in Philosophy

Einstein’s Masterpiece: Relativity

It is my birthday today, and I am extremely happy. I am happy not because it’s my birthday. Birthdays come and go each year. There is nothing new in them. My state of happiness is because of the insight I have acquired in Einstein’s theory of relativity. Relativity introduces us to the relativistic nature of the realty we experience in our day to day experience. It provides us with the insight of relativistic nature of time itself. The one of the first and foremost nature of reality that relativity acquaints us with is that we all see past. We all see what has already happened. The observation of this past may be on the smallest of scales in our daily experience on earth. But this observation of experience of past increases greatly when we are concerned about greater distances. By greater distance I mean cosmic distances. Distance between sun and earth. Our solar system and all the other solar systems in the universe. Distance between galaxies and the like of it. At these huge scales we experience reality proportional to the distance under consideration. The more distant object in the cosmos we are observing, the deeper into past we are peeking. The past becomes directly proportional to the distance under consideration. Greater the cosmic distance, more distant past we observe. All this is because of our messenger particle of imagery information. That is to say the photon. Light is packets of photons travelling at a fixed velocity through spacetime. The speed we are all well aware of. The limit to speed of light is the very reason that creates the illusion of past.

When I have a discourse with my friend, no matter how close we are standing, we observe each other’s past. Although we don’t realise the difference because it is minuscule. But if my friend were on sun, somehow surviving the extreme heat produced by it in his super anti radiant space suit, I would see my friend wave me 8 minutes after he actually waved. This is because light takes 8 minutes to reach Earth from sun. It would take 8 minutes for me to realise that my friend waved me when I observe him through my powerful telescope. Similarly my friend who is observing me from sun through is highly advanced anti heat telescope, he would observe me after 8 minutes of waving him. So if somehow we had our clocks set to the same time, considering the effect of sun’s high gravity to be negligible on his clock. We could both wave each other at the same time. This way when after 8 minutes we would observe each other through our telescopes, it would appear as if we are waving each other at the same time. After 8 minutes each of us would be able to see waving each other at the same time. Although both of us had done that 8 minutes ago. Similarly if my friend were to be in andromeda galaxy right now and clocks were to be synced. And we were to wave each other right now, then after three years if we were to observe each other through our super powerful galactic telescopes-we would still be able to see waving each other. Although the event for both of us had occurred three years ago. We will be able to greet each other at the same time. This way actions of the past could be synchronised with the actions of the future. How beautifully has Einstein’s relativity explained the illusion of time . It was Einstein’s genius that he could observe such a non-obvious reality at his time. But the relativity raise questions in a curious mind.

We perceive the moment in time when the light photons that have captured that moment strikes at the retina of our eyeball. But light itself is a slow wagon for the transportation of moments in space. All the relativity that we perceive in our lives is due to this shortcoming in the speed of light which is our fastest sensory way of acquiring moments of time. Hence our perception of reality is flawed by the very basics of our sense object contact. Einstein’s relativity only enables us to view the universe and space time in context of this flaw, inherent in our sense. The perception exists only because we see universe through the lens of extremely slow photons. But what if there is a fast enough wagon that can introduce us to the existing reality. I would like to assert the existence of this wagon based on quantum mechanics analysis. Because the probability wave in quantum mechanics itself opens the doorway to this wagon. Would this wagon not enable us to see the world through the eyes of a saint that has attained enlightenment. Did Budhdha not see the universe as it is? Had he not realised the existence of such a wagon boarding which he attained Nirvana. Do we not read in The Holy Quran that prophet Muhammad(PBUH) travelled the whole universe in one night, what we all call the miraaj. These are questions of metaphysics and in no way should concern us while trying to unfold the transcendental reality of physics. But they at least develop a sense of curiosity in our minds, searching for the ultimate principle behind the working of the universe. What governs the objective reality?

We have not yet discussed the effect of Einstein’s relativity over space. This is part of his more general form of the theory of relativity that envisions the effect of gravity also. In my present assessment I considered the effect of sun’s gravity to be negligible, which in reality is not. This aspect of general theory of relativity may be discussed in the next article where gravity plays a leading role in the mechanism of the universe.

Originally published at on Wednesday, 7 May 2014

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