PHYS171_f11_lecture_45

PHYS171_f11_lecture_45 - Just as a wave on a string, this...

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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, this...

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