Spotlights on relativity

What do gravitational waves actually do? What is it like inside a black hole? Each of our “Spotlights on relativity” covers one particular aspect of relativistic physics, with very little previous knowledge required (if this is your first contact with relativity, we recommend you start by reading our introduction Elementary Einstein).You can find the spotlights you’re interested in by category (below) or in the Complete list of spotlight texts. Almost all of them are independent of each other, so read them in any order you like.

Special relativity

The basics and some applications of special relativity: Relativistic nobel prizes, the concept of relativity, E-equals-m-c-squared, time dilation and the (in)famous twins.

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General relativity

Foundations of Einstein’s theory of gravity: Einstein and soap bubbles, what is a source of gravity, the equivalence principle and free fall

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Gravitational waves

More about gravitational waves, how they are produced and how they will hopefully be detected: a survey of current detectors, how to make gravitational waves audible, the space-borne detector LISA, Einstein@Home

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Black Holes & Co.

Black holes, neutron stars and supernovae: Flight into a black hole, the black hole in the center of the Milky Way, how many different kinds of black hole are there, how black holes light up their neighbourhood

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The big bang and all the rest: The geometry of the universe, the formation of the first light chemical elements, cosmology and quantum gravity

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Relativity and the Quantum

Relativistic quantum theory, string theory, loop quantum gravity and other attempts to unify Einstein’s gravitation with quantum theory; the uses of extra dimensions; quantum gravity and the big bang

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