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Inertial Frame of Reference

A frame of reference where Newtons Laws of Motion

hold true.
FRAMES OF REFERENCE
Non-inertial Frame of Reference
A frame of reference that is at rest or moving with
constant velocity is an inertial frame of reference.
A frame of reference where Newtons Laws of Motion
seem to be violated.
A frame of reference that is accelerating is a non- inertial
frame of reference.
1
st
POSTULATE: The Principle of
Relativity
The laws of physics are the
same in all inertial frames of
reference.
SPECIAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY (STR)
2
nd
POSTULATE: The Constancy
of the Speed of Light
The speed of light in vacuum
is the same in all frames of reference
and is independent of the motion of
the source,
1. Events that are simultaneous for one observer may not be
simultaneous for another observer.
IMPLICATIONS OF THE STR
2. When observers moving relative to each other measure time,
they may not get the same result.
3. When observers moving relative to each other measure
length, they may not get the same result.
4. Newtons 2
nd
Law, and equations for conservation of
momentum and energy may have to be revised.
1
st
POSTULATE: The Principle of Relativity
The laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames
of reference.
(a) Current is produced in the
stationary coil by a moving
nearby magnet.
(b) Current is produced in the
coil by moving it through a
stationary magnet.
2
nd
POSTULATE: The Constancy of the Speed of Light
The speed of light in vacuum is the same in all frames
of reference and is independent of the motion of the source.
2
nd
POSTULATE: The Constancy of the Speed of Light
The speed of light in vacuum is the same in all frames
of reference and is independent of the motion of the source.
2
nd
POSTULATE: The Constancy of the Speed of Light
It is impossible for an inertial observer to travel at the
speed of light in vacuum.
c v
S S
=
/ '
Assume that the spaceship is travelling at c and then emits a light beam.
According to Newton/Galileo: The observer on earth (S) would observe
that the spaceship and the light move together (and are always at the same
point in space).
According to Einstein: The observer on the spaceship (S) would observe
that the light beam travels with a speed c relative to him (they cannot be at
the same point in space).
The Galilean Coordinate Transformation
Consider two inertial frames S and S with S moving with
constant velocity u (in the +x direction) relative to S and that their
origins O and O coincide at t = t = 0.
Consider a particle P
launched in S.
S and S are separated at a later time by a distance equal to
ut .
The Galilean Coordinate Transformation
The position of the particle relative to S is x and its position
relative to S is x, so that
x = x + ut
The velocity of the particle relative to S is v
x
and its velocity
relative to S is v
x
, so that
v
x
= v
x
+ u
v
x
=
dx
dt
v
x
=
dx
dt
The Galilean Coordinate Transformation
Suppose the particle is the light beam launched from S.
c = c + u
The velocity of the light beam relative to S is c and its
velocity relative to S is c, so that
This is impossible according to Einsteins 2
nd
Postulate.
Whats wrong?
v
x
=
dx
dt
v
x
=
dx
dt
The Galilean relativity (incorrectly) assumes that both
frames of reference use the same time scale, and that the velocities
are defined as
Relativity of Simultaneity
v
x
=
dx
dt
v
x
=
dx
dt
According to Einstein, the correct definition of velocities
should be
The reference frame S uses a different time scale.
In any given frame of reference, an event is an occurrence that
has a definite position and time.
Definition of Simultaneous Events
In any given frame of reference, two events are said to be
simultaneous if they occur at the same time.
Two events that are simultaneous in a given frame of
reference are NOT simultaneous in another frame moving relative to
the first even if both frames are inertial frames.
Relativity of Time Intervals
Consider an observer (Mavis) on a reference frame S moving
with a velocity u (where u < c) relative to another reference frame S.
She measures the time interval
At
o
between 2 events.
Event 1: A flash of light leaves a source
at O.
Event 2: The flash returns to O after
having been reflected from mirror a
distance d away.
At
o
=
2d
c
The time interval At
o
between 2 events as measured by Mavis
is
Relativity of Time Intervals
Consider an observer (Stanley) on reference frame S
observing the same 2 events.
He measures a
different time interval At
between 2 events.
At =
2l
c
2
2
2
|
.
|

