Lect2 - Lecture 2 The Special Theory of Relativity I Michelson-Morley Experiment Einstein's postulates of special relativity 1 Classical Relativity

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1 Lecture 2: The Special Theory of Relativity I Michelson-Morley Experiment • Einstein’s postulates of special relativity
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2 Classical Relativity: Example v L • A stick length of L is moving with constant speed v along the positive x axis as observed in reference frame S. • At t = 0, the midpoint of the stick is located at x = 0. At this time, two flashes of light are emitted, one from each end of the stick. • An observer is riding along at the midpoint of the stick (reference frame S ’). At what time does she record the flashes of light according to classical relativity? Assume that the speed of light in the frame S is known to be c . • Another observer is at rest in frame S at x = 0. At what time does he record the flashes of light?
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3 Classical Relativity: Example v L • Observer riding along at the midpoint of the stick: • Sees flash from A arrive at: • Sees flash from B arrive at: • Observer at rest at x = 0: • Sees flashes arrive simultaneously at: t A ' = L 2 c ! v ( ) t B ' = L 2 c + v ( ) t A = t B = L 2 c A B This is correct only if light did indeed travel in “ether.”
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4 The Michelson-Morley Expt. • Prevalent view in late 1800s: light propagates in the “ether.”
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This note was uploaded on 05/08/2008 for the course PHYS 237 taught by Professor Stephonalexander during the Spring '08 term at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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Lect2 - Lecture 2 The Special Theory of Relativity I Michelson-Morley Experiment Einstein's postulates of special relativity 1 Classical Relativity

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