RELATIVITY RESOURCES

Books

For a good survey of modern physicists’ understandings of the universe, see Columbia University professor Brian Greene’s book, The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality, Vintage, 2005.

For an in-depth overview of the picture of the universe that has grown out of Albert Einstein’s theories, read CalTech professor Kip Thorne’s book, Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy, WW Norton & Company, 1995.

Online Resources

To understand the radical re-imagining of the universe in relativity theory, it may help to investigate earlier models. Here’s an overview from the Australian national science agency, CSIRO.
http://www.atnf.csiro.au/outreach//education/senior/cosmicengine/historytop.html


A good overview of Einstein’s thinking, with animations, can be found at this page from the University of New South Wales, by physics professor Joe Wolfe. http://newt.phys.unsw.edu.au/einsteinlight/


More information about Albert Einstein, his work, and modern research in relativity is available at Einstein Online, presented by the Max Plank Institute for Gravitational Physics. http://www.einstein-online.info/


Read about Albert Einstein’s life and work at this biographically rich site, presented by the American Institute of Physics. http://www.aip.org/history/einstein/


John Norton, professor at the University of Pittsburgh, explains Einstein’s thought experiment on chasing a beam of light. http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/Goodies/Chasing_the_light/
More on Einstein’s work and thinking by Norton can be found here: http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/Goodies/


Einstein’s ideas on relativity have been tested through numerous experiments. You can get a quick overview from NASA here: http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/980327b.html
Or visit this webpage by physicist Tom Roberts, hosted at the Mathematics Department of the University of California, Riverside, for a great amount of detail: http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/SR/experiments.html


The effects of relativity can be hard to see, but understanding the phenomenon has some practical uses, such as in running the Global Positioning Satellite system. A reader-friendly description by C. Renée James, professor at Sam Houston State University, can be found here: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2014/08/29/like-gps-thank-relativity/#.VAXei2Sqopw


Get a sense of the size of the universe by following this guide to a trip at the speed of light, by professor Gene Smith, from the University of California, San Diego. http://casswww.ucsd.edu/archive/public/tutorial/Intro.html


Explore images and 3D maps based on research from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey here: http://www.sdss.org/

Students can also classify galaxies at the Galaxy Zoo. http://www.galaxyzoo.org/