The class started with a presentation explaining Einstein’s theory of relativity.
The theory of relativity explains four basic points:
One: All motion is relative and as the speed of an object increases, time slows down and vice versa. This effect is called time dilation.
Two: Time dilation results in shrinking of the object, known as length contraction.
Three: The theory also talks of space and time as one entity. If we imagine space-time as a sheet, then any object placed in this sheet will create a depression in it, thus leading to each object having some gravitational force.
Four: Time travel is possible if the object travels faster than the speed of light. However, on approaching the speed of an object results in increase of its mass, rather than speed, and it would take infinite amount of energy for the object to achieve speed of light.
We also discussed different calendars developed by our ancestors and how these calendars differed from one another. I realized that even as a unit of measurement, time differs from society to society. Most of the ancient calendars, and all the religious calendars, told a lot more than just date and time – they also informed the people of auspicious events and other such occasions.
At the end of the class and watched an Italian short film titled ‘An occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge’. The film talks about a man who is about to be hanged. During his last few moments, he envisions an escape from his predicament, and is then hung for his crimes. His visions show his wife/lover looking joyous as he greets her. I believe that the woman symbolises the happiness and innocence which the man has lost. The film shows the man’s emotions and fantasies as he slowly runs out of time. The film runs back and forth between his past and the present, displaying his lack of control over the situation. His fantasy could also mean his desire to regain control over his fate.