I think I finally understood relativity, just now, thanks to the first half hour of Prof. Nima Arkani-Hamed’s Future of Fundamental Physics lecture series. Space-time too. Quantum mechanics is up next, but I’m not holding my breath for that one. Let’s just say I’m not a full-fledged physicist!
I’m still curious about one thing. Arkani-Hamed begins his explanation of relativity at 21:20 with an assumption: if you believe there’s a limit on how far objects can affect each other, at least within a given amount of time, ie how fast they can send a signal or travel…then lots of implications, culminating in relativity.
I understand the intuition behind this, it’s definitely something we’d naturally want to believe, but plenty (most?) of modern physics is counterintuitive. Why did they take this one intuition for granted?
I’m sure I’m just missing something simple, and it’s still a great talk series so far. Looking forward to the rest!