special relativity


Examples of special relativity in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This goes back to another quote of another founder of modern physics, Paul Dirac, who wrote down the relativistic wave equation, an equation that describes quantum mechanics connected with special relativity — it’s called the Dirac equation. Quanta Magazine, 20 June 2024 But special relativity expressly forbids speeds faster than light. Paul Sutter, Ars Technica, 23 May 2024 Hafele carefully computed the tiny effects from motion (special relativity) and altitude (general relativity), effects that added up and sometimes even canceled out. C. Renée James, Discover Magazine, 29 Aug. 2014 It was eventually disproved—thanks to the famous Michelson-Morley experiment in 1887 and Albert Einstein's development of special relativity and his paper on the photoelectric effect in 1905 (his annus mirabilis). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 4 Feb. 2023 This is not a violation of the familiar speed-of-light rule from special relativity, because the galaxies themselves aren’t moving; instead, the space between us is expanding. Popular Mechanics, 7 Mar. 2023 According to special relativity, motion is relative. Jennifer Ouellette and Sean M. Carroll, Ars Technica, 24 Nov. 2023 Time is relative However, physicist Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity suggests that time passes at different rates for different people. Adi Foord, University Of Maryland, Discover Magazine, 17 Nov. 2023 Indeed, Einstein was not the first person to wonder if time is an illusion — and his own theory of special relativity may make the statement plausible. Paul M. Sutter, Discover Magazine, 7 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'special relativity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1919, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of special relativity was in 1919

Dictionary Entries Near special relativity

Cite this Entry

“Special relativity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/special%20relativity. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

special relativity


More from Merriam-Webster on special relativity

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!