Transforming the Celestial Sphere

A spherical spaceship swooshes by at 99% of the speed of light. What will it look like? Squashed because of Lorentz contraction – like an ellipsoid? No. The outline of a moving sphere will remain spherical. Roger Penrose explained this first in 1958 – 50 years after Einstein’s formulation of the theory of special relativity….

Boosted

I have been playing with the geometry of special relativity again! The light cone signifies the invariance of the speed of light. There is a notion of length in four-dimensional spacetime, defined as c2t2 – x2 – y2 – z2. Surfaces of constant length are 4-dimensional hyperboloids. Light rays are null rays, as light travels…

Trapped inside the Light Cone

Trapped inside the light cone on a path of eerie fire. Causally connected to your past . . Onward. Celestial spheres embrace the future cone gather round your burning self.

How to Introduce Special Relativity (Historical Detour)

I am just reading the volume titled Waves in my favorite series of ancient textbooks on Theoretical Physics by German physics professor Wilhelm Macke. I tried to resist the urge to write about seemingly random fields of physics, and probably weird ways of presenting them – but I can’t resist any longer. There are different…