OK. So a guy who creates nifty websites for people runs a page dealing with Einstein’s Theories of Relativity. That’s not exactly to be expected, I grant you that. Especially when you consider that the Man with the Beard once scored 19% in a Physics exam at school. He remembers making a pinhole camera and wondering what the point of it was. He once drew a picture of some eyes and then marked arrows on a line representing a ray of light to indicate that the light was being emitted by the eyes.
Spooky. Too much Doctor Who maybe.
At age 13, it won’t surprise you, the Boy without a Beard turned his back on Physics and studied mainly languages. He rues the fact that the plural of Dorf is Dörfer and not Dorfe. That mistake knocked three percent off what would have been a perfect score of 100% in a German exam. As the Man with a Beard began his progress through life he developed a career in the criminal law. He still does the law thing, and latterly he also builds websites for people and small businesses. He’s an OK kind of chap.
So what’s this about Einstein’s Theories of Relativity, then? The Man with the Beard certainly does not claim to have a latent talent for mind-bending concepts such as –
1 Light doesn’t always travel in a straight line; when it zips by heavy things like planets, it bends.
2 The speed of light is a tad under 300 kilometres per second. It is impossible for anything in the Universe to travel faster than the speed of light.
3 If you also could travel at the speed of light and someone fired a beam of light after you, the beam of light would still pass you at the speed of light.
4 The faster you travel, the more slowly you age compared with someone who is stationary or moving more slowly than you.
5 When you travel fast, you shrink in size; and as you slow down to a stop, your physical size returns to normal.
6 If you cock a gun ready to fire, the gun has a greater mass than before you cocked it.
It all sounds perfectly ridiculous, doesn’t it! Ridiculous and at the same time fascinating. And the Man with the Beard is going to try and understand and explain it all – WITHOUT USING ANY EQUATIONS! Largely because the tiny part of his brain that can cope with Physics can’t cope with equations. They make his brain hurt. Also he hasn’t figured out how to type the number 2 representing “squared” so that it is raised slightly above the “E = mc” bit. If anyone knows how to do that on a Mac keyboard, please let him know.
Now Einstein wrote many highly technical papers on Physics. The Man with the Beard won’t even be opening the covers on these veritable tomes. There is not a hope that he will understand any of that stuff. Instead he has started with Einstein’s book “Relativity, The Special and the General Theory” which was written with the ordinary man in mind. And the Man with the Beard is very much an ordinary man. (It’s just his beard that is out of this world!)
So Relativity will be coming right up on this website – there is no need to adjust your monitor!