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September 27.docx

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Shohini Ghose

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September 27, 2011 Why is the speed of light the cosmic speed limit? Why is it a big deal to break the speed of light barrier? What did scientists observe at CERN?  Einstein’s Theory of Relativity (1905)  General Theory of Relativity (1915)  Relativity of Motion o Motion is not absolute – we must measure speed of one object relative to one another  Reference Frames (Point of View): o Two or more objects which don’t move relative to each other share the same reference frame o Objects moving relative to one another are in different reference frames ex. Plane and the ground below o An inertial reference frame is one that is not accelerating. IT is at rest or moving at constant velocity o Motion can be defined with respect to a particular frame of reference  Speed of light “c” (300,000 km/s) speed of light is always the same, cannot increase or decrease  Rules of Special Relativity: o The laws of nature are the same in all inertial reference frames o The speed of light is the same in all inertial reference frames  Consequences of Special Relativity: o Time slows down for moving objects o Lengths shorten for moving objects o Mass of a moving object increases o Energy and mass are related o Simultaneity of events depends on your reference frame  Length Contraction: o The time taken to travel between two points is shorter to a moving observer because of time dilation o The length of the journey is thus contracted o Length contraction occurs along the direction of motion o Length contraction is symmetric  Mass Increase: o A force (push
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