Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

-- physicist Albert Einstein

By the end of the 1800s, science and sophisticated realism reigned triumphant, having explained nearly the entire universe. But a few nagging problems remained, and in the early 1900s changes would blow apart the whole foundations of science and the most basic assumptions of what reality is.

The center of this revolution is Albert Einstein, a young physicist who in 1905 set the scientific world on its head with his theory of relativity. Further work in this area, along with the newborn science of quantum mechanics, reduced all of science up to that point down to size: pre-Einstein theories are now called "classical physics" -- the old way of looking at things.

  1. The Limits of the Senses
  2. Like a Brick House
  3. The Weight of Einstein's Opinion
  4. Making Waves
  5. Mirror Image
  6. I'm Not Sure
  7. How Many Are There?
  8. What a Tangled Web We Weave
  9. Empty Isn't Empty
  10. It's All Relative
  11. The View From Outside
  12. The Mother of All Theories
  13. The Fall of Realism
  14. Toolset #1

Next section: What Do I Know?

For Further Exploration

The technically minded and curious can browse these sources elsewhere on the Web:

  • Particle Adventure: an introduction to particle physics, as well as recent high-energy physics news