In the midst of the government attempting to censor scientific findings in the United States, I found it a suitable time to remind everyone that Einstein's theory of relativity was proven with substantial evidence last year. This was a groundbreaking discovery, solving the mysteries of the theory that have existed for over 100 years.
So what is the theory or relativity? It is very complex and hard to understand, but I am going to make it as understandable as possible. There are actually two parts to Einstein's theory. They are of Special Relativity and General Relativity. Special Relativity is a theory in physics dealing with the speed of light and the consistency of the laws of physics whether an object is moving or stationary relative (hence relativity) to something else. General Relativity has to do with gravity, acceleration, and spacetime, and how they are all related.
Many people will probably recognize the equation E=mc^2. This equation means that kinetic energy (energy of an object in motion in joules) is equal to the mass of an object (in kilograms) multiplied by the speed of light (3x10^8, or 300,000,000 m/s) squared. Now, the fist part of the theory being discussed has to do with the speed of light, c.
The theory of Special Relativity involves movement and the perception of what is actually moving. How is it that you know you are moving? Movement is entirely decided upon based on a reference frame. If you are flying in a space ship, is the space ship moving through space, or is this ship stationary and space is moving around it? This is entirely dependent upon the reference frame. For the theory to hold true, and the way that most people use it, is that you are the stationary object in the reference frame. Another example of relativity is of moving cars. Pretend that you are driving on the highway, and you are going the speed limit of 65 mph. Another person passes you, driving 75 mph. From your frame of reference in your car, the other car appears to be pulling ahead of you at a speed of 10 mph. From the reference from of a stationary bystander, that car still appears to be moving at 75 mph. Now with light, it doesn't matter if you are the moving or the stationary object in your reference frame, light will always move away from you at 3x10^8 m/s. To make this clear, if the car passing you at 75 mph was light, from your reference frame, the car would appear to be going 75 mph, not 10 mph; see how that works? Unfortunately for Star Wars fans, this is why achieving light speed is never possible. Now, this theory allows for concepts called time dilation and length contraction, but we will not get into those.
The theory of General Relativity has to do with gravity. People are familiar with gravity (hopefully) being the force that pulls you toward the ground. Einstein was able to show that the effects of gravity and acceleration were directly related, and so acceleration toward the ground as a result of gravitational pull, or standard acceleration, is always at a constant 9.8 m/s^2.
Along with this theory, Einstein attempted to prove the theory of a fourth dimension which he called "spacetime" (if you are a Star Trek fan, you will love this). Before this, we were able to explain nature and physics in three dimensions, or 3-D. These dimensions allow you to move side to side (1-dimension), forward and back (2-dimensions), and up and down (3-dimensions). What Einstein proposed was a fourth dimension in space, which is called time. What does this have to do with gravity as discussed before? With the introduction of spacetime, Einstein theorized that gravity was a bending or interruption of this spacetime dimension, resulting in depressions of this sheet-like dimension. For example, if your cat is sitting on a blanket, the blanket nearest and under the cat will depress with the cat's weight. This analogous spacetime equivalent is what Einstein proposed was gravity.
With his theory of gravity being depressions in spacetime, Einstein also proposed that disruptions in spacetime were also possible when two objects in space with massive forces of gravity collided. However, this part of the theory was never proven, until recently that is. In February of 2015, scientists observed, recorded, and documented the sound of two black holes colliding in space. A black hole is a gravitational "hole" (literally a hole, for lack of a better term) with no end in which things can enter, even light, and never escape because of the immensely strong gravitational pull. Two black holes were observed colliding, releasing an audible boom which can only be evidence of the existence of spacetime. Why is this exciting for Star Trek fans? The concept of warp travel in Star Trek has to do with fusion reactions that allow them to manipulate spacetime, and thus travel through space at incredibly fast speeds. With this proof of spacetime, it is theoretically possible to manipulate it, or fold it, so that you travel from one fold to the other, then stretch it out again to go that distance in a smaller amount of time. Whether this is possible or even realistic, I do not have the knowledge or expertise to say, but it would be something.
Now that you understand relativity, you can understand the magnitude of this discovery, and its implications for science and the universe as we know it. The censoring of scientific information can be detrimental, and could hinder scientific discoveries and advancements. It is crucial that we continue to release scientific findings uncensored, and continue to unrevel the mysteries that exist in the natural universe.
Information regarding Einstein's theory of relativity and the evidence thereof was retrieved from https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/page/what-are-gw, http://www.space.com/17661-theory-general-relativi..., http://www.dartmouth.edu/~kevinhainline/relativity..., and https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/12/science/ligo-gr...