Lets talk relativity, or let me explain the theory
You've probably recently read that some scientists are questioning Einstein's Theory of Relativity.
Since Einstein and I are the only ones who understood his theory in the first place, and Albert died in 1955, I'm left either to defend him or to concur with skeptics.
First off, as you know, E=MC2 means that the energy of any given object equals its mass, times the speed of light, squared. E stands for Energy in ergs (that's why they call it E). M stands for Mass in grams. C stands for the velocity of light in centimeters-per-second, squared.
Einstein came up with his theory when he discovered the speed of light is the only thing in the universe that's constant and cannot change. Since light travels at 186,000 miles per second (that's seven times around the world), everything else is relative to that.
For example, if I'm peddling my bike at 10 mph and you're peddling yours at 11 mph, then your relative speed to mine is 1 mph and at that slow speed, it'll take you awhile to pass me.
But as Einstein said, the faster you go, the more time slows down.
So what changes then is not speed, but time.
Here's another: Suppose I'm still riding my bike at 10 mph but now you're in a convertible going 100 (probably spurred by a police siren and a flashing red light behind you), then relative to me, you're hitting 90. Now how long does it take you to pass me? Zip!
In fact, if you could attain 186,000 miles per second (the speed of light, remember), then time would stand still.
This makes E=MC2 easier to understand - and makes you feel as smart as Einstein - doesn't it?
Well, all the E-MC2 stuff came to mind the other day while watching TV. At commercial break, the anchor said, "I'll be back in a moment."
During the period he considered "a moment," I hit the bathroom, checked my email, set the table, heated two meals in the microwave and rejoined that announcer following his "moment" away. Because he and I both used the same time-moment, neither of us went ahead of, or fell behind, the other.
Now, if you've ever had several school-aged kids and just one car, here's a familiar, everyday problem: You drive 60 mph getting one child to baseball practice, another to a birthday party (while keeping two dozen cupcakes from sliding off the back seat), get lunch for and pass it to each member who's also going 60 mph - but in the opposite direction - making everyone's relative passing speed 120 mph.
But as Einstein said, "The faster you get to the speed of light, the more time slows."
So, although you think you've traveled 186,000 miles per second and thus time should've stood still, it didn't... and at the end of the day, you feel as if you've accomplished next to nothing.
But, shucks, I needn't tell you something you already know.
So I suggest you put that relativity stuff behind you, including all its velocity and ergs and grams and centimeters.
Probably most of us have had more practical, hands-on life experiences than Einstein ever did.
Copyright 2012 by Isabel Torrey.
Isabel Torrey is a freelance writer in King City.