Aerospace Equipment

Flat and Curved Space-Times by George F. R. Ellis

By George F. R. Ellis

George Ellis, a South African Quaker who adversarial Apartheit, co-authored "The Large-Scale constitution of house and Time".

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E. siblings born on the same day) goes on a long journey at very high speeds in a rocket ship, while the other stays at home (Fig. 26a). The twins are inequivalent because the one experiences varying accelerations associated with the changing speed of the rocket in which she is travelling, whereas the other does not. The biological systems of the moving twin will be measured by the stationary twin to run slowly. Age is measured by means of ideal clocks each twin carries with him or her, and they will not be the same age when they meet again; the one who stayed at home will be older.

Now suppose red and green billiard balls R and G fall into pockets at opposite edges of the table, at exactly the same instant (as measured by an observer stationary relative to the table). Light waves recording these events are emitted from the two edges of the table at the same instant (as seen from the table). Let this instant be when A and B coincide (Fig. 28a); thus, the light is emitted equidistant from both A and B. Both waves reach A at the same instant T (Fig. 28b). Since A is equidistant from the two edges, he deduces that the billiard balls were pocketed simultaneously (cf.

This is because no experiment can detect such absolute motion; and that is because the laws of physics are unaffected by any absolute uniform motion. One can rephrase the principle of relativity as stating the equivalence of all inertial reference frames. The set of coordinates used by an observer to describe space-time, with himself at the origin (x = y = z = 0), constitutes his reference frame. A reference frame is said to be inertial if it is non-rotating and nonaccelerating. Newton's laws of motion imply that a body experiences an acceleration relative to an inertial reference frame if and only if forces caused by other bodies act on it; indeed this feature may be used to characterize inertial frames.

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