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Lesson 3: Relativistic Length

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: 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.

Lesson 4: 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.

Question Answer Choice d - 3.46 light years:

Excellent work! You got it. All you have to do is realize that 4 light years is the distance in the earth's frame which is the length for the mover by the mover, Lo. We want to determine the distance in the ship's frame, which is the length of the mover by the stationary frame, L.

Your work should resemble mine that is shown below!

Therefore, the earth measures the distance to be 4 light years, and the space ship measures the distance to be 3.46 light years.

Back to Alpha Centuri example

Lesson 3: 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.