This is the story of Einstein, relativity and a centenary of technological marvels. And how a single mind managed to change our perception on time, space and gravity.
When we look upon the 20th centuries, what are the most influential historical figures? Kennedy, Ataturk, John Paul II, Edvard Munch or Orwell? All of them have left their marks in the sand, though there is one historical figure that manages to surpass them all both in lucidity in creativity. That figure is none other than Albert Einstein, the father, or better yet, the progenitor of modern physics.
This year we celebrate 100 years since his brilliant paper was first published. In the early months of 1915, an outstanding and damn-right outrageous paper came out detailing about how space, time and gravity are interconnected, working as a whole. Einstein’s paper entitled “The General Theory of Relativity”, explained how concepts like space or time can impact the effect of gravity. The paper itself accounts for a geometrical approach on gravity.
Einstein’s novel work took into account Newton’s law of gravitation, which states that two celestial bodies attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to their masses and indirectly proportional to the square of their distances. He also took into account another theorem named special relativity, which states that the laws of physics are considered to be invariant in inertial systems and that the speed of light is vacuum is also invariant for all observers.
By taking these two approaches into account, Einstein managed to come up with a unified theory which states that gravity could be construed as a geometric attribute of both time and space. Thus the space-time curvature was born, a mathematical model that details how space-time is capable of folding when it is related to the matter’s or radiation’s energy and momentum.
Einstein theory has also predicted the existence of black holes, gravitational waves and other astrophysical phenomenon. Over the course of 100 years, everybody knew about Einstein’s work and his genius formula was on everyone’s lips. Both scientific and artistic community were clamoring over and over again the E=mc², a brilliant approach of how space, time and gravity are interrelated.
Apart from opening new roads and door, Einstein’s work on relativity and gravity also created quite a ruse among the artists. Sparkling new artistical movements such as surrealism or futurism took a keen interest in Einstein’s work and used his ideas in order to come up with literary marvels.