problem2 - AST 204 Feb 18 2008: Due Feb 25 2008 PROBLEM SET...

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AST 204 Feb 18 2008: Due Feb 25 2008 PROBLEM SET 2 There is a famous paradox in relativity theory, the ‘twin paradox’, in which one twin goes on a journey on a spaceship which reaches very nearly the speed of light to some distant star and then returns similarly rapidly. Time dilation implies that the travelling twin ages less (because less time passes on the fast spacecraft–never mind the rigors of the voyage) than the stay-at home. It is a paradox is because the travelling twin can say she is at rest and her sister is moving, and reaches the opposite conclusion. People argue about acceleration, etc., and obfuscate the problem in various ways. We can state it in a very simple, though somewhat wordy manner: 1. Consider the following experiment: Three identical atomic clocks are made. One of them is sent by spaceship to far beyond Alpha Centauri, which is 4.3 light-years away; the captain is instructed then to turn around, and to accelerate to 0.95c toward home, reach this velocity before he reaches Alpha Centauri, and maintain it until he reaches Earth. He is to meet a spaceship carrying the
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This note was uploaded on 02/26/2012 for the course AST 204 taught by Professor Knapp during the Spring '08 term at Princeton.

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problem2 - AST 204 Feb 18 2008: Due Feb 25 2008 PROBLEM SET...

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