general relativity

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general relativity

The geometric theory of gravitation developed by Albert Einstein, incorporating and extending the theory of special relativity to accelerated frames of reference and introducing the principle that gravity is a consequence of matter causing a curvature in spacetime.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˌrɛl əˈtɪv ɪ ti)

1. the state or fact of being relative.
a. Also called special relativity. the first part of Einstein's two-part theory, based on the axioms that physical laws have the same form throughout the universe and that the velocity of light in a vacuum is a universal constant, from which is derived the mass-energy equation, E = mc2.
b. Also called general relativity. the second part, a theory of gravitation based on the axiom that the local effects of a gravitational field and of the acceleration of an inertial system are identical.
3. dependence of a mental state upon the nature of the human mind.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.general relativity - a generalization of special relativity to include gravity (based on the principle of equivalence)
Einstein's theory of relativity, relativity, relativity theory, theory of relativity - (physics) the theory that space and time are relative concepts rather than absolute concepts
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References in periodicals archive ?
But general relativity is about more than just understanding gravity.
So, too, has General Relativity, which states massive objects cause a distortion or curvature in space-time, that is felt as gravity.
More than 100 years after Albert Einstein published his iconic theory of general relativity, it is beginning to fray at the edges, said Andrea Ghez, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy.
Analysis revealed a prediction of general relativity known as "gravitational redshift,"  which occurs when light is stretched to longer wavelengths by the gravitational field around the black hole causing it to shift towards the red part of the spectrum.
The research will test the theory of general relativity put forward in 1915 by Einstein, the famed theoretical physicist, to explain the laws of gravity and their relation to other natural forces.
"More than 100 years after he published his paper setting out the equations of general relativity, Einstein has been proved right once more - in a much more extreme laboratory than he could have possibly imagined," said the ESO in a statement.
He published the Theory of General Relativity in November 1915 which became a masterpiece of modern physics.
Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity, Addison-Wesley, 2003.
He discusses in detail some of the "key scientific concepts of his career", such as special and general relativity, the 'cosmological constant', the redshift of spectral lines, unified field theory and quantum mechanics.
"That means clocks will run slower down there, and the Earth will be slightly younger at its core, due to general relativity."
But, since the 1960s, following decades of controversy, most cosmologists have regarded general relativity as the best available explanation, if not the complete description, of the observed structure of the universe, including black holes.

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