This is a discussion on OT: The end of the world in roughly 3 hours - VMS ; On Sep 19, 7:56 am, Michael Kraemer wrote: > AEF schrieb: > > > > > Basic research is important. Even relativity (both special and > > general) has a commercial use; namely, GPS. I think thatís the only > ...
On Sep 19, 7:56 am, Michael Kraemer
> AEF schrieb:
> > Basic research is important. Even relativity (both special and
> > general) has a commercial use; namely, GPS. I think thatís the only
> > commercial use of it; most or all other use is by astrophysicists and
> > cosmologists and the like.
> > The idea that one can build a laser was first brought to light by
> > Einstein doing basic research.
> What were the costs to develop the theory of relativity ?
> It just took a brilliant brain, a pencil and
> (probably numerous) sheets of paper.
Well (as I may have said before, but in a different though probably
related context) it took all of previous science to get to the point
where relativity could be formulated by Einstein. This included many,
many experiments that resulted in Maxwell's equations, which contain c
as the universal speed of electromagnetic radiation. But speed
relative to what? The either? NO! Enter Einstein. Also, some optics
experiments were of great importance, as well as the Michelson-Morely
experiment, of course (though I think Einstein disavowed having any
previous knowledge of that).
As Isaac Newton once said, "If I have seen further it is by standing
on ye shoulders of Giants." So there's the cumulative cost.
Also, like anything else, some parts cost little, and other cost a
Demonstrating conservation of angular momentum for macroscopic objects
takes a lot less effort that the same for the subatomic realm.
Some cars are quite cheap. Others are very expensive. Spacecraft still
You get the idea.