Physics and E=mc2: No Absolutes

I have started a new book! It’s Why Does E=mc2? (And Why Should We Care) by Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw.

I never took a lot of physics classes in school, and those I did were interesting but confusing. Also, I saw a video on youtube a few weeks ago, criticizing our country’s physics curricula, which apparently only give us the bare bones of the earliest, boring physics, but never even progresses past Einstein unless you go AP, and then that gets you to him but not further. It really would have been nice to learn a little of the modern theories, since science ideas change so quickly. I feel cheated.

So I’ve taken this into my own hands, and I’m going to understand relativity better and whatever else there is out there that I don’t know about at all because no one’s told me. (I’m going to understand some of what they reference on Big Bang Theory!)

At least I hope. Reading is going kind of slow, because I have to do a lot of rereading after discovering that I’ve been skimming and not picking up anything. So just a small observation this time: “There is no way to specify absolute positions in space” We can’t put space on a grid like the Earth has its meridians to find any specific point. We can’t be sure anything is anywhere. (Yes, that’s vague–but it seems to be the kind of vagueness loved by physicists).

Basically (as basic as this gets) everything is moving, orbiting, etc, and thing in space won’t stay where you left them. Though I assume there are formulas to keep track of everything.

So my literary take on this is that explorers of space will have to have something in their spaceships to make these calculations, because normal GPS won’t get them anywhere.


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