Lecture 20 - /16/10 Radioactive dating indicates that the...

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Lecture 20 – 11/16/10 Radioactive dating indicates that the age of the solar system is about 4.6 billion years. a) Suggests that whatever is fueling the sun must do so for a long time b) Longest you could burn something with chemical energy is only 50,000 years c) If sun was contracting slowly, fuel could last for 5 million years but this is still short of the 4.6 billion years d) Answer comes with the Special Theory of Relativity Special Theory of Relativity a) Has two assumptions: i) Laws of physics are the same in any uniformly moving (inertial) frame of reference ii) Speed of light in a vacuum is constant independent of the motion of the source Why E = mc 2 a) Speed of light (c) is a constant so we can’t accelerate a source of light faster than c b) Nothing can move faster than light c) Newton’s second law: F = ma says equivalently a = F/m d) Energy if force multiplied by the distance: F x distance = E e) When applying energy to an object it cannot go faster than the speed of light so
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This note was uploaded on 05/03/2011 for the course AST 301 taught by Professor Harvey during the Fall '07 term at University of Texas.

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Lecture 20 - /16/10 Radioactive dating indicates that the...

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