Tag Archives: speed of light

Einstein's Theory of Relativity Made Easy!

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity Made Easy!

From what it is, to its impact on the world at large, join us as we explore Einstein’s Theory of Relativity made easy, and explain it so everyone can understand it. (Simplified)

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So where do we start with something as big and as complicated as the Theory of Relativity? I’m sure some of you wouldn’t even know what it is outside of its name, which is fine. But I’m sure you do know the man who came up with the idea, Albert Einstein. Einstein is revered as one of the smartest people to ever live, and he helped shape how we perceive both our world and our universe. So it might surprise you that this very brilliant man once started off as nothing more than a patent clerk. No, really, he did, and that’s part of the origin story to the Theory of Relativity.
Because one day, after doing his work at the patent office, he went on a trolley car to go home. And he would do this day after day after day. This is important because while he was on that car, he would think about the universe at large. He would ask himself questions and try to figure out the answers as best he could with the information he had. And one day, he was going away from a clock tower when he asked what would happen if the car he was on was going away from the clock tower…at the speed of light.
This may seem like an odd question to ask, but lightspeed travel is something that scientists are honestly trying to achieve right now, and these questions were truly the building blocks of this really happening. Anyway, back to the clock tower. Einstein theorized, as well as realized, that if he was moving the speed of light (which if you don’t know is 299,792,458 meters per second), the hands on the clock tower (meaning the minute hand and the hour hand) would quite literally appear to stop in place.
But, he also knew that while he himself was traveling at the speed of light and seeing everything stop more or less, everyone who was at the clock tower, and seeing things in “normal time” would not see them stop. The clock tower and its hands would keep ticking along as if nothing wrong.
Yet in this experiment, for Albert Einstein, time had literally slowed down, and it was at this moment that the “light bulb” went off in his head. Because it was through this experiment that he realized that if you go faster and faster through space, you’re actually causing time to go slower around you. But how was this possible if time was quite literally a constant force in the universe?
To try and answer this, Einstein would look to some of the other fathers of science to try and figure out the missing points in his equation. For example, he looked at the three laws of motion via Sir Isaac Newton. Newton notes that while objects do move at a certain speed, their values are never an absolute. Mainly because every speed we go at is based on a force imparted on something, or relative to something else. Such as how a car can go 65 miles per hour on a highway…but that’s only because the ground and friction ALLOW it to do so. No friction on the road? You’re not going that speed. Thus why he notes that every speed has to have “in respect to” another force or object that is allowing or perceiving that object’s speed.
However, in contrast, there is James Clark Maxwell, the father of electromagnetism, who notes that of all the things in the universe, it is light that is fixed. And as noted, light goes 299,792,458 meters per second. That will never change. That speed is another constant force in the universe. Anyone, anywhere in the world, or even anywhere in the universe will be able to determine that the speed of light is the same, it won’t change, and that’s part of the reason why the universe works like it does, because the speed of light is constant, right?
But therein lies the problem, or at least, Einstein realized that this was a problem. Because Newton said that no speed in the universe could be an absolute. But then Maxwell counters this by saving the speed of light is ALWAYS a constant. Which means that these two very universal and very accepted pieces of science are at a contradiction. Which is something you never want in the world of science, trust me.
If you’re still not getting the full picture of why this is a problem, here’s another thought experiment from Einstein to help explain it.
Imagine you are at a train station, and you are standing out on the platform when a storm comes. Then, out of the blue, two lightning bolts strike on either side of you. Because of your position in the middle of these lightning bolts, you perceive them at the exact same time, and the light reaches you at that same time.

Theory Of Relativity: Einstein’s Twin Paradox!

#InsaneCuriosity #Theory of Relativity #PhysicsHowTheUniverseWorks

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What If a Massive Gravitational Wave Hit Earth?

What If a Massive Gravitational Wave Hit Earth?

1.3 billion years ago, two orbiting massive black holes, circling each other at 250 times a second, collided in a violent, universe-rippling explosion that sent waves of energy throughout the cosmos. In its wake, a new supermassive black hole formed over 60 times bigger than our Sun. Fast forward to September 2015, gravitational waves from this ancient cosmic event finally struck Earth. Luckily, the gravitational waves weakened over such a great distance. But what if we weren’t so lucky? If a couple of black holes in our solar system collided, could we survive? What would happen to Earth if we got hit by massive gravitational waves? What causes these waves? How can we detect them?

