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Einsteins Special Theory of Relativity

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Relative Motion ALL motion is relative Speeds are only measured in relation to other objects No way to determine in an inertial frame which objects are moving and which are at rest No universal reference point to which all motion is measured

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2 nd Postulate – The speed of light is constant. == C 1 st Postulate – All the laws of nature are the same in all uniformly moving frames or reference.

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The Light Clock == C

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Einstein proposed time depends on motion between the observer and the event being observed The clock has slowed down to our observation, but has not changed for the spaceship All physical processes, including heartbeat, slow down relative to a stationary clock when they occur in a moving frame.

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Time Dilation t 0 – Proper time (time measured by an observer at rest with the clock). t – Relativistic time (time measured in the moving system relative to the clock).

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Mass Dilation m 0 – Proper mass (mass measured by an observer at rest with the clock). m – Relativistic mass (mass measured in the moving system relative to the clock).

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Length Contraction L o – Proper length (length measured by the observer at rest with respect to the object). L – Relative length (length measured by the observer moving with respect to the object).

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Animation of Length Contraction Spaceship Moving at the 10 % the Speed of Light Spaceship Moving at the 86.5 % the Speed of Light Spaceship Moving at the 99 % the Speed of Light Spaceship Moving at the 99.99 % the Speed of Light

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Implications of the Postulates A rule of relativity is that changes due to alterations of space-time are always seen in the frame of reference of the the other guy. They see no change in their own frame.

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Special Theory of Relativity The purpose behind the theory was to address inconsistencies in Maxwells electromagnetic theory.

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