Today, I want us to talk about, no celebrate, the greatest theory that ever emerged out of classical physics, which is special relativity!
No theory in classical physics, not even general relativity or the much touted standard model is as remarkable as special relativity which is the only theory that bears the resemblance of the fundamental theory.
Special relativity is so special that even the problem of unifying physics was due to special relativity, which even Prof. Lee Smolin identified in his book “The Trouble With Physics”.
The fundamental aspects of the theory of relativity emerged from the pioneering work of Henri Poincare, Hendrick Lorentz, Albert Einstein and the later contribution of Hermann Minkowski who gave us the geometrical description of the theory.
Special relativity was the theory birthed to account for the null results of the Michelson-Morley experiment which sought to find any variations in the speed of light as it moves in the classical aether.Special relativity was the theory birthed to account for the null results of the Michelson-Morley experiment.Click To Tweet
It was Hendrik Lorentz who “starting in 1892” laid down the basic mathematical framework or formulation of the theory which was later improved by Henri Poincare in 1905, and in a short time later, Albert Einstein revolutionised the theory by removing the classical aether from it and stating as the second postulate the independence of light.
This culmination of the theory or the various attempts to explain the empirical results of the Michelson-Morley experiment is what is referred to as special relativity.
Other theories of relativity proposed by Lorentz and Poincare contained the classical aether which was supposed to be the medium in which light travelled. Classical physicists couldn’t conceive of a wave of light moving in empty space, it had to have a medium in which it moves, just like water waves move in water and sound waves in move air or any other material medium.
But Einstein proposed relativity without the classical aether and this is the major difference between Einstein’s relativity and others. This major conceptual move by Einstein is what gave birth to modern physics which was an era of physics that had no need for the classical aether or its supposition.
(Look above and see that I talked about the “classical aether” and not just the aether as it is said. If you are not new to this blog, then you should know of my view about the aether. I will still come to this in this article.)
And since 1905, Einstein special relativity is the theory of relativity we teach in our schools and in modern physics, and it is this theory that I came into contact with in 2008 in my first year in university.
I had not been interested in fundamental science until I came into contact with special relativity. When I discovered relativity, I felt like wow, this is what I have been missing all this while in science!
No one ever told me that time flowed differently for bodies in motion and that the same applies to space. The theory of special relativity showed me all of this and it changed forever my view of the universe. I felt like I had rediscovered science!
From that time on, I will spend my time thinking about space and time. I could spend all day thinking about time dilation and space contraction and the implications of special relativity in general, and even my friends in school noticed this and would sometimes call me “Einstein”.
Special relativity became my gospel in school. I talked about it with my friends and anyone who cared to listen. I had gone into university to study electronic engineering but now I cared less about how an electron moved in a wire; I became more interested in the fundamental nature of space and time.
I knew without any shred of doubt that if I can discover the fundamental nature of space and time, then how electrons moved in a wire won’t be a problem.
Why did I become interested in the fundamental nature of space and time? Well, after understanding special relativity to a large extent, not that it is complex and extensive anyway, I felt that something was missing.
I couldn’t really explain it, but I felt that something absolutely fundamental about the nature of space and time was absent in special relativity. It was a kind of intuitive feeling and it persisted for long, even after I came across general relativity.
Even after I saw that Einstein extended special relativity in general relativity, I still didn’t care. I kept asking myself: what are space and time? I felt consistently that this question has not been resolved and to me, it is the question upon which all sciences are based.
History has it that Einstein was puzzled by the nature of light and that his attempts to resolve this puzzle was what led him to the discovery of special relativity.
This puzzle about light was what led him to the second postulate of special relativity which proposed the independent existence of light, and which was a revolutionary discovery going by the standards of classical physics.
No other scientist in classical and modern physics informed us so much about light like Albert Einstein and which were the results of his attempt to satisfy his curiosity about the nature of light.
Einstein found in (special) relativity the conceptual framework to express his discovery about the nature of light, and in like manner, history has repeated itself.
It was also in relativity that I found the conceptual framework to express my discovery about the nature of space and time. This is among the reasons why special relativity is special to me, and in this case, I mean special relativity as it is the culmination of the efforts of other physicists besides Einstein.
To be frank with you, I was never puzzled about light or gravity or energy or any other concept in physics besides space and time. I wanted to know what they really are and there was nowhere in physics that I could look to for answers.
The nature of space and time were a complete enigma in physics. But as I began, little by little, one thought here another there, coupled with the assistance of special relativity which I already understood, I came into contact with absolute relativity, which became the end of my search for the nature of space and time!
Special relativity is indeed special because it had in it the seed of The Theory of the Universe (absolute relativity).
Special relativity emerged as Einstein effort, whether inadvertently, to revolutionalize electrodynamics, which is the former general term for the principles of relativity as they apply to uniform frames holding on to the classical aether.
