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Theory Of Relativity

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Posted by Some layman/">Some layman on February 13, 2000 02:03:35 UTC

If you're reading this, please bear in mind that I am extremely ignorant of quantum physics and Einstein's theories, etc., but I'd appreciate some feedback, 'cause there's a whole lot of stuff that I have questions about. :) Ok, the theory of relativity basically states that perception is not fixed to a certain point, for example if a train is speeding by you it's no more accurate to say that the train is moving than to say that the train is standing still, and the rest of the world is in motion, correct? At least that's how I understand it. But, is this meant to be taken very literally, or not? For example, if 2 spaceships are flying directly towards each other, each at a speed of .6 C, couldn't you say that one ship is standing still and the other is moving at 1.2 times the speed of light? According to Einstein, this is impossible, so then it would be impossible for any objects to undergo any motion at all, right? Maybe I'm taking the theory the wrong way, but here's another example: Say that another spaceship somehow manages to accelerate to the point that it's 1000 meters/second below light speed. Now, what happens if one of the crew members fires a bullet straight ahead at the front of the ship, at, say, 1200 meters/second? Wouldn't that bullet be traveling 200 m/s over lightspeed, in relation to a FIXED POINT in space? Since I know that somehow everything I've just said is somehow completely nonsense, if anyone out there is willing, could you explain exactly where I'm going wrong? Thanks.

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