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  • Writer's pictureZiyao Lin

Relativity



1905, a year known as the "Miracle Year of Einstein."
The special theory of relativity was proposed.
1905年,这一年被称为“爱因斯坦奇迹年”。
狭义相对论提出。

10 years later, the general theory of relativity was established.
This brand-new theory
states that gravity is the result of the curvature of spacetime.
10年之后,广义相对论创立。
这个全新的理论,
认为引力是时空弯曲的结果。


Einstein overturned two absolute concepts of 19th-century science:
the absolute rest represented by the ether and
the absolute or universal time measured by all clocks.
爱因斯坦推翻了19世纪科学的两个绝对物:
以太代表的绝对静止和
所有钟表都测量的绝对或普适时间。


What is the ether?
Scientists used to believe that light waves needed a medium to propagate,
so how could light travel through a vacuum?
That required a "non-empty" vacuum,
an unknown medium, something we could call "ether" for now.
什么是以太?
以前,科学家们觉得光波需要介质来传播,
那光怎么能在真空中传播呢?
那就需要真空“非空”,
有个不知名的介质,不知道是什么,
那就先叫“以太”好了。


Later, the concept of absolute time was abandoned,
and the ether became unnecessary.
后来抛弃了绝对时间观念,
以太就是多余的。


Does this mean that everything is relative?
这是否意味着,
万物都是相对的?



Einstein proposed a revolutionary idea,
that gravity is unlike other types of forces,
it is simply the consequence of the non-flatness of time.
爱因斯坦提出了革命性的思想,
即引力不像其他种类的力,
它只不过是时间不平坦这一事实的结果。

What happens with non-flatness?
Perhaps that's where wormholes come into play.
不平坦会怎样?
说不定就有虫洞了呢。


What are the wormholes we talk about?
我们所说的虫洞是什么?


If the universe is a sheet of paper,
and we twist or fold it,
poking two symmetric points,
all we need is to create a passage between the two points,
and we can shorten the distance to reach our destination.
如果宇宙是一张纸,
把它扭曲或对折,
戳两个互相对称的点,
我们只要能在两个点间建个通道,
就可以缩短距离到达目的地。


This passage is called a "wormhole."
这个通道叫“虫洞”。


According to the general theory of relativity, four-dimensional spacetime can be curved,
and a wormhole is an extreme curvature of spacetime.
广义相对论认为四维时空可以弯曲,
而虫洞就是一种极致的时空弯曲。


Gravity is equivalent to the curvature of spacetime,
if spacetime is like the surface of a lake,
then gravitational waves are the ripples on that surface.
引力等价于弯曲的时空,
如果时空是一个湖面,
那引力波就是湖面上泛起的涟漪。


It's beautifully described as "ripples of spacetime."
唯美的说法叫“时空的涟漪”。


Einstein once said:
"Politics is for the present, but an equation is something for eternity."
爱因斯坦曾经说过:
“政治是为当前,
而方程却是一种永恒的东西。”


The Einstein equations of the general theory of relativity are his finest epitaph and monument.
They will exist alongside the universe.
广义相对论的爱因斯坦方程是他最好的墓志铭和纪念物。
它们将和宇宙同在。


April 18, dedicated to Einstein.
4月18,献给爱因斯坦
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