What is Relativity?

By: Jeffrey Bennet

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I decided to read "What is Relativity?", by Jeffrey Bennett. This book touched on many topics we have discussed over the year in ESS. To summarize, the book dove deeper into Einstein's Theory of Relativity, and in doing so, it mentioned "black holes", "space travel", "the speed of light", and many more. I learned that the spacetime distance between two events is called an interval. The overall vocabulary of the book was fairly basic for the concepts it covered. A fundamental part of understanding the book is understanding the role time and reference points plays in Einstein's Theory of Relativity. I learned that "moving reference frames have slower time, contracted length, and increased mass." Also, I learned that like a black hole, "Time slows more and more as an object gets closer and closer to the speed of light", which is actually impossible.

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Overall, I enjoyed the complexity of the book. The dynamics of space is always something that I have found intriguing. Bennett wrote the book in a manner in which it was easy to read due to his basic use of vocabulary. However, there were several instances where Bennett would go over an abstract topic and attempt to clarify it by using an analogy that I would have difficulty following. My only other complaint was that when he would use a visual to clarify a topic, sometimes it was on the previous page, which would be a bit confusing. However, I did appreciate the fact that he would use visuals.

One part of the book I particularly enjoyed was when Bennett explained 4-dimensional space and how although we can not comprehend what it would look like (because we live in a three dimensional world), we would be able to "see through time." I enjoyed this section of the book because Interstellar is one of my favorite movies and it touches on this topic. At the end of the movie, after entering a black hole, Matthew McConaughey enters 4-dimensional space where he is able to look back into time. After reading this book, I can now see I understand both Interstellar and the dynamics of space and time better.

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This book is related to our class in that at the beginning of the year we discussed the Theory of Relativity, which was essentially what this entire book was about. As we dove deeper into what the Theory of Relativity is, we learned about time and space travel. For example, I learned that the actual definition of hyperspace is space "with more than three dimensions." The book also touched on the effects of going the speed of light and how and why no object will never be able to accomplish such a thing.
Einstein's Theory Of Relativity Made Easy


Above is a current event about space exploration. It does not really have to do Einstein's Theory; however, I found it interesting!