\
|
A
+ =
t u
d l
where,
How are At
o
and At related?
2
2
2
2 2
|
.
|

\
|
A
+ = = A
t u
d
c c
l
t
but
2
o
t c
d
A
=
As measured by Stanley in S,
2 2
2 2
2
|
.
|

\
|
A
+
|
.
|

\
|
A
= A
t u t c
c
t
o
(
(

|
.
|

\
|
A
+
|
.
|

\
|
A
= A
2 2
2
2
2 2
4 t u t c
c
t
o
( )
(

|
|
.
|

\
|
A
+ A = A
2
2 2
2
2
c
t u
t t
o
2
2
2 2
2
o
t
c
t u
t A =
A
A
2
2
2 2
2
o
t
c
t u
t A =
A
A
2
2
2
2
1
o
t
c
u
t A =
|
|
.
|

\
|
A
2
2
1
c
u
t
t
o

A
= A
TIME DILATION
Since
( )
2 2
/ 1 c u
is always less than 1, Stanley
measures a longer time interval At than At
o
for Mavis.
Observers measure a clock to run slow if it moves relative to them.
PROPER TIME At
o

There is only one frame of reference where a clock is at rest.
The time interval measured by a clock in the rest frame is called the
proper time At
o
.
The time interval between two events that occur in the same point
in space is proper time At
o
.
The time interval between two events that occur in different points
in space is dilated time At.
The time interval measured by a clock outside the rest frame is
called the dilated time At.
Albert Einstein has a twin
brother William, who left the
earth aboard a spaceship that
travels at a speed close to the
speed of light (while Albert stays
on earth).
Albert observes that since
William is moving, Williams
clock is ticking slower. Albert
concludes that William will be
younger when he returns to
earth.
William observes that
Albert is moving (and he is the
one at rest) and Alberts clock is
ticking slower. William
concludes that Albert will be
younger when he returns to
earth.
Who is correct?
The twins are NOT
identical in all respects.
Albert remains in an
approximately inertial frame (the
earth) at all times.
William must accelerate
relative to earth in order to
earth. Williams frame of
reference is not inertial.
Alberts observation is
correct. When William returns,
he is younger than Albert.
(a) The two events occurred at the same point in space as observed by
the Martian, so the Martian measures the proper time.
(b) As observed by the pilot, the two events occurred at two different
points in space.
s
s
c
u
t
t
o

435
985 . 0 1
75
1
2
2
2
=

A
= A
(a) The time interval that you
measured is
s
c
m x
t 500 . 0
8 . 0
10 2 . 1
8
= = A
The time interval that the
pilot measured is
s s t
o
300 . 0 8 . 0 1 ) 500 . 0 (
2
= = A
(b) m x s c
7
10 2 . 7 ) 300 . 0 )( 8 . 0 ( =
The proper time At
o
is measured by the clock on the space
probe.
At is the time that
elapses as measured in the earth
frame. The distance 42.2 ly is
measured in the earth frame.
y
c
ly
t 6 . 42
9910 . 0
2 . 42
= = A
y y t
o
70 . 5 9910 . 0 1 ) 6 . 42 (
2
= = A
The biological age of the astronaut would be 19 y + 5.70 y
= 24.70 y!
Relativity of Length
Mavis measures the length of the meterstick to be l
o
since it is in
her rest frame S. A light source is attached at one end of the meterstick
and a mirror at the other end.
Consider an observer (Mavis) on a reference frame S moving
with a velocity u (where u < c) relative to another reference frame S.
The time interval for the back and forth motion of the light (as
measured by Mavis )is At
o
.
At
o
=
2l
o

c
Relativity of Length
As observed by Stanley on the
platform (S), the meterstick is moving relative
to him with a velocity u and he measures its
length to be l.
On the way to the mirror, light travels a distance
d
1
= l + uAt
1

