Newspaper Page Text
Cut-Out from Film Illustrating
Optical Relativity. The Lighth ouso
and Ship Arc Not Visible, Ono
from the Other, but to an
Outsider in Space Both Are Visible
EINSTEIN In tho movies!
Not Izzy Einstein, tho prohibition
sleuth of many masquerades- but
Albert Einstein, tho famous mathematician,
whoso Theory of Relativity has created the
greatest excitement tho scientific world has
known slnco Nowton was bumpod on tho
head by an npple!
Only a little whllo ago they worn saying
that there wero only twelve highbrows on
earth who could understand the meaning
of Einstein's formula.
But noy, nccordlng to word that has Just
como from Berlin, a successful effort has
been mado by some of his fellow-sclcntlsts
to Interpiet it In terms of a popular educa
"Cut-outs" from tho film havo been re
ceived In America, and como of them are
reproduced, for the llrst time, on this page.
With tho uld of theso pictures, It is con
tended, certain fundamental aspects of tho
Einstein theory can bo graspod by the
averago mind ovon by tho mind of a
bright ten-year-old child.
This articlo 1b ai offort at such a sluv
pliflcation, based on tho movlo pictures.
Do!;t bo afraid of It. You may not "got"
It It you skim throueh It hurriedly In a
And Here Are the First Actual
Reproductions from the
Astonishing New Films Which
May Make the Puzzling
Einstein1 Theory as "Simple
' US A. 13. O.
Rtreet car or subway, but If you read It at
homo, ns you would a chapter from a book,
you may find It as simple and fascinating
as a fairy-tale.
And whon you do "get It" you can havo
tho fun of "explaining" tho Einstein theory
to your less learned friends.
Ho hero you go: i
Relativity, to bogln wlrii, as It was under
stood oven before Einstein, Is simply tho
doctrine that knowledge about a particular
thing Is dopondent upon the relation In
which It stnnda to somo oilier thing
Take, for Instance, a blado of grass. To
you It ls-'a small thing that helps mako a
enrpot for your feet In Summer. Hut to n
crawling nnt n blade of grass Is a great,
tall tower, on which It may rrawl up nnd
survoy the surrounding landscape. You
say tho blado of grass Is small. Tho nnt
ksays tho blade of grass Is largo. A com
ploto paradox. Yet you aro both right. A
thing may bo laigo and small at tho same
time.' That Is relativity.
Tnko, now, the first picturo from thn
rctnstcln movlo tho ono that roprcsunts .1
i"- inn ' iture Sttics, Inc
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0t nufn ttirhtt HmwthI
Tho Observer Believes
Rifleman No. 6 Has Fired tho
Shot Which Pierced Armored
Car, but It Was Really Fired
by Rifleman No. A. An
Example of Relativity
Explained in the Articlo
on This Page.
section of tho earth, with n ship
and lighthouse. Imagine ono oh
nurvur In tho llKhthuuHn tower and
another out nt tho side, In spare,
hh you nro tfhen you look at tho
picturo. Tho obsorver In tho light
Iioubo says theie Is no ship In sight,
and ho Is correct, for tho ship is
around a dip In tho horizon, hnd bo
can't see It. You say thorn Is a
ship In sight, and you also aro cor
rect, for yon seo from u dlffeient nnglo.
Now look at the noxt strip of film tho
flat latidBcano which shows a lienrli, an
armored car moving In front of it, and six
riflemen, numbered 1, 2, fl, i, r, fi. ,
Tho unnorod ear Is moving fnuu right to
loft at an Imaginary speed - exartly the
fsmo speed In which bullets fly from the
rllles. As it comos exactly oppostlo rltio
mnn No. (middle panel) bo (Ires a bullet.
The bullet penetrates the near side of tho
car, as shown In tho middle panel of tho
film. As tho bullet goes through the In
torlnr of I ho enr tho car keepK moving nt
tho same speed as tho bullet, ami nt right
angles to It, with tho result that thn bullet,
gooi through the far sidi- of thct car nt the
point markod X, in the middle panol.
At this very Instant tho ear comos to a
complete stop, In tho position shown In tho
bottom panel of tho film. Military observ
ers go out to inspect It and decide which
rifleman has hit It. They do not know
that tho car kept moving uftor the bull.it
penotriitod tho near sldo, They tako their
Instruments and diaw a mathematical lino
through tho two bullet holes ns tho car
now stands. This line, indicated In white,
points precisely to rifleman No fi. Here
Is mathematical proof, they say, that rifle
man No. G 11 rod this bullot, and It Is a
woll-knnwn fact that mathematics never
llo. So thoy p(n a modal on rifleman No.
C. And In splto of their mathematics they
aro wrong, for it waa really rifleman No.
i who hit the car.
Thn lower strip the ball dropping from
a towor--tnkes you into n realm of rola
tlvlty that Is oven more absolute, for t
provos the amazing statement that a lln
can bo absolutely straight, yet may also bo
curved. This Is real "Einstein."
