lorentz theory only by the introduction of an auxiliary hypothesis, which in itself -- i.e. without making use of the theory of relativity -- appears extraneous.

It is known that cathode rays and the so-called β-rays emitted by radioactive substances consist of negatively electrified particles (electrons) of very small inertia and large velocity. By examining the deflection of these rays under the influence of electric and magnetic fields, we can study the law of motion of these particles very exactly.
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