lecture28 - 11/30/2010 Einsteins Principle of Relativity...

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11/30/2010 1 Einstein’s Principle of Relativity and Constancy of Speed of Light Postulates (1905) The Principle of Relativity : All the laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames The constancy of the speed of light: the speed of light in a vacuum has the same value in all inertial reference frames, regardless of the velocity of the observer or the velocity of the source emitting the light No preferred inertial reference frame exists It is impossible to detect absolute motion There is no such thing as absolute length There is no such thing as absolute time Events at different locations that are observed to occur simultaneously in one frame are not observed to be simultaneous in another frame moving uniformly past the first Length Contraction caused by Speed! The measured distance between two points depends on the frame of reference of the observer The proper length , L p , of an object is the length of the object measured by someone at rest relative to the object The length of an object measured in a reference frame that is moving with respect to the object is always less than the proper length This effect is known as length contraction Length Contraction – The Gamma Factor Again! Length contraction takes place only along the direction of motion 2 2 1 P P L v LL c  Relativistic Corrections Remember, relativistic corrections are needed because no material objects
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lecture28 - 11/30/2010 Einsteins Principle of Relativity...

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