EDUCATION: Brush Up Your Einstein

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Science  11 Nov 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5750, pp. 949
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5750.949a

The 100th anniversary celebrations for Einstein's special theory of relativity are winding down, but you can still bone up on his ideas at the tutorial Einstein Online from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam, Germany. The Elementary Einstein section gives beginners a quick tour of special relativity—which posited that time and length vary with speed—and general relativity, which added gravity to the picture. The section also probes some of relativity's consequences and predictions, including gravitational waves, undulating spacetime distortions that researchers haven't yet measured directly. (Included is a simulation which shows gravitational waves from two merging black holes.) Spotlights on Relativity tackles questions such as whether the universe contains more than three dimensions, a prediction of string theory. The site's glossary defines more than 250 relativistic terms.

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