# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: How do I explain general relativity to a six year old?  (Read 3957 times)

#### alancalverd

• Global Moderator
• Neilep Level Member
• Posts: 4519
• Thanked: 139 times
• life is too short to drink instant coffee
##### Re: How do I explain general relativity to a six year old?
« Reply #25 on: 28/11/2015 09:00:24 »
Another Illustration?
If you wanted to link Einstein's General Relativity to post-relativity discoveries, you could show the highly distorted images of distant galaxies
But how do we know the images are distorted? Because we assume relativity! As far as the kid is concerned, it's a fuzzy blob, like all the others.

#### puppypower

• Hero Member
• Posts: 540
• Thanked: 40 times
##### Re: How do I explain general relativity to a six year old?
« Reply #26 on: 28/11/2015 14:14:59 »
If you assume the speed of light is the ground state of the universe, and since mass/matter can't move at the speed of light; special relativity,  there is a constant potential between matter and the C ground state. Gravity and GR is simply mass lowering the potential with the ground state. The contraction of space-time, as matter clumps as modeled by GR, is consistent with the matter moving in the general direction of the C reference. The black hole singularity is where its point-instant reference reaches the C reference.

If I was to explain this to a six year old child, I would say picture being on a plateau, which is an elevated flat place. Say this elevated flat place was very large and you are in the middle and you can't see the edge. Under those conditions you might assume your spot in the middle of the large plateau is the lowest point around since all the water drains there.

But since you are actually elevated on the plateau, the real lowest point is not part of the plateau, but you don't see that to know that. The result is hidden potential energy. If the low point pond of water dissolves its way to the edge of the plateau and starts to waterfall, the moving pond water may seem very odd, since the pond is already at the bottom. GR and gravity reflects the hidden energy lowering potential toward the speed of light ground state.

For the adults; matter and anti-matter form from energy or photons that split. This means matter and anti-matter are a higher potential than its origin energy. If the matter and anti-matter combine they will lower potential and give off energy. If we take away the anti-matter, so the matter can't lower potential back to energy at C, the potential in the matter will linger. It wants to go back to energy and the C reference, but it has to find other ways like gravity, mass burn, force of nature, etc all of which release energy at C or approach C reference.
« Last Edit: 28/11/2015 18:36:47 by chris »

#### lightarrow

• Neilep Level Member
• Posts: 4586
• Thanked: 7 times
##### Re: How do I explain general relativity to a six year old?
« Reply #27 on: 29/11/2015 15:44:28 »
When adding the speed of two protons, where v1=v2=c(1-x):
Total speed = (v1+v2)/(1+v1v2/c2)
=c((1-x)+(1-x))/(1+(1-x)(1-x))
=c(2-2x)/(2-2x+x2)
≈c-2c/x2
There is a little mistake here, the result should be ≈  c - cx2/2

Quote
≈ c - 2 mm/day
≈ c - 1 mm/day is my result, with your data.

--
lightarrow

The following users thanked this post: evan_au

#### evan_au

• Neilep Level Member
• Posts: 3960
• Thanked: 230 times
##### Re: How do I explain general relativity to a six year old?
« Reply #28 on: 30/11/2015 10:51:00 »
Quote from: alancalverd
But how do we know the images are distorted?
A image like this galaxy cluster shows many "undistorted" galaxies - elliptical and spirals. Galaxy Zoo will give even more examples.

However, the long arcs don't look like a regular galaxy, but are interpreted as a distorted view of a distant galaxy, an effect predicted by Einstein's General Relativity. We can confirm that the arc is a single object spectroscopically.

There is a mixture of art and science in trying to generate a mass distribution that would bend the light from a distant galaxy into the observed arc. Most of this mass distribution is attributed to "Dark Matter", since the central galaxy is often visible, but doesn't seem to have enough stars in the right places to bend the light into the observed shape.

Unfortunately, these reverse-engineered maps of matter density don't help us solve the mystery of the composition of Dark Matter.