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What If the Universe Isn't Uniform?

What If the Universe Isn’t Uniform?

In a galaxy far away, gravity didn’t quite work the way it does on Earth. And the speed at which everything moved was really weird too. Maybe, some places in our vast Universe just don’t abide by our laws of physics? And if that was true, what would it mean for us?

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Why SpaceX Is Making Starlink!

Why SpaceX Is Making Starlink!

From what it is, to what SpaceX’s part in it is, to what it could mean for the future of space travel, and more! Join me as we explore why SpaceX is making Starlink!

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SpaceX, created by Elon Musk, is aiming to do a lot of things in the world and beyond right now, including their efforts to put humanity on Mars. But, in the early parts of 2019, they started launching rockets into space for another reason. Mainly, they launched satellites to start up their Starlink program.
What is Starlink? Well, believe it or not, it’s a program that is meant to be used to help bring the internet to people all over the world, including bringing very high-quality internet to people in the most isolated parts of the world. Furthermore, to nations like the US, the intent is to boost the internets’ power so that there will be no latency issues. All you’ll have to do when the internet is “up” is get a special antenna that SpaceX is developing.
Fast forward to March of 2020, and Elon Musk has now gotten 360 of these satellites into space. That number is significant because once it reaches 400 satellites he’ll be able to do a test with some minor coverage over North America. Once he gets to 800 satellites he’ll be able to push that to moderate coverage over the continent. Plus, with each successful launch he’s continuing to test his Falcon rockets and their payload capabilities which will help him during the Mars missions in the future.
If you’re curious as to how many satellites he has planned for the Starlink project to get true worldwide coverage, that would be 12,000. Which of course he plans to distribute over the next decade or so. It’ll take a while, but should it work, it could be a huge deal.
Now, you might be thinking, “Wouldn’t this kind of satellite launching, and network connectivity, and computing power cost all sorts of money?” Yes, yes it would. It’s going to cost Musk and SpaceX billions of dollars to get this to work, and obviously, there is no guarantee that it’ll work the way that Musk hopes. So to that end, why is Musk going through all the trouble of trying to get Starlink up and running?
Let’s start back at the beginning for this, ok? This all started in 2015, when Musk took the stage and announced that they were working on a satellite communications network. Why? Because he believed that there was “a significant unmet demand for low-cost global broadband capabilities.”
To further help with this goal, Musk and his team opened up a new base of operations in Redmond, Washington in order to help them get the satellites built. Which you would think would be a sign that they had a good plan and that they were going to implement it as soon as possible, right? Well…yes and no.
The original plan for Starlink was that they were going to build two prototype satellites, launch them into space, and then test how the reception and broadband signal was. There was just one big problem. While building the satellites were easy enough, making a receiver that people could use to both connect with the satellites, and having it be a “low cost” one…wasn’t so easy. Because of this, instead of launching the satellites in 2016 as intended, they didn’t launch until 2018.
Specifically, February 2018 when the two satellites, called Tintin A & B were indeed launched into space, and they were successfully communicating with the Earth stations down below. This test allowed SpaceX to both ensure that their plan would work, while also refining certain elements to help make sure that everything would be ok for those who aren’t tech savvy. After all, if you make something complicated to use, no one will want to use it, am I right?
Anyway, with THIS success, you’d expect a big celebratory thing to happen, right? Except, it didn’t, not then at least. SpaceX was unusually quiet about everything going on with Starlink until November 2018 when the FCC approved their launching of the full 12,000 satellite grid. A huge win for SpaceX and Elon Musk, because without that approval, they wouldn’t have gotten their worldwide grid goal.
Once that approval was made, the preparations for the launch of the satellites began. Then, in May 2019, the first 60 satellites were launched, and they were done in such a way that you could actually see them in space going into their various positions if you were in the right spot to look.
These satellites are doing more than you think though. They’re not just there to be in the sky to help out with internet connection, or no, they do more than that. They also have ion thrusters that’ll allow them to navigate the rather heavy-laden atmosphere of our planet (which is loaded with space junk) as well as take themselves out of orbit when the time comes for their replacements to arrive.

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