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You are on page 1of 35

What Is Light?

There were two contradicting theories as to the nature of light:

Newton must be right!? diffraction/interference wave-particle duality

The Aether

Space is permeated by an invisible lumineferous aether

(light-bearing medium)

The Michelson-Morley Experiment

Test for the presence of an aether using an interferometer

A is a half-silvered mirror B

B/C are mirrors speed c – v

O is a detector

C

incoming light v ms-1 relative

to the aether

1 A

d d 2 d v 2

t ACA 1 2 speed c + v

cv cv c c

O

12

2d v

2

d

t ABA 1

c2

t ACA t ABA

c

Light at O should be phase -shifted, but no phase shift was observed

Maxwell’s Predictions

Electric and magnetic fields interact

changing E-Field

E-Field B-Field

changing B-Field

propagate through a vacuum at a constant speed c

00

What Has Gone Wrong?

Consider a train:

v ms-1

u ms-1

Galilean velocity

transformation

The resultant velocity of the person is u + v

The resultant velocity of the light is c not c + v

Is Maxwell wrong? Are Michelson and Morley ’s results wrong?

Or is Galileo wrong?

Einstein’s Postulates

We can now state two postulates:

reference

frames of reference

Frames Of Reference

A frame of reference is the coordinate system of an observer

y y y

v ms-1 a ms-2

x x x

z z z

stationary frame frame moving at accelerating frame

constant velocity v

a gravitational field

The Galilean Transformation

Consider two inertial frames, S and S’

y y’

S S’

v ms-1

x x’

object in

z z’ frame S’

The time measured at any instant is the same in both frames

The x-coordinate is constant in S’, but changes in S

The Galilean Transformation

At a time t, the x-axis of S’is a distance vt from the x-axis of S

y y' x ' x vt

z z' Galilean Transformation y' y

t t' z' z

The transformation from S to S ’ t' t

A New Transformation…

The Galilean transformation contradicts Einstein’s second postulate

A Thought Experiment

Alice is on a long train journey, and is rather bored

What is the time interval between a pulse leaving and

returning to the torch? (Proper time)

2d

t

c

A Thought Experiment

Bob is standing on platform 9 ¾ and watches Alice in the train

d l l v ms-1

vt’

9¾

What is the time interval t’ in Bob’s frame of reference?

2 2

v t ' 2l 2 v t '

l d2 t ' d2

2 c c 2 t

t '

2

v

d

c t

t '

2

2 c t v t '

2

1 2

c

2 c 2 2

The Lorentz Factor

The factor is the Lorentz Factor

1

(v )

For v << c, (v) = 1 v2

1 2

As v tends to c, (v) tends to infinity c

1

0 c

Speed / ms -1

Time Dilation

t ' t

1

v2

1 2

c

intervals are the same for the body and the observer

intervals appear longer to the observer (Dilated time)

normally for you, but will speed up around you

The Twin Paradox

Once upon a time there were two twins …

Bill Ben

When Ben returns, which of the twins is oldest?

Bill thinks he will be older, as Ben travelled very fast away fr om him

Ben thinks he will be older, as Bill travelled very fast away fr om him

Who is right?

Bill is older, because he stayed in the same inertial frame, but Ben

had to accelerate in the rocket

The viewpoints are not identical

Length Contraction

How do lengths appear in a different frame?

1

L L0

1

2

v

1

c2

the body will appear shorter to the observer, in the direction of v

How do you measure your velocity?

It is meaningless to have an absolute velocity

same speed (c) relative to any frame

The Lorentz Transformation

We can now derive a relativistic transformation

y y’

S S’

v ms-1

x x’

z z’ in the frame S

From the Galilean transformation, x = x’+ vt

But in frame S, x’is length-contracted to -1x’

x'

x vt x ' x vt

The Lorentz Transformation

To get the time transformation is a little trickier

Notice that the transformations are linear

x' x

x vt x ' vt '

x ' x vt

x

( x vt ) vt '

vx

Lorentz time transformation t ' t 2

c

The Lorentz Transformation

We can now state the full Lorentz Transformation :

x ' x vt

x ' x vt

y' y

y' y

z' z v << c

z' z

vx

t ' t 2 t' t

c

This satisfies the conditions for the transformation

Can We Go Faster Than Light?

From Newton’s Second Law, F = ma (constant mass)

So if we provide a continuous force, we can achieve v > c

But momentum must be conserved

p mv p m 0 v

relativistic momentum

The factor in effect increases the mass, as v increases

A greater force is needed to provide the same acceleration

To reach the speed of light, an infinite force would be required

9. Relativity

The principle of Newtonian Relativity

• Inertial frame

:The frame is moving with a constant velocity v.

y y´

v v î

x x´

z z´

x x vt

y y

Galilean transformation of Coordinates

z z

t t

d x dx

u x v u x v

d t dt

u y u y

u z u z

9-5. The Lorentz Transformation Equations

( x , y , z , t) ( x , y , z , t )

x ( x vt )

y y´

y y

P

z z

v

O x O´ x´ t t 2

x

v c

z z´

x ( x v t )

y y When v << c ,

z z

2 2

v c 1 1

v x x vt

t t x

c 2 y y

z z

c t ct

Galilean transformation

x x v t

v s s

t t x

c 2

x ( x v t )

s s

v

t t x

c 2

• Velocity

d x d x ( dx vdt )

u x

d t v

d t dt dx

dx vdt c 2

v

dt dx

c 2

u x v

u x

v

1 2

u x

c

u u

u y

y

, u z z

u u

1 x

v 1 x

2

v

c 2

c

If v , u x c

u x u x v u y u y u z u z

If u x c

c v

u x c

1 v c

u x v u y u z

u u u z

x

u x v

y

v u x v u x

1 1 1

c 2 c 2

c 2

Example 9.5 Relative velocity of Spaceship

v = 0.75c v = -0.85c

A B

Velocity of B with respect to A? v = 0.75c

ux = -0.85c

u v 0 . 85 c 0 . 75 c

u x x

0 . 98 c

1

u xv 1 0 . 85 0 . 75

c 2

9-6. Relativistic Momentum and Newton ’s Laws

Newtonian mometum p m u is not conserved !!

