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Carl Sagan
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Engrave this Quote Imagine that I am riding a bicycle toward you. As I approach an intersection I nearly collide, so it seems to me, with a horsedrawn cart. I swerve and barely avoid being run over. Now think of the event again, and imagine that the cart and the bicycle are both traveling close to the speed of light. If you are standing down the road, the cart is traveling at right angles to your light of sight. You see me, by reflected sunlight, traveling toward you. Would not my speed be added to the speed of light so that my image would get to you considerably before the image of the cart? Should you not see me swerve before you see the cart arrive? Can the cart and I approach the intersection simultaneously from my point of view, but not from yours? Could I experience a near collision with the cart while you perhaps see me swerve around nothing and pedal cheerfully on toward the town of Vinci? These are curious and subtle questions. They challenge the obvious. There is a reason that no one thought of them before Einstein. From such elementary questions, Einstein produced a fundamental rethinking of the world, a revolution in physics.
-Carl Sagan, Cosmos. (New York: Ballantine, 1980), 166-167. Tell a Friend


 


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