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18 points

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12th Jun 2018

This is the one I read on relativity when I was a kid. I was able to understand it back then, and afaik it doesn't grossly oversimplify anything to the point of heinous wrongness.

https://www.amazon.com/Relativity-Visualized-Lewis-Carroll-Epstein/dp/093521805X

1 point

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11th Aug 2022

That's a valid way to look at it. In fact, that explanation was used by Epstein in his book Relativity Visualized

This book is outstanding for understanding relativity without getting too deep in the math of it all.

1 point

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29th Nov 2016

Special relativity tells us it couldn't work. That theory is very well tested in labs, so we have good reason to believe it's valid. I think with your curiosity you'd like the book Relativity Visualized. There are few equations. Mostly the author appeals to your intuition. You'd gain an excellent understanding of relativity.

The theory tells us that the speed of accelerating objects (e.g. particles in a particle accelerator) can ever more closely approach but never reach the speed of light.

1 point

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8th Jul 2016

You are welcome to think of it as a vector analogy, it will make "sense" if you understand vectors. Every particle is of length of c, that is a constant. c is a vector (direction) and is fundamental to all particles. Your c is always projected along your time axis. When you move in space, your c is tilted compared to the other c's around you. That means that temporal projection of your c vector onto their time axis is shorter. Or if you wish, their projection of their c vectors onto your axis is shorter. The particles on the front of your body and the rear of your body are at different times, relative to other times. Just draw your a one meter length on their x axis and rotate it so that it is moving in their frame, it is easy to see that the ends are at different times. Your spacial projection of your particles onto other spatial axis is also shorter.

This conceptual model correctly summarizes special relativity. It is not the normal way it is taught but it is a well known alternative. See Special Relativity Visualized.

Enjoy your journey through space - time.

1 point

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24th Sep 2010

I'm going to just leave this here.

It's an amazing book -- every time I read it I have the flowers-for-algernon-like experience of totally and completely understanding it all, and then it starts to slip away as soon as I close the book. And.... it's gone.

1 point

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5th Oct 2021

Thanks, I think as far as the Block Universe goes, which I take more as a philosophical issue, I tend to mentally flipflop between the Block Universe and Emergent Block Universe models (if you'e unfamiliar with the latter then here's a quick link to a vid: Evolving Block Universe and a paperBlock Universe PDF arXiv ).

The best sources to go from beginner to more advanced is to learn from the great masters: Spacetime Physics and there is also a book that is fantastic for building intuition called Relativity Visualized where there also a wonderful elaboration and description of it for free at Epstein Explains Einstein.

Hope this is helpful!

1 point

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24th Feb 2018

Enjoy the course! I'm an amateur with an interest in relativity. Most tests of GR are tests of the Schwarzschild metric. Check out Orbits in Strongly Curved Spacetime. The BASIC code for plotting orbits in Schwarzschild geometry is the 2nd link in the 1st reference. Also I highly recommend the books Exploring Black Holes and Relativity Visualized.

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