Hero la a section of tho earth, revolving
Miles Long, Traveling at
n. Terrific. Rate Through
Space, Is Used to
Extraordinary TIlsorieA About tho
Speed and Properties of Light,
"! A Fascinating and Corhplotc
Explanation la Given on This Page
In spaco from right to left. Observers In
tho towor are About to drop tho ball and
to calcnlatn Its oxact path as It falls, with
tho finest BClontlllc Instruments.
Imaglnn yourself oft In spaco, jvlth an
other set of observers equipped with high
powered tolo&copen and naually flno scien
tific instruments tor measurement of the
line tho ball makes when It falls.
You ran sea tho ball fall, just ns tho
people In tho towor can but what you
ean also see and what tho poopln In tliii
towor cannot seo Is thn rovolvlng move
ment of tho earth which takqs placo whlta
tho ball Is falling.
In tho top panol tho observers In th
towor drop tho hall. Impelled by gravita
tion It falls in an absolutely straight lino
to earth, along tho dotted Jltio, parallel at
overy moment with tho towor Itself. Thoy
havo measured Its movomont and found
tho lino absolutely straight.
Moanwhlle, In tho bottom panel, wo havo
been making observations of tha falling
ball from our position out In space.
As tho ball is falling tho earth rovolves
n tdiort dUtnncofrom right to left, and the
tower with It. Bo also doos tho ball fall
ing In a perfectly straight line with rela
tion to tho towor anil for this vory reason,
that It does tend to follow tho tower and
fall In a straight lino with relation to It,
thn ball falls In a curved linn with relation
to our Instruments out In '.spaco!
8tudy tho dotted lines! H'b nmazlng,
but It's truut Bo this Is relativity!
And what l'rotossor Einstein has dona
Is to apply this principle of relativity to
tho problems 'of physics, astronomy and
Ho tolls you that thero may bn a con
ceivable condition In which two nnd two
do not mako four In which a straight line
may not bo tho shortest dlstanco botwoen
two points In which two sldea of a tri
angle may not bo longorthan Its third side!
To explain this, ho supposes a "fpurth
dimension" and "curved space." Do not
ho afraid of tlib phrases. You know what
tho throo dimensions aro length, width
nnd thickness. Aud you know what space
h as conceived In theso throo dimensions.
Elnstoln's contention Is that spaco Itself
may be "curved" or "bent" on snnin gignn
tlo scnln, so that a lino which travels
"straight" by Euclidian geomotry for a
dlstanco npprnachlng Infinity might event
ually como buck to the point from which
It originally set out.
HUH more extraordinary nro Elnstoln's
conclusions about tho speed of light. All
scientists know that light trnvcU at the
rate of 180,000 miles a second. Einstein's
thniry, according to some exponents, pre-tents-tho
nmazlng supposition that a ray
of light ylll travol past an object which
Is Itsolf moving, rapidly olthor toward or
avay from It at exactly the same rate It
would pass It It tho object wore standing
Tho largo black nd-whlte drawing on
this page Illustrates this Idoa. It repre
sents an Immense railroad bridge stretch'
Ing for billions of miles through Infinite
space. On it Is nn electric train speeding
toward tho reader at 1,000 miles per sec
ond. At each end of tho train Are two
mirror relloctors, facing each other.
Fastened to tho bridge Is a searchlight.
As tho front end of the train passes tho
searchlight, tho searchlight sends back a
lay of light which strikes the rear mirror
of tho moving train. This rear mirror
then throws tho light forward to the front
mirror. Tho front mirror, being on the
moving train, Is speudlng away from the
ray of light which Is chasing It. You would
expect that tho rcllected ray of light the
first Hash which darted from tho rear mlr
inr tho Instant the searchlight first struck
It -would, In order to teach the front mir
ror, havo to travol tho mllllon-ralle length
of tho train. I'lA'S tho dlstanco which the
front mirror has been carried by the mov
ing train during tho time light takes to
catch It. In othor words, you would sup
pose, by tho rules of physics, tho ray would
ltnvo to travel farther, and, therefore, have
to tako a longer time, because of tho traln'j
movement, t-an if the tisln had been
standing still. Hut Elnste'n's theory, and
certain actual experiments, seem to prove
that tho ray of light would tako exactly
tho same time to make the Journey as if
thn train wore Btandlng still'
Trom this tho extraordinary Idea Is de
duced that "the speed of light between two
bodlon Is not affected by tho movements
of olthor body." In othor words, two
planots may be moving toward each other
or away from each othor nt an enormous
ratn of speed, yet tho time It takes for
light to travel between them Is the ssmo
as If thoy were both standing still!
Ib tho Einstein theory truo? Nobody
knows, llo dooen't know himself. But tho
world's greatest astronomers and mathe
maticians have discovered that It seems to
work practically In certain cuses, ami
therefore they believo It may bo truo and
regard Einstein, as ono ot tho world'fl
greatest llvliifT men,