Physics 2D — Spring 2010
Quiz #1: Theory of Special Relativity
Friday April 9
11:00am to 11:50am
[Note:
This is a closedbook exam.
No additional note is allowed.
The total
score of this exam is 50 points.
Points assigned to each problem is thus a guide
to how much time you should spend working on it.]
Possibly useful formulae:
•
Binomial expansion:
(1 +
x
)
n
= 1 +
n
·
x
+
n
(
n

1)
2
x
2
+
...
for
x
±
1
•
Lorentz Transformation:
x
0
=
γ
(
v
)
·
(
x

vt
)
y
0
=
y
t
0
=
γ
(
v
)
·
±
t

v
c
2
x
²
,
γ
(
v
) =
1
q
1

v
2
c
2
.
•
relativistic momentum:
~
p
=
m~u
q
1

u
2
c
2
•
relativistic energy:
E
=
mc
2
q
1

u
2
c
2
•
energymomentum relation:
E
2
=
p
2
c
2
+
m
2
c
4
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Short answers:
(a)
What did Maxwell attempt to address with the notion of ”ether”? What is wrong with
it?
[5 points]
(b)
State Einstein’s postulates which form the basis of the theory of special relativity. Why
are they not compatible with Galilean Transformation?
[5 points]
(c)
Given that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, explain how, in principle,
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 Spring '08
 Hirsch
 Physics, Special Relativity

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