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8 points

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6th Aug 2017

Einstein actually wrote an entire ELI5 book explaining his theories (special relativity and general relativity), and the analogies he uses to wrap the reader's mind around them are brilliant (a train moving relatively to an observer). It's all about *frames of reference*. Takes a few readings, but eventually it makes sense, even to the layman. You should really get it ! (on amazon)

To me those thought experiments (the twin paradox, etc) don't help understand the underlying principles because they only expose the result of the "experiment", not the *why* of the result. This book guides you through all the steps in the reasoning behind general relativity. A good way of testing your understanding of it then is it to try and explain it to your friends. I still can't do that. :D

1 point

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9th Feb 2018

> For instance GR can and should be taught to kids

I'm skeptical. You might be able to get some general ideas across, but GR is so heavily math-based that you're doing it a disservice trying to teach it to people with nowhere near the required math background.

Einstein himself explains relativity the best. With my undergrad-level physics and math background, I felt like I was understanding the general concept, but not the fine details or mathematical intricacies. This is about as simple as it gets, but still quite complex.

1 point

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2nd Jul 2017

Congratulations on getting the math right. Yes, saying m = E/c^2 is identical to E = mc^2 but...

>Who knows what Einstein really thought...

We do. Herr Einstein was gifted with his language, and he wrote about his theory in ways that even average ordinary folks can understand. The simple equation equating mass and energy actually comes from a difficult equation from the field of tensor calculus, which is very hard to understand. When Einstein explained it so easily, he set the standard for scientific writing for the masses.

For only a few dollars, you can understand what Einstein was thinking. If you're interested, Amazon sells Relativity: the Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein

1 point

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14th Jul 2018

1 point

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16th May 2017

It might also be that I simply don't understand enough of either. I have only read Einstein's relativity stuff a couple of times and the quantum mechanics books I've read are pretty low level.

I also tried to make it pretty ELI5, so it's probably pretty wrong to start. I dunno. I can armchair physics OK, but everything I know is probably wrong somehow.

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< $50