general theory of relativity
relativity el`a*tiv"i*ty (-t?v"?-t?), n. 1. The state of being relative; as, the relativity of a subject. --Coleridge. [1913 Webster]

2. One of two theories (also called {theory of relativity}) proposed by Albert Einstein, the {special theory of relativity}, or the {general theory of relativity}. The {special theory of relativity} or {special relativity} is based on the proposition that the speed of light is a constant no matter how observed, and is independent of the motion of the observer. From this follows several principles, such as the increase of mass with velocity (which has been confirmed: see {relativistic mass equation}) and the impossibility of acceleration to a speed greater than that of light; the equivalence of mass and energy, expressed by the famous equation E = mc^{2}; and time dilation, which is the apparent slowing of a clock in a system, as observed by an observer in a system moving relative to the clock. The {general theory of relativity} is based on the proposition that there is no physical difference between gravitational force and the force produced by acceleration. From this follow several results, of which the bending of light rays in a gravitational field and the equivalence of the inertial and gravitational masses have been verified. The possible existence of {black holes} (believed by many astronomers to have been adequately proven) is another consequence of the theory. [PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • general theory of relativity — relativity el a*tiv i*ty ( t?v ? t?), n. 1. The state of being relative; as, the relativity of a subject. Coleridge. [1913 Webster] 2. One of two theories (also called {theory of relativity}) proposed by Albert Einstein, the {special theory of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • general theory of relativity — n. see RELATIVITY (sense 4): also called general relativity …   English World dictionary

  • general theory of relativity — noun a generalization of special relativity to include gravity (based on the principle of equivalence) • Syn: ↑general relativity, ↑general relativity theory, ↑Einstein s general theory of relativity • Hypernyms: ↑relativity, ↑theory of… …   Useful english dictionary

  • general theory of relativity — general relativity, theory of gravitation and acceleration …   English contemporary dictionary

  • general theory of relativity — Date: 1921 relativity 3b …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • general theory of relativity — Physics. See under relativity (def. 2). [1930 35] * * * …   Universalium

  • general theory of relativity — noun Physics See relativity (def. 2) …   Australian English dictionary

  • Einstein's general theory of relativity — noun a generalization of special relativity to include gravity (based on the principle of equivalence) • Syn: ↑general relativity, ↑general theory of relativity, ↑general relativity theory • Hypernyms: ↑relativity, ↑theory of relativity, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • theory of relativity — relativity el a*tiv i*ty ( t?v ? t?), n. 1. The state of being relative; as, the relativity of a subject. Coleridge. [1913 Webster] 2. One of two theories (also called {theory of relativity}) proposed by Albert Einstein, the {special theory of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Theory of relativity — This article is about the scientific concept. For philosophical or sociological theories about relativity, see Relativism. For the silent film, see The Einstein Theory of Relativity. Two dimensional projection of a three dimensional analogy of… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”