What is Relativity?

By Jeffrey Bennett, flyer by Jessica Melville

Summary

In this book, Jeffrey Bennett explores the essential question: what is relativity? Throughout the work, he analyzes different aspects of relativity, and discusses not only its formation as a theory, but what it means in in the context of the universe. Bennett takes a look at Einstein's ideas and puts them into terms that can be easily comprehended and connected to real world situations that we face in our everyday lives.

Review

This book made it much easier to understand relativity as a concept and how it is applicable in life, in anything from a GPS to the possibility of the sun turning into a black hole. Bennett presents his ideas in a way that is not only educational, but entertaining, making it appealing to younger audiences who wish to learn about the subject without wading through a wall of unintelligible text to do so.

In Relation to Astronomy

Relativity is one of the most important concepts in not only the field of astronomy, but many scientific and mathematical fields of study. The theory of relativity provides a basis for many other concepts to build off of, leading to bigger and better discoveries about the universe and everything in it.

Selected Quotes

“In principle, time would come to a halt for an object moving at the speed of light.”

“The event horizon is the point at which the speed required to leave the vicinity of the black hole (the escape velocity) is the speed of light, and because Einstein’s theory tells us that no material object can reach that speed, nothing can escape from within the event horizon.”