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What is relativity?


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February 02, 2013 5:36PM

Relativity as a term means that two or more things, actions, or concepts are connected by some physical or conceptual factor.

In physics, there are two versions of relativity for the physical universe:

General relativity concerns the mathematics and probability of gravitation and spacetime.

Special relativity involves the interaction of matter and energy in an inertial frame of reference.

Current theories on both forms of relativity include those of Albert Einstein, proposed in 1905 and 1907, respectively. Einstein's major contribution to Special Relativity is the equation E=mc2, the mathematical expression relating matter and energy and their interchangeability. The major consequence of the equation is in the field of atomic energy, where it represents the massive energy released by the conversion of matter. The reverse, the change of energy into matter, occurs on a subatomic level but not as an observable phenomenon.

On a less serious note, Einstein is attributed forms of these quotes:

"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."

"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity."