Access to the full text of the entire article is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.


Theory of Relativity, The By Bradley, Adam James

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM1719-1
Published: 01/10/2017
Retrieved: 19 May 2024, from


The Theory of Relativity is the name given to two separate theories put forth by Albert Einstein (1879–1955): ‘Special Relativity’ and ‘General Relativity’. When first published in 1905, Einstein’s ‘Theory of Special Relativity’ upended Newtonian Mechanics and was in agreement with James Clerk Maxwell’s equations of electromagnetism. The theory opened up new avenues for particle physics and is thought to have ushered in the nuclear age. Relativity was also used to predict the existence of black holes and other cosmological phenomena. Special Relativity, Einstein’s theory of small particles, includes possibly the world’s most famous physics equation: E=mc², which predicts the relationship between mass and energy where energy is equal to the mass of an object multiplied by the speed of light squared.

content locked



Article DOI



Citing this article:

Bradley, Adam James. Theory of Relativity, The. Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Taylor and Francis,

Copyright © 2016-2024 Routledge.