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These articles were published in our popular science magazine: Inside Diamond
The actual constant, Einstein argued, was the speed of light.
Light moves at 186,000 miles per second in a vacuum no matter what, whilst time elapses at different rates relative to the speed at which an object moves through space. For objects moving very fast, time actually slows down.
Albert Einstein in his office (Berlin, 1920)
As with many scientific theories, relativity is not easy to conclusively prove. But all of the evidence suggests Einstein was absolutely right. Clocks on the top of skyscrapers run just that tiny bit faster than clocks at the bottom because they’re further from the centre of the Earth and so spacetime is less warped.
In a phenomenon known as ‘gravitational lensing’, telescopic images of space sometimes show objects like galaxies as misshapen and distorted. That’s because the mass of other galaxies surrounding them warp spacetime, meaning that the image we get looks curved.
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