Modern Times

At the turn of the twentieth century, Lorentz understood the futility of mechanical support to explain the propagation of the electromagnetic field. He also discovered the theory of electrons.

Meanwhile, the mathematicians Gauss, Lobatchevski, Bolyai and Riemann created the concept of curved space and endeavored to define the peculiarities of coordinate systems relative to each other, concepts that will be taken up by Poincaré and Einstein.

To explain some strange states of matter, such as specific heat and photoelectric effect, Planck, Bohr and Dirac imposed quantum physics as the new obligatory passage for physicists. They demonstrated that electrons can not be precisely located in space and time.

Born, de Broglie, Heisenberg and Schrödinger insisted that the particles must be represented by wave functions and can only be determined by statistical calculation. In parallel, the progressive discovery of a whole universe of elementary particles allowed physicists to sketch the first theories of the genesis of the universe.

All these conceptions, so great as they were, were overtaken by a monument of physics. Fascinated but often critical of the ideas of his ancestors, Einstein developed the theory of Relativity restricted to uniform movements at the beginning of the twentieth century, which he summarized as follows: “The mass is no longer an immutable greatness, but it varies according to its energy content, and even it is equivalent, while Newton’s law can only be considered for small speeds. The speed of light in a vacuum is a speed limit”.

Einstein also linked space to time in a four-dimensional continuum that varies according to the speed of the observer (his repository): “Space and time lose their absolute causal character, it is influential but is not not influenced, which Newton had not established.

In 1915, Einstein generalized his theory to all movements, demonstrating that gravitation is an inertia that curves space-time and deforms it. In 1921, Einstein received the Nobel Prize for his research in physics.