About This Chapter
Who's it for?
Anyone who needs help learning or mastering classical relativity will benefit from the lessons in this chapter. There is no faster or easier way to learn about this physics topic. Among those who would benefit are:
- Students who have fallen behind in understanding distance calculations, time dilations, and the relationship between mass and energy
- Students who struggle with learning disabilities or learning differences, including autism and ADHD
- Students who prefer multiple ways of learning physics (visual or auditory)
- Students who have missed class time and need to catch up
- Students who need an efficient way to learn about classical relativity
- Students who struggle to understand their teachers
- Students who attend schools without extra physics learning resources
How It Works:
- Find videos in our course that cover what you need to learn or review.
- Press play and watch the video lesson.
- Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
- Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
- Verify you're ready by completing the classical relativity chapter exam.
Why it works:
- Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
- Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
- Be Ready on Test Day: Use the classical relativity chapter exam to be prepared.
- Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any classical relativity question. They're here to help!
- Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.
Students Will Review
This chapter helps students review the concepts in a classical relativity unit of a standard college physics course. Topics covered include:
- Time and distance as relative concepts depending on the observer
- Using light to demonstrate how classical relativity works
- Clarification of time dilation and real-world examples
- The phenomenon of space contraction with faster moving objects
- The interchangeable relationship of energy and mass
- Different examples and theories of both special and general relativity
1. Classical Relativity: Distance and Time Relation to the Observer
It is not enough to ask how fast something is moving. We must ask how fast something is moving relative to something else. This lesson describes how classical relativity is used to explain how speed is relative to the state of motion of the object and the observer. Examples are used to help understand classical relativity.
2. Light and Relativity: Breakdown of Classical Relativity with Light Example
The speed of light is constant regardless of the source of the light or the position of the observer. However, the components of speed - distance and time - are relative to speed. This lesson uses examples to explain how the relativity of distance and time accounts for the constant speed of light.
3. Time Dilation: Description, Explanation & Examples
Time slows down for objects in motion. While this effect is not noticeable in everyday experience, it becomes apparent at speeds approaching the speed of light. This lesson defines this phenomenon as time dilation. Examples are used to help explain how time is relative to speed.
4. Space Contraction: Shortening Distance for Fast Moving Objects
The length of a moving object decreases in the same direction it travels. This phenomenon is referred to as space or length contraction. Scientists have proven that space contraction occurs and becomes more prominent at speeds close to the speed of light. This lesson uses examples to explain space contraction and describes how space contraction accounts, in part, for the constant speed of light.
5. Mass and Energy: Description and Interchangeable Relationship
Einstein used E = mc^2 to prove that mass and energy are relative to each other. This lesson describes how energy can be converted into mass and mass into energy. Experimental results from particle accelerators are used to demonstrate the relative nature of mass and energy.
6. General and Special Relativity: Theory and Examples
Special relativity accounts for the constant speed of light in the absence of surrounding mass. General relativity utilizes the concept of space-time to explain the effect of gravity on the speed of light. This lesson compares special and general relativity and provides examples of how the speed of light is affected by gravity.
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