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Lesson 4: Length Contraction

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.

Practice Problems

Question 1:

A space ship with a length of 100 meters would have what length if it were traveling at 0.67 c?

Question 2:

A space ship travels to Alpha Centuri which is about 4 light years away from earth. How far does this distance appear to you if you are on a space ship traveling at 0.99 c?

Question 3:

How long would it take according to your watch to travel to Alpha Centuri at 0.99 c? (See Question 2)

Question 4:

A space ship is observed to be 45 meters long while at rest on the earth. As it passes the earth, it appears to be 8 meters long. How fast is the ship traveling?

Question 5:

What would be the length of the 45 meter space ship in Question 4 if it were to travel at c?

 

Internet Links:

What? Magnets are held up because of Relativistic Length Contraction?

Lesson 4: Length Contraction

  1. The equation.
  2. Where does that come from?
  3. I still don't get it! Give me the Alpha Centuri example.
  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.