Section Summary

Section Summary

  • One postulate of special relativity theory is that the laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames of reference.
  • The other postulate is that the speed of light in a vacuum is the same in all inertial frames.
  • Einstein showed that simultaneity, or lack of it, depends on the frame of reference of the observer.
  • Time dilates, length contracts, and momentum increases as an object approaches the speed of light.
  • Energy and mass are interchangeable, according to the relationship E = mc2. The laws of conservation of mass and energy are combined into the law of conservation of mass-energy.