On the way back to the source, light travels a distance
d
2
= l - uAt
2

Relativity of Length
1 1
t u l d A + =
1 1
t c d A =
1 1
t c t u l A = A +
u c
l
t

= A
1
On the way to the mirror:
On the way back to the source:
2 2
t u l d A =
2 2
t c d A =
2 2
t c t u l A = A
u c
l
t
+
= A
2
Relativity of Length
2 1
t t t A + A = A
The total time of travel is
u c
l
u c
l
t
+
+

= A
|
|
.
|

\
|

= A
2
2
1
2
c
u
c
l
t
Recall:
2
2
1
c
u
t t
o
A = A
c
l
t
o
o
2
= A
2
2
1
2
c
u
t
c
l
o
A =
2
2
2
2
1
2
1
2
c
u
c
l
c
u
c
l
o

=
|
|
.
|

\
|

2
2
1
2
c
u
c
l
t
o

= A
Relativity of Length: Length Contraction
2
2
1
c
u
l l
o
=
Observers measure an object to be shorter (than when measured
in its rest frame) if it moves relative to them.
2
2
2
2
1
1
c
u
l
c
u
l
o

=
|
|
.
|

\
|

The length of a body measured in a frame in which the body is
at rest is called the proper length (l
o
).
The length of a body measured in any frame moving relative to
the frame in which the body is at rest is called the contracted length
(l).
Length Contraction
There is no contraction of lengths perpendicular to the direction
of motion.
2
2
1
c
u
l l
o
=
2
2
1
c
u
l
l
o

=
The length of the moving spacecraft as measured on Coruscant is l
= 74.0 m.
m
m
c
c
l
l
o
5 . 92
8 . 0
0 . 74
) 6 . 0 (
1
2
2
= =

=
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
2
2
2
2
1
c
u
l l
o
2
2
2
2
1
c
u
l
l
o
=
2
2
2
2
1
o
l
l
c
u
=
2
2
2
1 c
l
l
u
o
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
c c u 9524 . 0
1
3048 . 0
1
2
2
2
=
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
s m x u / 10 86 . 2
8
=
(a) The scientist measures the distance 45km in his rest frame, so l
o
=
45.0km. The time as measured by the scientist is
s x
c
km
t
4
10 51 . 1
99540 . 0
45

= = A
(b) The distance as measured in the particles frame is contracted
length, so
km
c
c
km l 31 . 4
) 99540 . 0 (
1 45
2
2
= =
(c) The time as measured in the particles frame is
s x
c
km
t
o
5
10 44 . 1
99540 . 0
31 . 4

= = A
Also,
( ) s x s x t
o
5 2 4
10 44 . 1 99540 . 0 1 10 51 . 1

= = A
The side of the cube parallel to the direction of motion is
contracted.
2
2
1 '
c
u
a a =
The volume of the cube as measured in S is
( )
2
2
3
2
2
2
1 1 '
c
u
a
c
u
a a V =
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
2
2
1
c
u
a b =
2
2
1 40 . 1
c
u
b b =
c c u 700 . 0
40 . 1
1
1
2
2
=
|
.
|

\
|
=
s m x u / 10 10 . 2
8
=
2. A new planet Jretsim is 20 lightyears from Earth.
Jasper boards his Spaceship Astign from Earth and
zips to Jretsim at 80.0% the speed of light. After 10
years (on Earth), Kilroy boards his newer Spaceship
Aguro and flies to Jretsim. If Kilroy and Jasper arrive
at Jretsim at the same time, how fast is Spaceship
Aguro?
The Lorentz Coordinate Transformation
Consider two inertial frames S and S with S moving with
constant velocity u (in the +x direction) relative to S and that their
origins O and O coincide at t = t = 0.
When an event at coordinates (x, y, z) happens in S at time t
as observed in S, what are the coordinates (x, y, z) and time t of
the same event as observed in S?
2
2
1 '
c
u
x ut x + =
2
2
1 ' '
c
u
x ut x + =
2
2
1
'
c
u
ut x
x

