Class #15 (Feb. 26) Reading Questions - The Fabric of the Cosmos


Chapter 1


1.  Why does Brian Greene begin a book on the nature of space, time, and reality with a discussion of Camus' "The Myth of Sisyphus"?  Does Greene agree with Camus' conclusions?



Chapter 2


2.  What is Newton's bucket and what did Newton conclude about the nature of space from this thought experiment?


3. Explain Ernst Mach's controversial ideas about the nature of space and Newton's bucket.



Chapter 3


4. According to Einstein's theory of special relativity the combined speed of any object's motion through space and its motion through time is equal to the speed of light.  Explain what this statement means and what it implies about time and distance measurements.


5. What is the relatively of simultaneity and how does Greene's loaf of bread picture help to visual this concept?


6. What is Einstein's principle of equivalence?


7. Explain the differences between Newton's and Einstein's conceptions of space and time.  Are there are any similarities in their views?




Your Question:  Please give a well formulated question that you have regarding the material covered in this reading assignment.