Knowledge is relative!

   There is great contribution to mankind’s efforts of unraveling the mystery of creation by scientists like Einstein and Stephen Hawkins who, in their quest for truth, have brought our knowledge to a point where the western and eastern wisdom seem to converge. Albert Einstein’s discovery of universal relativistic principles operating in Nature gave a rude shock to ‘common sense’ of man and exposed the falsity of his rigid and absolute notions about common things of daily life. He said that there are different versions of truth of a single thing for different persons who observe it from different relatively moving frames of reference. This statement is greatly profound in its impact on our way of thinking and allows the entry of a bridge in ‘scientific field’ that may one day connect our knowledge of material world with that of Divine things.

  What does Einstein mean by his concept of ‘Frame of Reference’? Bergmann in his ‘Introduction to the Theory of Relativity’ says: “We imagine that conceptually at least, a framework of rods which extends into space can be rigidly attached to the reference body. Using this conceptual framework as a Cartesian co-ordinate system in three dimensions, we characterize any location by three numbers, the three co-ordinates of that space point. Such a conceptual framework, rigidly connected with some material body or other well-defined point, is often called a frame of reference. Some bodies may be suitable as frame of reference bodies, others may not be….Even before the theory of relativity was conceived, the problem of selecting a suitable frame of reference played an important part in the development of science. Galileo, the father of post-medieval physics, considered the choice of the heliocentric frame to be so important that he risked imprisonment and even death in his efforts to have the new frame of reference accepted by his contemporaries. In the last analysis, it was the choice of the reference body which was the subject of his dispute with the authorities….

  “We can describe nature and we can formulate its laws using whatever frame of reference we choose. But there may exist a frame or frames in which the laws of nature are fundamentally simpler, that is, in which the laws of nature contain fewer elements than they would otherwise. The laws of motion of the planets become basically simpler when they are expressed in terms of the heliocentric frame of reference instead of the geocentric frame… Once it was clearly recognized that the choice of a frame of reference determined the form of law of nature, investigations were carried out which established the effect of this choice in a mathematical form”

  With the advent of this relativistic concept, the first casualty was of the simultaneity of events in time and it lost its sacred place of ‘absolute truth’. In the realm of time things became relativistically fluid. Bergmann put it thus:  “When two events occur close together in space, we can set up a mechanism somewhat like the coincidence counters used in the investigation of cosmic rays… If the two events occur a considerable distance apart, the coincidence apparatus is not adequate. (By following the experiment described by the author) we conclude, therefore, that two events that are simultaneous with respect to one frame of reference are in general not simultaneous with respect to another frame… (. ..) Not only the simultaneity of events, but also the result of length measurements, depends on the frame of reference.”

  This concept was uniquely wholesome and complete, and it had its cascading effect on everything else with which human knowledge is concerned. Einstein was acutely aware of the revolutionary character of his theory. Finally, it dawned to Einstein that only a revision of our fundamental ideas about space and time would resolve the impasse between theory and experiment. Once this revision was proposed by him, the principle of relativity was extended to the whole of physics. This is now called the special theory of relativity. This theory establishes the fundamental equivalence of all inertial systems and still preserves fully their privileged position among all conceivable frames of reference. The so-called general theory of relativity analyses and thereby destroys this privileged position and is able to give a new theory of gravitation.

These scientific revealations indicate that Nature is deeper in its intention and in its work than we expected. This unmistakably points to a deeper law and secret purpose of Nature. This deeper law, when discovered and harmonized with the Einsteinian Relativity, would change the man’s way of thinking about Nature and about himself / herself completely. As ever, horizon of the unknown is distant, as distant as it looked when man for the first time discovered that pebbles are not pebbles but weapons, and its expanse is infinite.

%d bloggers like this: