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I have been set the challenge, by the BBC Radio 4 World Tonight programme, to explain Einstein's theory of general relativity to a six year old, which Einstein claimed you could do if you'd understood it.So, how do you think I should approach this, and what, would you say, is the bare minimum we should aim to include to give adequate coverage?
I think the main point to get across is that no frame of reference is special. ........
Once you have established that these events do not happen as you would intuitively expect then you can attempt to explain that time is not a constant everywhere.
explain Einstein's theory of general relativity to a six year old, which Einstein claimed you could do if you'd understood it
2 identical atomic clocks, 1 placed at ground level and the other at 1 metre elevation. Both clocks are stationary with respect to each other, and the experiment observer is also stationary with respect to the stationary clocks.
Also I believe that any self respecting six year old would understand a short graphics animation that depicted a velocity trajectory in mph, and a velocity time dilated clock in relation to an elevation related clock showing time dilation in relation to the rockets elevation.
Quote from: jeffreyH on 25/11/2015 19:45:07Once you have established that these events do not happen as you would intuitively expect then you can attempt to explain that time is not a constant everywhere.But it is! That is the essence of relativity: the atomic clock runs at the same rate as seen by an observer who is stationary with respect to the clock, regardless of their position in space or constant velocity. It just looks different to a moving observer.
"How do I explain General Relativity to a 6 year old?"
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
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
≈ c - 2 mm/day
But how do we know the images are distorted?
Quote from: alancalverdBut how do we know the images are distorted?A image like this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MACS_J1206.jpg [Links inactive - To make links active and clickable, login or click here to register] 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.
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