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[Top 10 Inventions that Changed the World]Most metals are shiny because the electrons in the atoms jump from different energy levels, or "orbitals." Some photons that hit the metal get absorbed and re-emitted, though at a longer wavelength. Gold is a heavy atom, so the inner electrons are moving fast enough that the relativistic mass increase is significant, as well as the length contraction.As a result, the electrons are spinning around the nucleus in shorter paths, with more momentum.
Formulated by Albert Einstein in 1905, the theory of relativity is the notion that the laws of physics are the same everywhere. Every time you measure an object's velocity, or its momentum, or how it experiences time, it's always in relation to something else.Meanwhile, the protons in the first wire are creating a net positive charge, and opposite charges attract.In order for your car's GPS navigation to function as accurately as it does, satellites have to take relativistic effects into account.Since each satellite is 12,600 miles (20,300 kilometers) above Earth and moves at about 6,000 miles per hour (10,000 km/h), there's a relativistic time dilation that tacks on about 4 microseconds each day.Add in the effects of gravity and the figure goes up to about 7 microseconds. The difference is very real: if no relativistic effects were accounted for, a GPS unit that tells you it's a half mile (0.8 km) to the next gas station would be 5 miles (8 km) off after only one day.These stations (and the GPS unit in your car) are all experiencing higher accelerations due to gravity than the satellites in orbit.To get that pinpoint accuracy, the satellites use clocks that are accurate to a few billionths of a second (nanoseconds).Since like charges repel, the two wires also repel.Currents in the opposite directions result in attraction, because from the first wire's point of view, the electrons in the other wire are more crowded together, creating a net negative charge.Meanwhile, from the electrons' perspective, the protons in both wires look like they are moving.Because of the relativistic length contraction, they appear to be more closely spaced, so there's more positive charge per length of wire than negative charge.