Relativity in brief... or in detail..
Relativity: Do I need to know about it? What will I learn here?Do I need to know about relativity?
Relativity is important in nuclear power, modern nagivation (GPS), some medical technologies and other applications. Unless you are a physicist, an engineer or perhaps a philosopher, it is unlikely that you need to know much about relativity directly. Similarly, unless you work in literature or music, you don't need to know about the work of Shakespeare or Bach.
Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity is centrally important to our understanding of time, space, matter and energy and it is one of the great examples of creative and analytical thought. So perhaps you will find it interesting to understand some of its central ideas. Although some of the consequences of the basic ideas may seem counter-intuitive, the ideas themselves are not particularly difficult to understand - as we hope to show you.
What will I learn?
For whom was this production made?
The presentation level
Will I understand relativity after this? The presentation level is only a brief explanation of some of the ideas and a keen user/reader will, we hope, understand these at one level. The links take you deeper (and deeper) into relativity and we hope to interest you to go further. If you become really interested, a textbook for first year university physics is a good place to continue. These books usually have a good introduction to relativity, including problems to solve.
Understanding comes in a range of levels. There is a limit to what one can learn about swimming from watching or reading. At some point you have to get into the water. So it is with physics: real physical understanding can be tested by solving problems using that understanding. Doing experiments brings a further level of insight. And yes, deep understanding does require the maths. (Richard Feynman's quote about mathematics in explanations.)
Nevertheless, you can appreciate Bach without being able to follow a fugue,