Monday 16 April 2007

Thanks to Professor Francis Everitt

Einstein was right: space and time bend

Ninety years after Albert Einstein expounded his famous theory that " space and time bend " , and largely due to a dogged determination of the Stanford University professor Francis Everitt, a man who has devoted his life to investigating Einstein's theory of relativity has proven with the assistance of a $700m Nasa probe that the universe behaves as Einstein said. Now the race is on to show that the other half of relativity also works...
" According to Einstein, in the same way that a large ball placed on a elasticated cloth stretches the fabric and causes it to sag, so planets and stars warp space-time. A marble moving along the sagging cloth will be drawn towards the ball, as the Earth is to the Sun, but not fall into it as long as it keeps moving at speed. Gravity, argued Einstein, was not an attractive force between bodies as had been previously thought. ........ The theory explained: When Einstein wrote his general theory of relativity in 1915, he found a new way to describe gravity. It was not a force, as Sir Isaac Newton had supposed, but a consequence of the distortion of space and time, conceived together in his theory as 'space-time'. Any object distorts the fabric of space-time and the bigger it is, the greater the effect. Just as a bowling ball placed on a trampoline stretches the fabric and causes it to sag, so planets and stars warp space-time - a phenomenon known as the 'geodetic effect'. A marble moving along the trampoline will be drawn inexorably towards the ball. Thus the planets orbiting the Sun are not being pulled by the Sun; they are following the curved space-time deformation caused by the Sun. The reason the planets never fall into the Sun is because of the speed at which they are travelling. According to the theory, matter and energy distort space-time, curving it around themselves. 'Frame dragging' theoretically occurs when the rotation of a large body 'twists' nearby space and time. It is this second part of Einstein's theory that the Nasa mission has yet to corroborate."

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