Website Detail Page

Item Picture
written by Joe Wolfe and George Hatsidimitris
This web site is a basic, non-mathematical introduction to relativity. It covers concepts from Galileo, Newton, and Maxwell through Einstein and special relativity. The site also mentions modern topics such as the relations between gravity and quantum mechanics. The main resource is a series of Flash media files with narration and animations. Thirty detailed pages that go into specifics are included, each marked by their level of mathematics used. Questions are also available to test readers' understanding.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Electricity & Magnetism
- General
Motion, Forces, and Energy
- Beyond Relativity
- Galilean Relativity
- Special Relativity
= Time Dilation
- Informal Education
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Tutorial
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- application/flash
- image/gif
- text/html
  • Currently 0.0/5

Want to rate this material?
Login here!

Additional Information
This resource was featured by the Spacetime Emporium collection from April 1, 2010 until October 31, 2011. View the feature here!
Physics Front This resource was featured by the Physics Front collection from June 12, 2011 until August 12, 2011. View the feature here!

Access Rights: Free access
Restriction: © 2005 School of Physics UNSW
Has a copyright or other licensing restriction.
Keywords: electric force, magnetic force, quantum mechanics, relative motion, relativity, time dilation
Record Creator: Metadata instance created December 3, 2007 by Christopher Bares
Record Updated: Aug 16, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
February 12, 2007
Other Collections:

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4F. Motion
  • 9-12: 4F/H2. All motion is relative to whatever frame of reference is chosen, for there is no motionless frame from which to judge all motion.
  • 9-12: 4F/H3a. When electrically charged objects undergo a change in motion, they produce electromagnetic waves around them.
  • 9-12: 4F/H3c. In empty space, all electromagnetic waves move at the same speed—the "speed of light."
  • 9-12: 4F/H5ab. The observed wavelength of a wave depends upon the relative motion of the source and the observer. If either is moving toward the other, the observed wavelength is shorter; if either is moving away, the wavelength is longer.

10. Historical Perspectives

10C. Relating Matter & Energy and Time & Space
  • 9-12: 10C/H1. As a young man, Albert Einstein, a German scientist, formulated the special theory of relativity, which brought about revolutionary changes in human understanding of nature. Among the counterintuitive ideas of special relativity is that the speed of light is the same for all observers no matter how they or the light source happen to be moving. In addition, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
  • 9-12: 10C/H3. The special theory of relativity is best known for stating that any form of energy has mass, and that matter itself is a form of energy. Even a tiny amount of matter holds an enormous amount of energy. This relationship is described in the famous relativity equation E = mc2, in which the c in the equation stands for the immense speed of light.
  • 9-12: 10C/H4. A decade after Einstein developed the special theory of relativity, he proposed the general theory of relativity, which pictures Newton's gravitational force as a distortion of space and time.
  • 9-12: 10C/H5. Einstein's development of the theories of special and general relativity ranks as one of the greatest human accomplishments in all of history. Many predictions from the theories have been confirmed on both atomic and astronomical scales. Still, the search continues for an even more powerful theory of the architecture of the universe.
  • 9-12: 10C/H6. Under everyday situations, most of the predictions of special relativity are nearly identical to those of classical mechanics. The more counterintuitive predictions of special relativity occur in situations that humans do not typically experience.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 9-12: 11B/H1a. A mathematical model uses rules and relationships to describe and predict objects and events in the real world.
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
J. Wolfe and G. Hatsidimitris, (2005), WWW Document, (
J. Wolfe and G. Hatsidimitris, Einstein Light (2005), <>.
APA Format
Wolfe, J., & Hatsidimitris, G. (2007, February 12). Einstein Light. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
Chicago Format
Wolfe, Joe, and George Hatsidimitris. Einstein Light. February 12, 2007. (accessed 23 June 2024).
MLA Format
Wolfe, Joe, and George Hatsidimitris. Einstein Light. 2005. 12 Feb. 2007. 23 June 2024 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Joe Wolfe and George Hatsidimitris", Title = {Einstein Light}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {23 June 2024}, Month = {February 12, 2007}, Year = {2005} }
Refer Export Format

%A Joe Wolfe %A George Hatsidimitris %T Einstein Light %D February 12, 2007 %U %O image/gif

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %A Wolfe, Joe %A Hatsidimitris, George %D February 12, 2007 %T Einstein Light %V 2024 %N 23 June 2024 %8 February 12, 2007 %9 image/gif %U

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

Have experience with this material? Login to leave a comment sharing your experience.

Know of a related resource? Login to relate this resource to other material across the web.

Know of a better resource? Suggest it!

See a problem with this material's physics or description? Contact us!