Now, absolute relativity is emerging as my attempt to revolutionalize special relativity. And could it be coincidental that the theory of absolute relativity has also a branch called post-modern electrodynamics which also describes how the principles of relativity apply to uniform frames but in a revolutionalized manner that is different from the classical electrodynamics.
This implies that post-modern electrodynamics is the true transformation of classical electrodynamics which special relativity sought to achieve.
And absolute relativity has another branch called gravi-electrodynamics, which describes how the principles of relativity apply to accelerated frames and in a revolutionalized manner that is different from general relativity. This implies that general relativity is not the true theory for accelerated frames.
Gravi-electrodynamics is the revolutionary branch of absolute relativity that introduces us to the gravi-electromagnetic wave which I call the post-modern aether. It is the non-mechanical wave that underpins the relativity of accelerated frames just like light underpins the relativity of uniform frames.
So, the aether is not a completely invalid concept or notion. It only does not apply to uniform frames, so in this regard, special relativity is right about the non-existence of the classical aether. But when we come to accelerated frames, we need the post-modern aether called gravi-electromagnetic wave. I have said a lot about this in some of my articles.
So, the two branches of absolute relativity, the post-modern electrodynamics and gravi-electrodynamics, in their exact terms show that they are the true natural progression from the relativity of uniform frames to that of accelerated frames and not the two branches of modern relativity, which are special relativity and general relativity.
Now, the two branches of post-modern relativity, in a remarkable manner both look like special relativity. By special relativity, Einstein gave us the remarkable insight about the independent nature of light, and now by absolute relativity, which looks like special relativity, we come to the remarkable understanding of the true nature of space and time which I said was missing in all of physics.
Absolute relativity can be seen as the simple result of the transformation of special relativity due to the discovery of the true nature of space and time. This discovery is what now shows us that the mathematical framework of special relativity is enough to describe both uniform and accelerated frames and that we have no need for general relativity.
Special relativity has really been the problem like some scientists concerned about the fundamental problems of physics have thought and opined and I also intuitively knew this. I had less thought or concern about general relativity, my focus has always been on special relativity, and using its mathematical framework, I was able to present to you the encompassing theory of the universe.
By pursuing to satisfy my curiosity for the nature of space and time and nothing else, I discovered the new philosophy of absolute-relationism, the second non-mechanical wave in the universe, a new form of energy, the true absolute natures of light and gravity and even their long-sought unification, the post-modern structure of the atom, the seven absolute principles of the universe, the nature of the mind and a whole lot more which I now share with you on this great blog.
All these discoveries are the crowning achievements of my journey into the absolute nature of space and time, and I am more than eager to share them with you on the greatest science blog ever!
I really hope that you can see why special relativity is special from this article. I sometimes criticize special relativity but I always do so with ‘less concern’ than I do for other theories. Special relativity is very special to me and will always be and this is why I speak so fondly and personally of it.
The theory introduced me to the world of physics. I fell in love with physics because of this theory, or will I rather say that I fell in love with special relativity and no other physics.
Everything I now teach you in this blog still maintains the mathematical framework of special relativity but with the transformation which the new understanding of space and time brings.
A whole new understanding of light, gravity, matter, energy, motion, etc. have emerged from the new transformation of special relativity called absolute relativity.
Special relativity is now special not because it describes the relativity of uniform frames, but because of its resemblance with absolute relativity which is the theory of everything. This is the special respect which special relativity will have in this new era of physics.
So, when I inform you about the theory of the universe or of the theory of everything, I want you to just know that it is a theory that looks just like special relativity, and so it is quite easy to understand, just like special relativity.
This is why I sometimes say that the universe is as simple as special relativity (absolute relativity). So, since special relativity, we have been introduced to the simplicity of the universe even if we didn’t have the theory of the universe.
Special relativity was preparing us for what is to come, it was like a mental exercise before the real knowledge. So, the theory of absolute relativity can be easily understood by us without mental stress and with less mathematical trickery. It’s all basic algebra coupled with an extended view of the geometrical space-time methods of Minkowski.
My friend, I have informed you in this article of why special relativity is special both historically, conceptually and personally; and personally, the theory changed how I viewed the universe and it was what set me on the path towards absolute relativity which gave me a greater revolutionary view of the universe.
So, I have always wanted to write this article, I have always wanted to one day speak to you about my journey into fundamental science assisted by special relativity and today I feel so fulfilled to be doing just that.
There is no doubt that when you come to understand absolute relativity, you will see that special relativity is conceptually flawed and this is why it couldn’t give us the theory of everything, even though it had the potential to, but then you will find that your admiration for the theory will increase. You will see that it was the problem and the solution after all.
Until next time,
I will be here.
– M. V. Echa