October 3, 2011

What Challenging Einstein's Relativity Really Means

The Economist, The Economist

AP Photo

IN 1887 physicists were feeling pretty smug about their subject. They thought they understood reality well, and that the future would just be one of ever more precise measurements. They could not have been more wrong. The next three decades turned physics on its head, with the discovery of electrons, atomic nuclei, radioactivity, quantum theory and the theory of relativity. But the grit in the pearl for all this was a strange observation made that year by two researchers called Albert Michelson and Edward Morley that the speed of light was constant, no matter how fast the observer was travelling.

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TAGGED: Albert Einstein, Neutrinos, Light Speed, Relativity