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a) Evaluate the Michelson-Morley experiment. Include a diagram to help explain your 5

b) Why did the Michelson-Morley experiment fail to put an end to the belief in the Aether 2
among the scientific community?

c) What are 4 distinct characteristics of the Aether Model? 1

a) Describe the concept of the Principle of Relativity 1

b) Explain why the Aether model violates the Principle of Relativity 2

c) Explain Einstein’s proposed Special Theory of Relativity, including the thought 4

experiment and previous theories that were key to its development

3. A proton is travelling at 0.85c

a) Describe the implications of the Special Theory of Relativity on the time, length and 2
mass in the frame of reference of the proton

b) Calculate the mass of the proton at this velocity 2

c) Sketch a graph showing how the mass of the proton changes as its velocity increases 1

d) For all 3 relativistic effects, explain what the shape of this graph implies and discuss such 5
implications for space travel

4. In one of Einstein’s famous experiments, a passenger travels on a train that passes through a
station at 75% of the speed of light. According to the passenger, the length of the train
carriage is 28m from front to rear.

a) A light on the train carriage is switched on. Compare the velocity of the light beam as 1
seen by the passenger on the train and a rail worker on the station platform.

b) Calculate the length of the carriage as observed by the rail worker on the station platform. 2

c) The passenger and the rail worker measure different lengths for the train carriage. Explain 2
who is correct.

5. Outline evidence supporting Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity 4

6. A boy standing on train station platform observes a NLST (near light-speed transport) train 3
pass through the station. He observes the clocks on the train to be running slower than
normal. However, a girl on the train observes the boy’s watch, and notices that his watch is
running slower than the clocks on the train.

Account for the above situation with reference to the principle of relativity.

7. Assess the use of thought experiments in the development of our current understanding of 5

8. Consider the following ‘thought experiment’. 4

A scientist on board a spaceship wishes to synchronise two clocks. To achieve this, beams of
light from a source placed midway between the clocks activate photocells, turning on both

The scientist observed the synchronisation of the clocks as the rocket flies past Earth at 0.95c.
Does the person on Earth observe that the clocks are synchronised? Account for these

9. Harder Question

Astronauts on a long space journey are playing golf inside their spaceship, which is travelling 3
away from Earth with speed 0.6c. One of the astronauts hits a drive exactly along the length
of the spaceship (in its direction of travel) at speed of 0.1c in the frame of the spaceship.

What is the speed of the golf ball as measured from Earth?

(Ans. 0.664c)