Brian Coleman

Time Travel Illustrated: The Special Relativity Cosmographicum

Date/Time:Monday July 11 at 8:00pm  
Title:Time Travel Illustrated: The Special Relativity Cosmographicum
Speaker:By Brian Coleman of BC Systems
Description:A century ago profound discoveries were made about our cosmos. As well as Albert Einstein’s epochal formula E0=Mc2Special Relativity – the basis of General Relativity – uncovered an even more astonishing insight: One can travel into the future. Not of oneself, but of other people.       
With the help of a simple approach to Space-Time visualization (and a little school maths), this first Time Travel lecture will show graphically how a medieval principle of simple motion leads to both of these revelations neatly – and understandably – fitting in with physical reality and how ‘Providence’ cleverly limits the maximum speed any object can travel (thereby also preventing us from going backwards in time). The kinematic twin paradox scenario will be properly explained, showing how one twin can ‘slow down’ his or her biological aging.       

As well as dealing with some rather neglected Irish and Russian relativity history, the lecture will also present some quite new facts: an easy (but expensive) way to measure – rather than assume – what the limit speed of the Universe is, and a radically new shortcut to Einstein’s mass-to-energy formula. Both of these approaches have appeared in a physics journal (details below), but still require only school maths for their understanding.       

The second lecture in November – the Space-TimeS Cosmographicum – will focus on an innovative way of visualizing the very essence of Special Relativity and cover the more involved dynamic twin paradox. It will demonstrate (for example) how home ‘contemporaries’ age exponentially compared with an accelerating rocket’s passengers who however could never seem to exceed a certain distance from their point of departure because they would perceive  their ‘ever-increasing’ distance away as continually ‘contracting’ (the Dubliner FitzGerald’s famous 1889 contraction theory). Having been active in Germany and the Soviet Union in the development and implementation of artificial intelligence in process control systems, and also authored extensive computer tomography manuals, electrical engineer Brian Coleman ( now living in Dalkey, has had several special relativity papers published in the European Journal of Physics, including in the current July 2005 edition (,
Venue:Henry Grattan Building, DCU, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.
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Admission:€ 5 (€ 3 members and concessions)
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