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This programme has been constructed around carefully made cartoon animation to explain the basic concepts of Einstein's theory of relativity as he visualised it in his paper of 1905. The first seq...uence shows what consequences arose with the statement that the speed of light has the same numerical value for different observers, even when one is moving at a constant speed with respect to the other. But suppose we think of two simple events, such as the arrivals of two pulses of light, from a single source, at two places separated from each other by a given distance, and suppose that one observer can state that, to him, these two arrivals are simultaneous can any other observer possibly disagree with him? Two animated sequences featuring Einstein's thought experiments illustrate this issue and its resolution. Finally, animated sequences are used to demonstrate a remarkable feature of Einstein's conception of time - that moving clocks run slow. From those sequences the viewer should be able to understand a philosophical framework behind Einstein's ideas. Namely that Einstein believed that physical reality is independent of the observer and that fundamental concepts must be defined operationally.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A381, Science and belief: from Darwin to Einstein
Item code: A381; 04
Recording date: 25-03-1980
First transmission date: 1981
Published: 1981
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:00
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Producer: David Jackson
Narrator: Russell Stannard
Contributor: Paul Clark
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Einstein
Master spool number: 6HT/73197
Production number: FOUA018B
Videofinder number: 1214
Available to public: no