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Hawking ch 5 summary

Hawking ch 5 summary - ether theory stated that the speed...

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In chapter five of Stephen Hawking's A Briefer History of Time , Hawking discusses the progression of science and thought that culminated in what is accepted today as the general theory of relativity. Hawking illustrates theories and their development over time, beginning in 1676 with Ole Christensen Roemer's discovery that the speed at which light travels is finite, causing eclipses of Jupiter to be observed at different speeds depending on the planet's position relative to Earth. Hawking then discusses the theory of the propagation of light, which was developed in 1865 by James Clerk Maxwell, who claimed that light and radio waves travel at finite rates. Another theory that had an impact upon the scientific community was the “ether theory” (although it was later disproved). The
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Unformatted text preview: ether theory stated that the speed of light was impossible to measure without the presence of some matter, called “ether”, that light could pass through. These early theories culminated in development of the theory of relativity, proposed by Albert Einstein. The theory of relativity states that one must relate every object to another object in order to measure its speed. Einstein's famous equation, “E=mc^2,” which depicts the equivalence of energy and mass, is another component of his theory of relativity. The general theory of relativity is still heavily relied upon today....
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