But a momentum

p must be conserved

in all collisions.

p m u u 0

as

The relativistic momentum is defined as

p

1 u

m u

2

2

m u

1 u

2

c 2 1

2

c

d u u d u d u

m mu m

d p dt c 2

dt dt

F 3 / 2

3 / 2

dt u 2

u 2

u 2

1 2 1 1

c c 2

c 2

3

m a

9-7. Relativistic Energy

x x m du dt u mu

1 1

2

W F dx x

dx du

x 1 0

u 2

c 2

3 / 2 0

u 2

c 2

3 / 2

2

mc 2

mc

2

u

1 2

c

2

mc 2 2 2

K mc mc mc

2

u

1 2

c

At low velocity

1

1 x 2

1

2

1

2

x 2

x 1

1

v 2

2

1 v 2

1 2

1 2

c 2 c

1 v 2

1 Newtonian Kinetic

K mc 2

1 2

mc 2

mv 2

2 c 2 Energy

Total Energy 2

2 2 mc

E mc K mc

2

v

1 2

c

Rest Energy

2 4

2 2 2 4 c m

E m c 2

u

1 2

c

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

p c ( mc ) m u c ( mc ) m c ( u c )

u 2

m 2

c 4

1 2

2

c

u 2 u 2

2 1

2 u c 2 c 2

2

1 2

c 2

u

1

c 2

2 2 2 2 2

E p c ( mc )

If m 0

E pc ; Photon

Rest Energy

m e c 2

0 . 511 MeV ; Electron

2

m p c 938 MeV ; Proton

2

m n c 940 MeV ; Neutron

9-8. Mass as a Measure of Energy

L Momentum conservation

p E v c

c

L Mv E

c

v

c v E t L

Mc c

EL

x v t 2

Mc

m k L M x

M x M EL E

m k 2

L L Mc c 2

2

E m k c

If a body gives off the energy E in the form of radiation,

its mass diminishes by E/c 2.

Conservation of mass-energy

2

2 mu

E t mc

2

1 u 2

c

Lorentz Relative Velocity

Two spaceships are approaching each other at the same speeds (0. 99c) relative to the Earth.

Find the speed of one spaceship relative to the other .

Let frame S be the rest frame of the Earth and frame S’ be the spaceship moving at speed v

to the right relative to the Earth. The 2nd spaceship moving to the left is then a “particle”

moving at speed u relative to the earth. Now, find the speed u’ of this 2nd spaceship in the S’

reference frame.

v = 0.99c ux = – 0.99c

y S’

S = earth

x

ux v 0.99c 0.99c

1.98c

ux' 0.99995c

1 vux c2 1 0.99c0.99c c2 1.9801

Note that the oncoming spaceship approaches at less than the speed of light, as

must be true.

MUON DECAY

• Why do we observe muons created in the upper atmosphere on earth?

– Given its ~2 s lifetime, it should travel only ~ 600 m at 0.998 c.

• Need relativity to explain!

– In muon’s S’ frame, it sees a shorter length. (Length contraction)

– In our S frame, we see a longer lifetime of ~ 30 s. (Time dilation)

Earth’s S frame

Muon’s S’ frame

~30 s

~2 s

Contracted Length Proper Length

EXERCISE

A spaceship departs from earth (v = 0.995c) for a star which is 100 light-years

away. Find how long it takes to arrive there according to someone on earth (t1)

and to someone on the spaceship (t2).

x 100 c yr

t1 earth 100.5 yr

v 0.995 c

where x is measured from the earth's reference frame (S frame)

For t2, remember that the spaceship sees a “contracted” distance x’.

1 1 x 100 c yr

10.01 x ' 9.99 c yr

1 v2 c2 2 10.01

1 0.995

x ' 9.99 c yr

t2 ship 10.04 yr

v 0.995 c

Note that someone on the ship thinks it takes only 10% of the ti me to reach the star

as someone from the earth believes it takes. This is why we say the clock on the

ship “runs slow” compared to the clock on the earth.

DOPPLER EFFECT

• Doppler shift causes change in measured frequency.

Doppler Shift

– When a light source moves towards an observer, the light

frequency is shifted higher (i.e. blue shift).

– When a light source moves away from an observer, the light

frequency is shifted lower (i.e. red shift).

– Only difference with “classical” Doppler shift for sound is the

incorporation of time dilation (causes square root factor).

1 v / c

f obs f source

1 v / c

Note: For a receding source, switch signs.

Doppler Shift Exercise

The light from a nearby star is observed to be shifted toward th e red by 5% (f =

0.95 f o). Is the star approaching or receding from the earth? How fast is it

moving?

Answer:

The star is receding the earth because the frequency is shifted to a lower value.

f 1 v

where f 0.95 f o and solve for

fo 1 c

f f o 1 1 f 1 f f o 1

2 2 2

fo

1 f fo 1 0.95 f o f o

2 2

0.0975

1 f fo 1 0.95 f o f o

2 2

1.9025

0.0512 (1.54 1 07 m/s)

Speed of Light

Speed of Light Examples

An observer is moving at speed c toward a light source. Find

the speed of light measured by the observer.

v = -c

y

S’

photon ux = c

x

S = earth

ux v c c

2c

ux' c

2 2

1 vux c 1 c c c 2

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