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What is Einstein’s general theory of relativity?

25 Nov 2015

It was 100 years ago this month that Einstein first presented his general theory of relativity – a work that would transform our understanding of the nature of space and time. In a time dilation of sorts, philosopher Jürgen Renn gives a 100-second explanation of this great work and the impact it has had on physics.

Renn, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, describes how remarkable the theory is, especially given that Einstein was seemingly not aware of all it consequences. The theory has since been used to explain all manner of physical phenomena, including black holes, bending light and the expanding universe.

Renn and his research group have been building their own theory of how Einstein – along with his collaborators – could have arrived at such a revolutionary view of the physical world. “He did it as a transformation of the knowledge of classical physics from a new perspective,” says Renn.

If you enjoyed this video explainer, then check out more from our 100 Second Science series

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