PHYS171_f11_lecture_45

PHYS171_f11_lecture_45 - • Just as a wave on a string...

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1 PHYS171 Chapter 36 Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity • Special as opposed to “General” • Deals with phenomena in an inertial reference frame • General theory addresses accelerating reference frames and gravity.
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2 Chapter 36 Newtonian Relativity • All inertial reference frames are equivalent • Laws of physics are the same in all inertial reference frames • The velocities will be different in different reference frames, but accelerations are the same. • Newton’s laws do not need to be modified going from one reference frame to another Chapter 36 Newtonian Relativity Contains assumptions that are intuitive but can’t be proven. • Time is an absolute quantity, and is the same in all reference frames. • The distance between two points, or the length of an object is the same no matter what reference frame you are in.
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3 Chapter 36 Newtonian Relativity A big problem – light. • Maxwell found that light is a wave – a vibration of the electro-magnetic field.
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Unformatted text preview: • Just as a wave on a string, this wave would have a well defined velocity, but relative to what? • Another analogy – sound. The speed of sound is fixed relative to the air in which the sound propagates. • What is the speed of light defined with respect to? Chapter 36 Michelson-Morley experiment Beam is split and follows two different paths. The delay of one path with respect to the other is measured. ether wind. v No Difference is found for two paths! 4 Chapter 36 Lorenz Hypothesis • Distance is contracted along direction of motion by • Attributed this to pressure of ether on the object, not to nature of space-time itself 2 2 1 c v − Chapter 36 Einstein Theory of Special Relativity • The laws of physics have the same form in all inertial reference systems • Light propagates through empty space with a definite speed c independent of the speed of the source or observer. All conclusions are drawn from these hypotheses...
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PHYS171_f11_lecture_45 - • Just as a wave on a string...

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