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6. The Special and General Theories of Relativity
The theory of relativity is a theory
that deals with the motion of objects when their speed is close to
the speed of light
c=3×10^{8}m/sec.
It turns out that Newton's second law ceases to be correct as speeds of objects approach the
speed of light
and must be modified.
The special theory of relativity
only deals with the motion of objects as seen from
inertial frames.
The general theory of relativity
extends it to cover
noninertial frames as well.
We will only be learning about the
special theory of relativity
in this course because the
general theory of relativity
is superduper difficult.
(Einstein invented the
special theory of relativity in 1905.
It took him 10 more years to come up with the
general theory of relativity.)
Speeds of objects 
Inertial Frames 
NonInertial Frames 
much slower than
c=3×10^{8}m/sec

Newton's Laws

Newton's Laws + Fake Forces

close to
c=3×10^{8}m/sec

Special Theory of Relativity
(This is "relatively" easy to understand.)

General Theory of Relativity
(You need to know this to understand black holes,
worm holes, and other fancy stuff you see on Star Trek.)

