Some Consequences of the Equivalence Principle

Some Consequences of the Equivalence Principle - Some...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Some Consequences of the Equivalence Principle Consider a freely falling elevator near the surface of the earth, and suppose a laser fixed in one wall of the elevator sends a pulse of light horizontally across to the corresponding point on the opposite wall of the elevator. Inside the elevator, where there are no fields present, the environment is that of an inertial frame, and the light will certainly be observed to proceed directly across the elevator. Imagine now that the elevator has windows, and an outsider at rest relative to the earth observes the light. As the light crosses the elevator, the elevator is of course accelerating downwards at g , so since the flash of light will hit the opposite elevator wall at precisely the height relative to the elevator at which it began, the outside observer will conclude that the flash of light also accelerates downwards at g . In fact, the light could have been emitted at the instant the elevator was released from rest, so we must conclude that light falls in an initially parabolic path in a constant gravitational field. Of course, the light is traveling very fast, so the curvature of the path is small! Nevertheless, the Equivalence Principle forces us to the conclusion that the path of a light beam is bent by a gravitational field
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PHY PHY2053 taught by Professor Davidjudd during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

Page1 / 2

Some Consequences of the Equivalence Principle - Some...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online