Einstein general theory of relativity is the best model for gravity so far, and has been confirmed in experiments and observations. According to the theory, regardless of one's point of view (as measured by speed and direction), physical law and the speed of light are unchanged. This implies that measurements made in time and space are not absolute, but relative to your particular point of view or reference frame. General relativity led to concepts and theories such as black hole, parallel universes, worm holes, and space-time. Special relativity is Einstein's rejection of the notion that space and time are absolute, based on the observation that the speed of light is independent of the motion of an observer. No matter how fast someone runs toward you with a flashlight, the speed of the light that flashlight emits will always remain the same. From this foundation, Einstein constructed a revolutionary model of gravity and a universe full of unexpected surprises like black hole, gravity waves, time dilation, and the equivalence of mass and energy: E=Mc^2. Astronomers and astrophysicists regularly use the theoretical tools of special relativity to interpret and analyze light.

Radio Programs

General Relativity V Catching ripples in the universe Friday, November 27, 2015
General Relativity IV Four views of a single quasar Thursday, November 26, 2015
General Relativity III Proof that Einstein was right Wednesday, November 25, 2015
General Relativity II Cutting the strings of gravity Tuesday, November 24, 2015
General Relativity Albert Einstein makes history Monday, November 23, 2015
Gravity Probe B Putting a spin on space itself Thursday, May 10, 2012
Luna See Firing a laser at the Moon Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Relativity and GPS Keeping track of the entire world Tuesday, May 8, 2012
General Relativity Albert Einstein “warps” the universe Monday, May 7, 2012
Gravitational Waves Rippling across the universe Monday, January 23, 2012
Changing Time Just passing the time Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Featured Images

Without Einstein's theories of relativity, GPS wouldn't work
Where Am I? Tuesday, May 8, 2012


©2015 The University of Texas McDonald Observatory