2010 PHYSICS 002C Lecture 18

2010 PHYSICS 002C Lecture 18 - HYSICS 002C Lecture 18...

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HYSICS 002C Lecture 18 May 10, 2010 Serway and Jewett Chapter 9.1-3 – Relativity Clicker Q1: The principle of Newtonian relativity is that the laws of mechanics must be the same in any a) stationary; b) reverted; c) inert; d) inertial; e) inerted frame of reference. Clicker Q2: In a Galilean transformation of coordinates to a reference frame moving with constant velocity v in the x -direction, the new value of x is the same as the old value a) - vt ; b) period. ; c) + tv ; d) – f / v ; e) in any reference frame, and the new value of the time t is the same as the old value a) - vt ; b) period. ; c) + tv ; d) – f / v ; e) in any reference frame. Clicker Q3: The 1887 Michelson-Morley experiment to detect the motion of the earth through the ether a) was too crude to give a meaningful answer; b) has been overturned by modern versions of the experiment; c) found no evidence for an ether; d) showed that the earth’s orbital speed around the sun is about 30 km/s; e) was a pointless endeavor which wasted millions of taxpayers’ dollars. Clicker Q4: Einstein’s principle of relativity, “The laws of physics are the same in any local inertial reference frame,” a) is sometimes true; b) is false; c) is not supported by meaningful evidence; d) has never been countermanded; e) is a meaningless philosophical assertion. These 4 questions more or less sum up the relevant sections of Chapter 9 (1-3) so we will move directly to the Amazing consequences of Einstein’s theory of special relativity after I fill in a few details. 1
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Chap 9 – Prelude – What is time? What is space? We think of space as a possible place to put something, where separations are vectors (Axiom 1), and where the laws of Euclidian geometry hold, as proven by zillions of experiments in low gravitational fields and at slow speeds. Time seems to be separate from space and unlike it totally. Time seems to be a scalar parameter (a number) (Axiom 2) that can be defined everywhere and agreed upon by all observers. While we can move about in space, there is apparently nothing we can do to slow the ineluctable passage of time, nor to revisit the past or see the future. Since light does not travel instantaneously, which means it is not merely a conveyor of information but has an existence of its own, much as the legendary human runner who brought the news from the Battle of Marathon, it is not so unreasonable that there should be funny effects when you look at something going by at high speed. F. R. Hickey, Am J Phys 47 , 711 (1979). 2 Because the back of the object is farther away then the front, we might expect its image to be delayed, giving the appearance of a shear. In fact it looks instead like the object has been rotated and you can see around to the otherwise invisible leading face of the cube in the example! OK, you may think, these are just appearances, caused by us observing
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2010 PHYSICS 002C Lecture 18 - HYSICS 002C Lecture 18...

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