As you see from the post dates, this blog is no longer maintained.

2.8.07

Relativity visualized: Space Time Travel

Visualization of the theory of relativity.
This web page has "online papers, images, movies and paper models by the physics education group, Ute KrausTheoretische Astrophysik Tübingen The theory of relativity holds a certain fascination for many students (and for the interested public as well). At the same time it is often regarded as abstract and difficult to understand.

Part of the difficulties in understanding relativity are due to the fact that relativistic effects contradict everyday experience. Motion, for example, is a familiar process and everybody "knows from experience" that it entails neither time dilation nor length contraction. A flight with half the speed of light could correct this misjudgment but is not on offer.

A possible alternative are simulations. Images, films and virtual reality let us in a sense experience relativistic flights, gravitational collapse, compact objects and other extreme conditions."

Some of the pages on this site are only in German, but don't let that stop you! Many are in English, and all have illustrations. (Use Altavisa's Babelfish or Google Trashlations to help you get an approximate idea of what the German text says.)

For example, go to Step by Step into a Black Hole,

http://www.spacetimetravel.org

or watch the video of ""Through the city at nearly the speed of light"

video