Relativity and Uncertainty





Informative Speech
Einstein and Heisenberg
or
Relativity and Uncertainty

A. Introduction
My Speech is about the scientists who had the main influence on our current time and have shaped our contemporary view of the world (Also called in Theology the "Zeitgeist").
I have chosen two of them who were in many ways just opposites. One is extremely famous and the other is almost unknown except to specialists. The most famous is of course Albert Einstein. He has significantly altered our view of the world with his Theory of Relativity.
The other one is not so well known, his works are commonly are associated with Einstein instead.
His name is Heisenberg. He worked mainly in Quantum Physics and was responsible for the development of the Principle of Uncertainty. This is one of the topics of this speech.
Incidentally both are German like I am. Their lives where shaped by the confrontation with Nazi-Germany. Einstein was Jewish and left in 1933 when Hitler came to power. Heisenberg tried to compromise with the Nazis and make the best(whatever that was) out of it. During the war both were active on different sides in the race for the development of the Atomic Bomb.
Thats surely one of the reasons Heisenberg is not so well known.
I think it is important to understand their ideas because they have had a great effect on our present society. We will better understand our present society by knowing a little bit about them.
Many have tried to explain what these Theories mean and there has been a lot of Hype about it. Most do not understand what this is all about. So lets make a survey! The very interesting thing is that there are a lot of elements in these Theories which are important for our beliefs and thereby also our Faith!
B. Einstein and his Theory of Relativity
Einstein was a very rebellious young man. Teachers complained about him that he would not learn anything that they asked him to. He would just learn what interested him. He spent hours with thought experiments like how would it be to ride on a beam of light?
This sounds very foolish and naturally many people at that time thought the same. But it had a concrete background in the scientific circles of the later 19th century. They had begun to measure the speed of light and that is were it all started.
But to understand the issue we have to go back a bit to Issac Newtown who was revolutionary scientist and discovered the law of gravity and the basics of the laws of physics. These were not revolutionary, but revolutionary was the ability to get a mathematical grasp on it so they could calculate.
Newtown made it possible to calculate the path of a bullet. Very important for the military.
He made an interesting observation. When you take a ball in your hand and throw it, the ball will have a certain speed while it is moving away from you. But if you see somebody in a train throwing a ball the speed of the ball adds up to the speed of the train. This does not seem to be the case if you are yourself in the train throwing that ball. The ball moves away with the same speed as it did when you performed the same thing on the earth.
The Speed of the ball is dependant on the viewpoint. Depends from where you measure it. This is a kind of Newtownian Relativity. The speed of an observed incident - like a flying ball - depends on your own speed.
If you are throwing it while standing firmly on the earth, the ball just has - well the speed with which you are throwing it. But if you a train coming by and you see somebody inside throwing a ball in the direction of the movement of the train, what is the speed of the ball for you?
Of course the speed of the train plus the speed with which a person threw the ball.
This means the measure of speed is relative to the speed of the one observing.
Science get puzzled when they started to measure the speed of light. They measured it at 186.000 miles per second. At that speed light will travel in 1.5 seconds from the Earth to the Moon a distance