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The Need for Speed Dr. Darrel Smith, Chair Space Physics August 27, 2005 Dr. Darrel Smith, Chair Space Physics August 27, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "The Need for Speed Dr. Darrel Smith, Chair Space Physics August 27, 2005 Dr. Darrel Smith, Chair Space Physics August 27, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Need for Speed Dr. Darrel Smith, Chair Space Physics August 27, 2005 Dr. Darrel Smith, Chair Space Physics August 27, 2005

2 The Year of Physics the year of discovery Einstein’s three papers 1.Brownian Motion 2.Photoelectric Effect * 3.Special Relativity the year of discovery Einstein’s three papers 1.Brownian Motion 2.Photoelectric Effect * 3.Special Relativity The Need for Speed

3 Special Relativity Base Units of Physics 1.Mass (kilogram) 2.Length (meter) 3.Time (second) Base Units of Physics 1.Mass (kilogram) 2.Length (meter) 3.Time (second) The Need for Speed

4 Special Relativity Einsteins two postulates: 1.The speed of light is a constant in all inertial frames. C = 299,792,458 m/s (186,000 miles/sec) 2.The law of physics are covariant between inertial frames. Einsteins two postulates: 1.The speed of light is a constant in all inertial frames. C = 299,792,458 m/s (186,000 miles/sec) 2.The law of physics are covariant between inertial frames. The Need for Speed

5 Special Relativity Implications of these two postulates: 1.Length Length Contraction 2.Time Time Dilation 3.Mass Mass Dilation Implications of these two postulates: 1.Length Length Contraction 2.Time Time Dilation 3.Mass Mass Dilation The Need for Speed 1 ≤  ≤  At rest at c

6 Special Relativity The Need for Speed 1 ≤  ≤  At rest at c Length Contraction Time Dilation Mass Dilation

7 Special Relativity The Need for Speed 1 ≤  ≤  At rest at c

8 Special Relativity The Need for Speed 1 ≤  ≤  At rest at c

9 Special Relativity The Need for Speed 1 ≤  ≤  At rest at c

10 Special Relativity The Need for Speed Paradox: a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true.

11 Special Relativity The Need for Speed 1 ≤  ≤  At rest at c Imagine the following: 1.Making the distances much longer, and 2.Making the speeds faster, but the  much higher.

12 Special Relativity The Need for Speed 1 ≤  ≤  At rest at c L 0 = 100,000 LY Astronaut experiences L = 1.00 LY  (age) = 1.00 year V = c

13 Special Relativity The Need for Speed 1 ≤  ≤  At rest at c Can we achieve these high speeds? In the laboratory, we’ve achieved v = c What about "real" spacecraft propulsion systems? 1.Nuclear-Thermal propulsion 2.Antimatter propulsion

14 Special Relativity The Need for Speed 1 ≤  ≤  At rest at c Can we achieve these high speeds? In the laboratory, we’ve achieved v = c What about "real" spacecraft propulsion systems? 1.Nuclear-Thermal propulsion 2.Antimatter propulsion

15 Spacecraft to Mars “and back” using chemical propulsion

16 Mars Landscape The Mars Rover

17 Mars Landscape The Mars Rover

18 Bone Loss Radiation Damage New Fuels How are we going to get to Mars? Long space missions with traditional “chemical” propulsion systems will have devastating effects on astronauts. Atomic, nuclear, and particle propulsion systems must be considered to reduce travel time.

19 Areas of Concentration Exotic Propulsion Systems Fusion Engines Plasma Engines

20 Areas of Concentration Exotic Propulsion Systems (cont’d) Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Antimatter Engines Ion-Compressed Antimatter Nuclear Engine Total Mission Duration (Days with 30 days on Surface)

21 Areas of Concentration Senior Labs Penning Trap to store antimatter

22 Areas of Concentration On the web:


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