It’s kind of easy being a poseur when it comes to Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Well, as long as you aren’t in the same room as a bunch of physicists or trying to steal Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair. The reason is it is easy to pose as someone who understands Einstein’s theory is that very few people actually do understand it. You can get by by taking the Poseur’s Guide to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity seriously.
E=MC2: If you can’t tell people what these letters mean, the the Poseur’s Guide is going to be of no use to you at all. Boiled down to essentials the most famous equation in scientific history stays that matter can be converted into energy and energy can be converted into matter.
Time and Space: Einstein messed up centuries of thought by positing the notion that time slows down the faster through space you travel. This was entirely theoretical until the space age. A clock with identical times was set both on earth and in one of our super cool spaceships. When the clock in space returned back to terra firma, the theory was confirmed as fact. Time slows down the faster you travel. It still has to be determined whether drag racers are actually younger than NASCAR drivers born at the same time.
Twins: Part and parcel of the time slowing down through high speed travel is the paradox of identical twins. (Why don’t identical twins have identical fingerprints? A good question that needs a good answer.) If a pair of twins existed with one traveling through space and the other staying on earth, the faster that the space traveling twin goes, the younger he or she will be upon returning to earth. A twin traveling at the speed of light could return to earth 80 years later in earth time. The twin who traveled would only be a few years older because of the speed at which they traveled, while the twin on earth would be 80 years older.
Black Holes: The theory of relativity states that gravitation pull is like a curve in the space-time continuum. Objects of enormous mass bend space and deflect it. The theory of black holes was created from this theoretical construct. The black hole contains so much mass that light cannot escape from it.
Light Speed: The speed of light is what Einstein considered the fastest possible speed in the universe. Speed of light is 186,000 miles per second. With time and space being connected, therefore, the light we see from distant objects in the sky is actually a time portal backward. By the time the light from the sun reaches us, it is eight minutes old. But that’s just the speed/length of the rays travel through space. The actual age of the light we see may be ancient because it has been working its way through the center of the sun to reach the surface where it can escape and ruin our skin by too much direct contact.