General Relativity: Einstein’s Theory


The Universe, a colossal cluster of mass and matter, full of huge celestial bodies and smaller clusters of stars and planets.

Albert Einstein, a German-born theoretical physicist, developed the first theory that clearly explained the cause and effects of gravity. It also put the Universe in the perspective of a Space-Time fabric. This theory, known as the General Relativity theory(GR), is one of the most monumental and foundational theories in physics, created to explain gravity, the central source of all force. Unfortunately, General Relativity, while one of the most important theories to our knowledge of the Universe, is not well known.

So what is this mysterious fabric? Essentially, it consists of one dimension of time, and the three dimensions of space on one fabric. These are the four dimensions of continuum. if you look at a Space-Time model, you will notice that there are gridded lines. The grid represents the dimensions, one way is space and the other is time. This means that you can not move through space without spending time doing so. That is why teleportation is impossible.

If a person were to view an 7 dimensional plane (6 dimensions of space and 1 dimension of time), or 7D, it would be shown as 3D because it is simply impossible for the human mind to process what 8 dimensions would be like. It is still up for study, but there is either 10 or 11 dimensions in the Multiverse, but we only perceive 4, so we as humans cannot comprehend what a world would be like if it had more than 4 dimensions.

The reason it is impossible to go the speed of light, the maximum speed of the Universe (Light just goes that speed), is because anything travelling past it would be going backwards in time. If all the photons were going beyond the speed of light, we would see things before they happen.

If a object or substance were to be moving at the speed of light, it would only be moving through time, and it would be moving at a constant speed through dimensions. Because of your constant speed, you are also moving through time faster than you would if you were moving at a normal pace. Going faster than this would mean that you are accelerate so much that you would be moving only through space without moving through time.

So how did Einstein come up with General Relativity? It all started when he finished his work a few hours early. He then used the remaining hours of his day to continue his personal study of light. He did this through what is commonly known as “thought experiments”.

One of these thought experiments was on one of Newton’s theorized hypotheses. In this hypothesis, Newton thought that if the Sun suddenly disappeared from existence for no reason whatsoever, we would see it immediately, and the Earth would drift out of orbit in whatever direction it was facing instantaneously.

Light is made up of subatomic particles called Photons (Pho-ton), discovered by the French chemist Paul Villard in 1900. So it was common knowledge for Einstein to know that photons were a form of matter. Knowing this, the problem was that Einstein made a discovery; the speed of light was finite, and, like all matter, could not simply disappear and reappear somewhere else. He was able to support this prediction with his relation between time and space as he introduced “The Theory of Relativity” in 1905.

General Relativity was mainly created to explain the phenomenon that had stumped scientists for thousands of years, gravity, all items on the Space-time fabric create a imprint, if a planet or moon is dense enough, say an Earth-like planet, it can create a strong enough gravitational force to attract large objects.

On Earth, the denser the object, the more heavier it is. For example, osmium, with 22 grams per a cubic centimeter. But if you took it onto a planet with a weak gravitational pull, that osmium could weigh half as much, this means the weight of an object only relative to the gravitational force being applied to it.

You can have an object as big as the Earth, but let’s say that instead of iron, rock and magma, it is made of something like graphene aerogel, which is 7 times lighter than air, to say the least it will not have a strong gravitational force, while if you took the meteor 16 Psyche, which just so happens to be 120 miles in radius and completely made up of metals, it will most likely have a noticeable gravitational pull.

How they apply gravitational force is a lot like one of those attractions that you have probably seen at a kids museum where there is a inwardly curved dome, or saucer that you roll a coin around until it reaches the bottom. It’s the same concept, although some objects have enough velocity to never hit the attracting object, like satellites that orbit the earth, they are constantly falling down towards the object, but is moving fast enough to miss it, over and over again!

So he theorized that if the Sun were to disappear, it would cause the fabric to lose tension and lurch up, like a bowstring being released and that movement would create a wave, like when you move any other fabric up and down fast enough.

He believed these “Gravitational Waves” moved at exactly the speed of light, meaning that they would also reach earth 8 minutes and 20 seconds after the sun disappeared. So 8 minutes and 20 seconds after the sun disappeared, we would see it disappear at the same time that we would float away from our current direction, and freeze in space.

This is one of the most ambitious and complicated theories in all of the history of physics, right up there with Stephen Hawkings Hawking’s radiation and Isaac Newton’s equations and predictions. So how did he think of it, what devices did he use to find General Relativity? He actually explained all the tools he used in an interview, he said “I thought of it while riding my bicycle.” (Albert Einstein), that’s right, he did everything in his head with the “Thought Experiments”.

Many physicists can agree today that Einstein is a praised person in the history of physics because he founded the theory of general relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics and his work is known for its influence on the philosophy of science.