Einstein's Way Cool Notion of Motion:
This workshop introduces Einstein's special theory of relativity using
nothing more complicated
than high school geometry and trigonometry. We will use the theory to resolve
several of the so-called paradoxes that relativity gives rise to.
Workshop Outline: We begin with a historical
treatment of motion, and will see what led Einstein
to his postulate that the speed of light is constant. Using this, we next
study which notions of relative motion must be altered to be consistent with
Einstein's postulate. In particular, we will learn how to measure distance
hyperbolas rather than circles. This will lead us to the Lorentz
transformations, which can then be
used to solve the twin paradox, to solve the problem of combat in space, and
to observe what happens to relativistic skateboarders. At the end, we will
discover that the theory
of special relativity is incomplete, and we will discuss the concept of
measuring distance in the presence of accelerations (such as those due
Brian's online workshop material.
Check out our list of related web sites.
We watched the video clips at the workshop from the following
video tape: "The Mechanical Universe... And Beyond (Part II)", segments 41-44.
[From the Annenberg/CPB Collection] At the workshop we discussed the
same topics as in segments 41-43. The video clips use cartoon animation,
and excellent dialogue to explain some of the features of special