Einstein's Relativity Theory revealed that time depends on the motion of the clock measuring it, and that gravity is nothing but the warping of time (and space), so that time depends also on the location of the clock. Such effects are both a practical matter, for example in the global positioning system, and a window to the cosmos. Bending of light rays, black holes, expansion of the universe and gravitational waves (ripples of time and space) are some striking examples. These are well understood, but the theory also presents yet deeper mysteries which it is unable to address.
Theodore A. Jacobson is a Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland. He earned a bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics at Reed College and a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and presently serves on the editorial board of Physical Review Letters. His current research includes probing the validity of relativity theory, black hole thermodynamics, and the microstructure of spacetime.
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