Header and Image Map

Lesson 2: Time Dilation

Lesson 1: Relativity - What is it?

  1. Fermilab's Time Dilation Challenge.
  2. The Basics of Relativity (6 seconds)
  3. The Relativity Game - Challenge what you know!

Note: For Fermilab's Time Dilation Challenge and The Relativity Game, you need Shockwave. You may painlessly Download Shockwave here if you do not have it.

Lesson 2: Time Dilation

  1. The equation.
  2. Where does that come from?
  3. I still don't get it! Give me the basketball analogy.
  4. So what? There's an equation. How do I use the equation in the game?
  5. Practice Problems.
  6. Examples to aid your practice.

Lesson 3 : Relativistic Mass

  1. The equation.
  2. Where does that come from?
  3. I still don't get it! Give me the space pool analogy.
  4. So what? There's an equation. How do I use the equation in the game?
  5. Practice Problems.
  6. Examples to aid your practice.

Lesson 4 : Length Contraction

  1. The equation.
  2. Where does that come from?
  3. I still don't get it! Give me the pole and the barn analogy.
  4. So what? There's an equation. How do I use the equation in the game?
  5. Practice Problems.
  6. Examples to aid your practice.

Where does that come from?

Let's consider a hugh clock 300,000,000 meters high (obviously not drawn to scale below). A light pulse goes down and up on the clock reflecting off mirrors on the bottom and top of the clock. We are going to consider the clock while the light clock itself moves to the right with a velocity of 150,000,000 m/s.

The mover will see himself as stationary and will see the light pulse go straight down and straight up.

The stationary observer will see the clock move down and to the right.

Because of the postulate that light travels at a constant speed, the time observed for the light pulse to travel down to an observer riding with the clock (the mover for the mover) would be different that the time measured for the pulse to travel down and over as measured by an outsided frame (the stationary frame for the mover).

Tell me more about these light clocks...I just don't quite follow.

I'm ready, Show me the derivation of the time equation that predicts the times as measured by these two different frames.

Lesson 2: Time Dilation

  1. The equation.
  2. Where does that come from?
  3. I still don't get it! Give me the basketball analogy.
  4. So what? There's an equation. How do I use the equation in the game?
  5. Practice Problems.
  6. Examples to aid your practice.

 


© Brian Wegley, 1998
Comments and suggestions can be sent by e-mail to
Brian Wegley of Glenbrook South High School..
This page last updated on 7/23/98.