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The Elements of Relativity - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Elements of Relativity

David M. Wittman


Relativity is a set of remarkable insights into the way space and time work. The basic notion of relativity, first articulated by Galileo, explains why we do not feel Earth moving as it orbits the Sun and was successful for hundreds of years. We present thinking tools that elucidate Galilean relativity and prepare us for the more modern understanding. We then show how Galilean relativity breaks down at speeds near the speed of light, and follow Einstein’s steps in working out the unexpected relationships between space and time that we now call special relativity. These relationships give rise ... More

Keywords: relativity, Einstein, spacetime, time dilation, twin paradox, gravity, gravitomagnetism, gravitational waves, black holes

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780199658633
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199658633.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David M. Wittman, author
Professor, University of California, Davis