=
2
2
2
2
1 '
1
c
u
x ut
c
u
ut x
+ =

As observed in S:
As observed in S:
Equating the
two:
The Lorentz Coordinate Transformation
2
2
1
'
c
u
ut x
x

=
2
2
2
1
/
'
c
u
c ux t
t

=
where: x is the position measured in S.
x is the position measured in S.
t is the time measured in S.
t is the time measured in S.
u is the velocity of S relative to S.
NOTE: If u 0, x = x and t = t
y = y and z = z
2
2
1
'
c
u
udt dx
dx

=
2
2
2
1
/
'
c
u
c udx dt
dt

=
The Lorentz Velocity Transformation
Consider a particle that moves a distance dx in a time dt as
measured in S.
In frame S, the particle moves a distance dx in a time dt.
2
/ '
'
c udx dt
udt dx
dt
dx

=
dt
dx
c
u
u
dt
dx
dt
dx
2
1
'
'

=
x
x
x
v
c
u
u v
v
2
1
'

=
The Lorentz Velocity Transformation
x
x
x
v
c
u
u v
v
2
1
'

=
x
x
x
v
c
u
u v
v
' 1
'
2
+
+
=
where: v
x
is the velocity of the particle measured in S.
Anything moving with velocity equal to c in frame S is also
moving with a velocity c in S.
v
x
is the velocity of the particle measured in S.
NOTE: If u and v
x
<< c, v
x
= v
x
u and v
x
= v
x
+ u
If v
x
= c, v
x
= c
Anything moving with velocity less than c in frame S is
also moving with a velocity less than c in S.
(a)
c
c
c
c
c c
v
c
u
u v
v
x
x
x
806 . 0
) 400 . 0 (
600 . 0
1
600 . 0 400 . 0
' 1
'
2 2
=
+
+
=
+
+
=
(b)
c
c
c
c
c c
v
c
u
u v
v
x
x
x
974 . 0
) 900 . 0 (
600 . 0
1
600 . 0 900 . 0
' 1
'
2 2
=
+
+
=
+
+
=
u = 0.650c, v
x
=- 0.950c
Let S be the laboratorys frame and S the 1
st
particles frame.
=
+
+
=
+
+
=
) c 950 . 0 (
c
c 650 . 0
1
c 650 . 0 c 950 . 0
' v
c
u
1
u ' v
v
2
x
2
x
x
- 0.784c
Let S be the starfighters frame and S the enemy ships frame.
c u 400 . 0 =
c v
x
700 . 0 ' =
(a)
c
c
c
c
c c
v
c
u
u v
v
x
x
x
859 . 0
) 700 . 0 (
400 . 0
1
400 . 0 700 . 0
' 1
'
2 2
=
+
+
=
+
+
=
(b)
s
c
m x
v
x
t
x
0 . 31
859 . 0
10 00 . 8
9
= = =
Relativistic Momentum
Suppose a particle is at rest in a reference frame. The mass
of the particle measured in this frame is called its rest mass m
o
.
When the particle is moving with a velocity v, its relativistic
momentum is
2
2
1
c
v
v m
p
o

=
If v << c, p = m
o
v
If v c, p
2
2
1
c
v
m
m
o

=
Relativistic Mass
If v << c, m = m
o

If v c, m
Momentum is not directly
proportional to velocity!!!
Relativistic Kinetic Energy (K)
If v c, K
Total Energy (E)
2
2
2
2
1
c m
c
v
c m
K
o
o

=
2
2
2
1
c
v
c m
E
o

=
2
c m E
o o
=
where m
o
c
2
is called the rest energy
E
o
.
If v << c, K = mv
2

2
c m K E
o
+ =
2
2
2
2
1
c m K
c
v
c m
o
o
+ =