On Tuesday 5th March, Emanuel Maths students explored the journey to Einstein’s General Relativity in a talk by Mr Arthur Mountain. We started with the Greeks, and Corniperus who dared to believe the Earth was round. Newton’s realisations that all objects accelerate towards the ground at a constant rate gave rise to his laws of motion, and classical mechanics.
We then discovered how his laws were broken down when Einstein theorised that light always travels at a constant speed relative to the observer, regardless of the observer's own speed. The deep ramifications of this preposition mean that time and distance are no longer constants. This effect can be seen at CERN, where muons are accelerated to almost the speed of light in the Large Hadron Collider. They appear (to stationary humans) to decay at a significantly reduced rate – because time for the muons has slowed down.
This was a fascinating talk, and we look forward to welcoming Mr Mountain back for a second talk.
Izzy (upper sixth)