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Eva Rhema R.

Bagona IV Zara Reaction Paper on The Principle of Equivalence

First of all, what is the principle of equivalence? The principle of equivalence was formulated by Albert Einstein in October and November of 1907, just over two years after the completion of his special theory of relativity, by examining a given mass in two different states: when the mass is acted on by gravity and when the mass is in a state of inertia. His experiments show that the given mass is equivalent in both states. This then became the breakthrough that set him on the path to the general theory of relativity. Einsteins statement of the Equivalence Principle is as follows: A little reflection will show that the law of the equality of the inertial and gravitational mass is equivalent to the assertion that the acceleration imparted to a body by a gravitational field is independent of the nature of the body. For Newton's equation of motion in a gravitational field, written out in full, it is: (Inertial mass) x (Acceleration) = (Intensity of the gravitational field) x (Gravitational mass) It is only when there is numerical equality between the inertial and gravitational mass that the acceleration is independent of the nature of the body. According to the principle of equivalence, the top has the same mass whether it is falling off a desk (being acted on by gravity) or whether it is spinning atop a desk (in a state of inertia). This principle may seem obvious, in fact, people since Newton's time had simply assumed it to be true. However, the implications of the principle of equivalence are far from obvious, and Einstein was the first to realize those implications. An equivalent formulation of the Principle of Equivalence is that at any local (that is, sufficiently small) region in spacetime it is possible to formulate the equations governing physical laws such that the effect of gravitation can be

neglected. This in turn means that the Special Theory of Relativity is valid for that particular situation. I guess, what makes all of this incredible, at least for me, is the fact that Albert Einstein looked at this as something out of the ordinary. For many years, people have taken it for granted and has accepted it as fact. Only Einstein dared to go beyond what meets the eye and explore the hidden depths and repercussions of that fact. Looking at the many inventions and innovations that Einstein has done, he really is someone worth knowing and awarded. The theory of equivalence may sound simple and easy but Einstein used it as a stepping stone for his Theory of General Relativity that unites his theory of special relativity with the concept of gravity conceived by Sir Isaac Newton. Indeed, Dr. Frederick Palmer Jr was right when he said, "Through more than a hundred scientific papers characterized by keen analysis and brilliant imagination, Doctor Einstein has exerted a profound and lasting influence upon the scientific thought of the world. The romance of his achievement has been such that mathematical physics has become popular with the public."

Eva Rhema R. Bagona IV Zara Reaction Paper on Gravitational Lensing What is this Gravitational Lensing that this reaction paper is all about? In general relativity, the presence of matter (energy density) can curve spacetime, and the path of a light ray will be deflected as a result. This process is called gravitational lensing and in many cases can be described in analogy to the deflection of light by (e.g. glass) lenses in optics. Many useful results for cosmology have come out of using this property of matter and light. Einstein's derivation of the deflection of light in the Sun's gravitational field, and the agreement between the quantitative prediction for that deflection based on his theory of general relativity and the observations made by an expedition under the leadership of Arthur Stanley Eddington (1882-1944), constitute one of the best-known episodes in the history of general relativity. However, there is a lesser-known, but closely related fact. As early as 1912, a good three years before his final breakthrough in the formulation of general relativity, Einstein wrote down a concise description of one of the most important consequences of the deflection of light: The possibility of a (geometric) gravitational lens. In general relativity, light follows the curvature of spacetime, hence when light passes around a massive object, it is bent. This means that the light from an object on the other side will be bent towards your eye, just like an ordinary lens. Since light always moves at a constant speed, lensing changes the direction of the magnitude of the light, but not the velocity. Light rays are the boundary between the future, the spacelike, and the past regions. The gravitational attraction can be viewed as the motion of undisturbed objects in a background curved geometry or alternatively as the response of objects to a force in a flat geometry. The angle of deflection is:

toward the mass M at a distance r from the effected radiation, where G is the universal constant of gravitation and c is the speed of light in a vacuum. Indeed, there are many phenomena in this world that is beyond my comprehension. It never fails to amaze me how people like Einstein, Eddington and many other scientists probe the world and the universe to find out its wonders and diversities. It is truly awe-inspiring how they look beyond what everybody is seeing and see more than what others see. I really admire Albert Einstein, especially when he said, It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. He really inspires me to be more than what I thought I could be, to look at a difficult problem and see it, not as something unanswerable but something that I should work on with a heart set on answering it.

Eva Rhema R. Bagona IV Zara Reaction Paper on Black Holes

It seems to me that the less we know about a certain phenomenon, the more we guess and blow things out of proportion, just like in the case of black holes. I used to wonder what is in those black holes. What happens when you get sucked into one? What makes up a black hole? According to Hubblesite.org, a black hole is an object that is so compact (in other words, has enough mass in a small enough volume) that its gravitational force is strong enough to prevent light or anything else from escaping. The existence of black holes was first proposed in the 18th century, based on the known laws of gravity. The more massive an object, or the smaller its size, the larger the gravitational force felt on its surface. John Michell and Pierre-Simon Laplace both independently argued that if an object were either extremely massive or extremely small, it might not be possible at all to escape its gravity. Even light could be forever captured. The name "black hole" was introduced by John Archibald Wheeler in 1967. It stuck, and has even become a common term for any type of mysterious bottomless pit. Physicists and mathematicians have found that space and time near black holes have many unusual properties. Because of this, black holes have become a favorite topic for science fiction writers. However, black holes are not fiction. They form whenever massive but otherwise normal stars die. We cannot see black holes, but we can detect material falling into black holes and being attracted by black holes. In this way, astronomers have identified and measured the mass of many black holes in the Universe through careful observations of the sky. We now know that our Universe is quite literally filled with billions of black holes. A black hole is actually a region of spacetime from which gravity prevents anything, including light, from escaping. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole. Around a black hole there is a mathematically defined surface called an event horizon that marks the point of no return. It is called "black" because it absorbs all the light that hits the horizon, reflecting

nothing, just like a perfect black body in thermodynamics. Quantum field theory in curved spacetime predicts that event horizons emit radiation like a black body with a finite temperature. This temperature is inversely proportional to the mass of the black hole, making it difficult to observe this radiation for black holes of stellar mass or greater. Indeed, our existence is so small when compared to the vast wonders of the universe. There are so many things and happenings that we still dont know or have an explanation for. For me, this is both humbling and exhilarating. It is humbling because it teaches me that there is so much more than me and my problems for I am but a small particle in this galaxy. And exhilarating because it reminds me that there is much more to learn and discover.