From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This Physics related article has not received a brainstar for quality. Please consider expanding the article appropriately. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.



I bet it's not nearly as exhaustive as this one, though. We'll see, won't we? -Smyth 11:17, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

Okay, yeah, that's better. Thanks for the great article Gauss. -Smyth 14:22, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
Excellent work, Mr. Gauss! If only our speed of light article were as clear and well written... humanbe in 15:29, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

Goal / principles[edit]

My goals in this article are

  1. Make something that is actually accessible, understandable, and useful to High School or Junior High (or equivalent home-schoolers) students, and interested lay adults.
In other words, what Conservapedia wants its articles to be, but can't possibly do because they poison themselves.
  1. Avoid using calculus, if possible.
  2. Avoid using any of the following buzz-words and phrases, if possible:
  • Covariant
  • Tensor
  • Metric
  • 4-vector
  • 4-velocity
  • 4-momentum
  • x2+y2+z2-c2t2

Gauss 17:37, 26 September 2007 (EDT)

Should there be a more technical page on GR somewhere? i.e. One that uses your Seven Dirty Words? ;)
And what is wrong with the last one...? (How do I indent on here....?!)--Andy Frankinson (talk) 12:43, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Meaning of "theory"[edit]

"In the early decades of the 20th century, it was called the "Theory of Relativity", because it was so revolutionary that the scientific world was still tentative in its acceptance of it. Now it is just called "relativity"."

This tends to reinforce the popular understanding of "theory" as "wild-ass guess", and does not really add anything to the article. I suggest that it be deleted. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

If the statement remains unsourced, then I support the removal of it. In the meantime, I have tacked the {{fact}} template onto it. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 12:04, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
I agree it should be removed. It makes the same mistake we accuse anti-evolutionists of making regarding the meaning of the word "theory". Rational Edperception 12:06, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
Now that three people support the statement's removal, I'll got ahead and remove it now. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 12:09, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
But... It is generally - worldwide - everywhere - I mean! It's the Theory of relativity. Relativity is what the theory's about. Alright, it's been shown to be true, but it's still known as the Theory. SusanG  ContribsTalk 12:10, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
Slow down there RA - the actual wording is true. The mere fact that a Bo'N comes on and doesn't like it is neither here nor there. And the fact template was just silly. SusanG  ContribsTalk 12:21, 5 May 2008 (EDT)


The sentence as it currently is mixes the "ordinary" and "scientific" meanings for the word "theory". It was called "relativity theory" because it was a "theory (scientific)". The way it parses out (to me) suggests the writer may have (assuming "good faith") been confused themselves as to what "relativity" in a scientific context means, or conversely, it's parody.

It was called "relativity theory" because it merged a bunch of raw data with new research and (eventually) observations and made predictions. CЯacke® 13:03, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

Bollocks! SusanG  ContribsTalk 13:08, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
It could be written more clearly, to imply how Susan described it in section above - when it was the T of R, it described what we had seen but made some "strange" predictions. When those predictions were observed, the phenomena became known as relativity/relativistic effects. As far as the numbers on paper, it's "still" the T of R, really. That T of R, of course, explains a whole bunch of things now. humanUser talk:Human 13:20, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
The sentence is incorrect. The fact is, it is formally known as the Theory of Relativity, and is often referred to in the short-hand as merely "relativity" (just as we have the Theory of Evolution which is often referred to as "evolution"). Rational Edperception 09:42, 6 May 2008 (EDT)
That's what I meant, I think SusanG  ContribsTalk 09:50, 6 May 2008 (EDT)
Yeah, I was just adding my two pence. Rational Edperception 12:17, 6 May 2008 (EDT)
Anyway, it looks fine now. Rational Edperception 14:50, 6 May 2008 (EDT)

cult like behavior[edit]

See title -Aswh1 (talk) 04:24, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

I would say "begs the question," but that's not an argument. Blue (pester) 04:36, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
That makes no sense at all. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:25, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
I think it's just a very cryptic pun. Scarlet A.pngtheist 08:49, 26 October 2010 (UTC)


The article starts by giving Einstein all of the credit. Then goes on to describe how Lorentz derived the core of SR. Even stating "We will now derive the Lorentz Transform, which is at the heart of Special Relativity." What's going on? Einstein's 1905 paper is essentially a poor copy of Lorentz 1904. Francois Williard (talk) 09:42, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

To quote Lorentz himself: "I considered my time transformation only as a heuristic working hypothesis. So the theory of relativity is really solely Einstein's work. And there can be no doubt that he would have conceived it even if the work of all his predecessors in the theory of this field had not been done at all. His work is in this respect independent of the previous theories." While SR is certainly based on Lorentz's work, describing On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies as a "poor copy" of Electromagnetic phenomena in a system moving with any velocity smaller than that of light is not accurate. According to Einstein, he hadn't even read Lorentz's 1904 paper (only his "important work of 1895"), and in any case, Lorentz's interpretation of the transformation equations differed greatly from Einstein's. Leo Sartori's Understanding Relativity: A Simplified Approach to Einstein's Theories covers this issue thoroughly (starting on p.123). 2A00:23C7:99A4:5001:150A:B488:861C:6CE8 (talk) 11:15, 30 June 2022 (UTC)

Mathlib extensions not loading[edit]

The text of the article makes heavy use of mathlib extensions (for obvious reasons because GRT and ART are a mathematically formulated theory). However it seems the version we use is outdated, so the extensions fail to load properly, resulting in "failed to parse" errors. Unfortunately I am a Wiki legastenic, is there any way to notify all mods about that? I know I can ping individuals. Rolly (talk) 07:18, 27 April 2023 (UTC)