#### puppypower

• Hero Member
• Posts: 540
• Thanked: 40 times
##### Re: How do I explain general relativity to a six year old?
« Reply #29 on: 30/11/2015 13:02:25 »
Quote from: alancalverd
But how do we know the images are distorted?
A image like this galaxy cluster shows many "undistorted" galaxies - elliptical and spirals. Galaxy Zoo will give even more examples.

However, the long arcs don't look like a regular galaxy, but are interpreted as a distorted view of a distant galaxy, an effect predicted by Einstein's General Relativity. We can confirm that the arc is a single object spectroscopically.

There is a mixture of art and science in trying to generate a mass distribution that would bend the light from a distant galaxy into the observed arc. Most of this mass distribution is attributed to "Dark Matter", since the central galaxy is often visible, but doesn't seem to have enough stars in the right places to bend the light into the observed shape.

Unfortunately, these reverse-engineered maps of matter density don't help us solve the mystery of the composition of Dark Matter.

A matter based reference, like the earth and our science tools, by being at the top of an energy plateau (relative to C), will result in seeing affects in space that imply more energy that you think you should have. In the figure below, if we were at the top of this large plateau and can't see the edges, but notice all the water appears to pool in a low spot in the middle, one might assume this point is the place of lowest energy; ground state.

Since there is still potential energy in the water; unseen plateau, if the water used this unseen energy to erode its way over the edge of the plateau, we would notice the ground state in now in motion. The potential behind the movement of the ground state would be called dark energy. You can't see dark energy in the lab, because it is not there.

The need for dark energy should have been expected since if we assume there is no center of the universe and no preferred reference, we cannot close a universal energy balance, since difference references will see different amounts of energy. If we had two planets in relative motion V, one with mass M and the other with mass 2M, depending on who you decide is in motion, we can half or double the total system kinetic energy. Say we assume planet 2M is in motion; double the kinetic energy, but in reality M is has the kinetic energy; half the kinetic energy, we will need 75% dark energy to make this assumption work; not preferred reference. If we assume C is the ground state then all references have one universal ground state, so when the pool of water begins to move, this is accounted for without anything new. The C ground state allows you to look over the edge of the plateau you see the C   ground state can provides the energy.

One problem that dark energy creates for GR is if we assume we  see dark energy far away, and we assume dark energy is everywhere in the universe,  what happens to GR if our solar system is also immersed in dark energy and dark matter but we can't see it in the lab? This would mean that GR is not just equating matter, but is lumping unknown amounts of dark matter and dark energy into matter.  Say the earth is immersed in dark energy is the acceleration due to gravity (matter based) more than 9.8m/sec2 since dark energy is countering the impact of matter/gravity. We can't see dark energy in the lab so how do we even adjust GR for the earth?

#### Thebox

• Neilep Level Member
• Posts: 3139
• Thanked: 42 times
##### Re: How do I explain general relativity to a six year old?
« Reply #30 on: 30/11/2015 14:50:12 »
A tap's water flows at a golden constant rate, if we turn down the ''force/pressure'', the flow slows down, this is like the ticking of a clock, if we move the clock, the ticking slows down, but the clock is not like a normal clock, it is an internal clock like the internals on a tap.

If you stand still on earth and the man in the moon was looking at you, the man on the moon would see you moving with the earth through space, but if you look at the moon, you will see the moon is  moving through space.

So when you are standing still, you are only standing still compared to what you are standing on.

If the something you were standing on stopped moving, you would continue to move.

Need an edit, but there is an idea for you, and use skate boards to you show the ''flirt off''.

#### alancalverd

• Global Moderator
• Neilep Level Member
• Posts: 4519
• Thanked: 139 times
• life is too short to drink instant coffee
##### Re: How do I explain general relativity to a six year old?
« Reply #31 on: 30/11/2015 18:13:34 »
A matter based reference, like the earth and our science tools, by being at the top of an energy plateau (relative to C), will result in seeing affects in space that imply more energy that you think you should have.
I doubt that half of the readers of this forum have any idea what that means, or whether it has any erelevance to the subject under discussion! Remember we are taking to a six-year-old, i.e. somebody with marginally more experience of life than a politician, and about as accurate interpretation of "energy" as a journalist..

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### Re: How do I explain general relativity to a six year old?
« Reply #31 on: 30/11/2015 18:13:34 »