Students practice identifying whether events on spacetime diagrams are simultaneous, colocated, or neither for different observers. Then students decide which of two events occurs first in two different reference frames.
Which pairs of events (if any) are simultaneous in the unprimed frame?
Which pairs of events (if any) are simultaneous in the primed frame?
Which pairs of events (if any) are colocated in the unprimed frame?
Which pairs of events (if any) are colocated in the primed frame?
Which event occurs first in the unprimed frame?
Which event occurs first in the primed frame?
assignment Homework
Which pairs of events (if any) are simultaneous in the unprimed frame?
Which pairs of events (if any) are simultaneous in the primed frame?
Which pairs of events (if any) are colocated in the unprimed frame?
Which pairs of events (if any) are colocated in the primed frame?
Which event occurs first in the unprimed frame?
Which event occurs first in the primed frame?
accessibility_new Kinesthetic
5 min.
Special Relativity Time Dilation Light Clock Kinesthetic Activity
Students act out the classic light clock scenario for deriving time dilation.assignment_ind Small White Board Question
10 min.
face Lecture
30 min.
assignment Homework
Consider two noninteracting systems \(A\) and \(B\). We can either treat these systems as separate, or as a single combined system \(AB\). We can enumerate all states of the combined by enumerating all states of each separate system. The probability of the combined state \((i_A,j_B)\) is given by \(P_{ij}^{AB} = P_i^AP_j^B\). In other words, the probabilities combine in the same way as two dice rolls would, or the probabilities of any other uncorrelated events.
group Small Group Activity
30 min.
assignment Homework
Consider a very light particle of mass \(\mu\) scattering from a very heavy, stationary particle of mass \(M\). The force between the two particles is a repulsive Coulomb force \(\frac{k}{r^2}\). The impact parameter \(b\) in a scattering problem is defined to be the distance which would be the closest approach if there were no interaction (See Figure). The initial velocity (far from the scattering event) of the mass \(\mu\) is \(\vec v_0\). Answer the following questions about this situation in terms of \(k\), \(M\), \(\mu\), \(\vec v_0\), and \(b\). (It is not necessarily wise to answer these questions in order.)
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
See also the following more detailed problem and solution: Effective Potentials: Graphical Version
An electron is moving on a two dimension surface with a radially symmetric electrostatic potential given by the graph below:
group Small Group Activity
30 min.
vector calculus coordinate systems curvilinear coordinates
In this small group activity, students are given a picture as a guide. They then write down an algebraic expression for the vector differential in different coordinate systems (cartesian, cylindrical, spherical).
Use Vector Differential--Rectangular as an introduction. This activity can be done simultaneously with Pineapples and Pumpkins where students or the instructor cut volume elements out of pineapples and/or pumpkins to show the geometry.