Casey S asked in News & EventsCurrent Events · 1 decade ago

# Can someone explain to me in laymans terms?

Einstein's theory of relativity?

As well as which is faster the speed of light or sound? And why they are both fast, again in layman's terms please.

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• Anonymous

Einstein's theory of E=MC2 is a mathematical way of showing that if you could travel faster than the speed of light (which we can't) you could travel faster than time and therefore time travel.

Light is the fastest thing in the universere so travelling faster than this theoretically means that you could travel anywhere at anytime as you would bend time and space.

Light travels at 186,000 miles per second. So a light year is the amount of distance that light travels in one year.

Sound travels at about 700 miles per hour so it is possible to fly faster than the speed of sound. Just go faster than 700mph.

The speed of sound is approx 700mph - the speed of light is way faster (light takes approx 8 mins to get from the sun to hear and thats millions and millions of equivalent miles - you could get your calculator out and work out how long sound would take but of course, sound doesn't travel in space due to the vacuum).

My understanding of the theory of relativity (and it may not be entirely accurate) is that for a body to achieve the speed of light (or "infinite" speed) you would require "infinite" energy (i.e. all the energy in the universe) and therefore would require infinite mass (i.e. all the mass or matter in the universe). As you can imagine, for a layman such as myself, that is why it is easy to agree with Einstein, that speed of light travel is not possible. Of course, noone told also those light photons that go around!

The theory also goes on about: what if you were on a train at the back of the carriage, travelling at the speed of light and then moved to the front, you would in fact be travelling at faster than light speeds (which Mr E stated is impossible).

Lastly, Mr E bangs on about if you were on the train doing the Speed of Light (S.O.L.) your perception would be different to someone standing by the side of the "train track" - imagine you are looking at a tree; what you are actually seeing is the light (that took 8 mins to arrive from the sun) bounce of the tree to your eyes, which sends the electric signal to your brain which tells you you're seeing a tree. Apply that example to the bystander watching the S.O.L. train - what can you see when the train is moving at the same speed as the light that needs to bounce off the train to reach your eyes? I think this is why Mr E called it the theory of relativity because of this taking into account of the relative perceptions of the train passenger and the track bystander.

As I said, this is my understanding and I could be way wrong - I would recommend you read "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawkings, although I've read it 3 times (last time was about 5 years ago) and I still feel like a caveman grappling with a Nintendo DS!

Good luck in your journey towards enlightenment - may the force be with you!

• 6 years ago

The speed of light is far greater than the speed of sound. This is demonstrated during a nearby thunderstorm. Under certain conditions there is a localised build-up of electrostatic areas in clouds. Lightening is caused by the sudden release of these areas and this is accompanied by the sound released which is thunder. When you experience a thunderstorm you first see the flash of light followed by a later peel of thunder. This is because both lightening and thunder are produced at exactly the same moment. However,you see the lightening first because the speed of light is faster than the speed of sound. If you count the time between the flash and the sound it is possible to determine how far away the storm is.

It has nothing to do directly with speed.

E = MC squared is - the energy contained within any object, and is equal to, its mass(or weight) multiplied by the speed of light, squared.

This formula enables us to determine and compare the energy contained within different objects.

It works on the basis that light is the ultimate irreducible form of energy within the solar system, and travels at 186000 miles per second approx. Sound is pedestrian by comparison, about 750 MPH. Light is fast because it is the most fluid form of energy, and encounters the least resistance in motion.

I repeat, however, that this formula isn't mainly about the speed of light, it is about measuring the amount of light energy contained within a given object.

Atomic energy (splitting the atom) allows this energy to be released. It was development of this formula that gave rise to its eventual misuse, and hence, the development of atomic power, and the release of this energy in a destructive way.

OK I'll have a go.

Time is relative to the situation you're in.So if something is fun and you're enjoying it time seems to go quite quickly,whereas if something is dull and boring times seems to drag.

Example You have 1hr ice skating.I'll bet when they say 'times up' all the skaters say "no way was that 1hr"

Now if someone tells you to peel potatos for 1hr after about 40mins you'll be saying "that must have been 1hr by now"

As for the speed of light and sound you only have to take fireworks as an example.Let a rocket off into the sky and you see the flash of the explosion a second or two before you hear the bang.Showing that light travels much faster than sound

• Varcan
Lv 6

Um.. Light is many millions of times faster than sound. Beyond that, try the net for the theory of relativity. I don't think that comes in layman's terms.

The speed of light is much faster than the speed of sound. The theory is that if you could travel at the speed of light time would stand still. You could travel to a distant star, say, 5 light years away and when you returned you would be the same age, but everyone on earth would be 10 years older.

• Anonymous

light is faster than sound