Students act out the classic light clock scenario for deriving time dilation.
This is a kinesthetic activity to help derive the expression for time dilation.
2 people are needed for this skit. It helpts to have each person toss a small ball in the air to represent a photon in the light clock.
Have one person walking with their light clock and one person standing still with their light clock.
“For each light clock, consider two events: the photon is emitted and the photon is detected. How would each person describe these events for a tick of my light clock? For hers?
How do the time intervals for your light clock in (1) your reference frame \(\Delta t\) and (2) your friend's reference frame \(\Delta t'\) compare?
assignment_ind Small White Board Question
10 min.
group Small Group Activity
30 min.
energy conservation mass conservation collision
Groups are asked to analyze the following standard problem:
Two identical lumps of clay of (rest) mass m collide head on, with each moving at 3/5 the speed of light. What is the mass of the resulting lump of clay?
assignment Homework
computer Computer Simulation
30 min.
group Small Group Activity
30 min.
group Small Group Activity
30 min.
face Lecture
120 min.
Planck distribution blackbody radiation photon statistical mechanics
These notes from the fourth week of Thermal and Statistical Physics cover blackbody radiation and the Planck distribution. They include a number of small group activities.assignment_ind Small White Board Question
10 min.
Special Relativity Spacetime Diagrams Worldlines Postulates of Relativity
Student consider several curves on a spacetime diagram and have to judge which curves could be worldlines for an object.group Small Group Activity
10 min.