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EAS 1601 II. The Big Bang

Class 4: Basic Physics

SPACE-TIME COORDINATES, RELATIVITY, AND OTHER NEW STUFF Our first topic deals with the BEGINNING OF TIME The Big Bang Last time we discussed early theories of the Earth and universe. But, scientists discovered problems with these theories. To understand these problems and how they were solved we need to lay a little more groundwork from modern physics: space-time, and

relativity

"Do not take the lecture too seriously

just relax

and enjoy it. I am going to tell you what nature

behaves like. If you will simply admit that maybe she does behave like this, you will find her a delightful, entrancing thing. Do not keep saying to yourself "But

into

how can it be like that?" because you will get

a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that."

(Richard Feynman introducing a lecture about quantum theory)

http://www.thebigview.com/spacetime/index.html

Review: Velocity (speed) and Acceleration Aristotelian View of Space and Motion

All laws of nature could be worked out by pure reason “Natural state” of a body is to be at rest

Copernican/Galilean Revolution Birth of Modern Science

Use observations to understand nature

Newton Laws of Motion

Inertia: There is no unique standard of rest A body moving at a constant velocity was no different than a body at rest (i.e., Newton Laws would apply equally to both) Thus, it follows there is no universal standard of position Classical or Gallilean Relativity

• There is no absolute standard of rest

Objects/people traveling at constant speeds relative to each are said to be in different inertial frames of reference

– Observers in these two frames may view the same object and disagree on its velocity.

• For example: you are on a train moving at a speed of 10 m/s and walk up the aisle towards the front of the train at a rate of 2 m/s

• the passengers on the train say that you are moving 2 m/s.

• someone standing on the track would say that you were moving at 12 m/s.

who is right? Relativity of Galilean Frames of Reference

Inertial frames of reference traveling at speed v relative to each other An observer in the x-frame of reference claims that the x’-frame is traveling at a velocity 2v (to the right) An observer in the x’-frame claims that the x-frame is traveling at a velocity of -2v (to the left)

Both are valid! X
-v
v
X’

Galilean Coordinate Transformation

One can derive commonsense equations to relate the observations between the two frames Prior to Einstein it was assumed that identical clocks of any two observers could be synchronized so that they would always agree: t' = t In other words, time was expected to have an absolute meaning, independent of the motion of the observer. It follows therefore that a position in one coordinate system could be transformed into a position in another coordinate

system:

x = x’ + vt

v

= v’

obj

obj

+ v

These equations were derived on the basis of

“common sense In Summary

The Galilean concept of space-time

Abandoned the notion of absolute position and absolute speed

But held that

Distance (i.e., an increment in space) was invariant

Time intervals were invariant

These commonsense notions had to be abandoned to explain a set of puzzling observations with regard to the speed of light…

Light As a Wave and Its Speed

In 1865 James Maxwell developed a theory of electromagnetism that explained the propagation of light

– Maxwells theory predicted that light would travel like a wave at a speed of c = 3 x 10 8 m/s

The Problem:

• Waves require a medium to travel through

• (Can you think of examples of waves and their media)

• What is the medium through which light travels?

Maxwells theory predicted that light travels at a fixed speed

– But according to Galilean notion of space-time there is no absolute definition of rest. So if light travels at a fixed speed of c, it is necessary to specify c relative to some reference frame.

The Proposed Solution:

– Space is filled everywhere with an ether which serves as the medium and reference for light propagation

Searching for the ether:

If there is an ether throughout space that establishes the reference for the speed of light

– Objects passing through the ether would see light’s speed relative to the objects’ velocity through the ether.

Question: What is the Earths velocity relative to the ether?

This led the famous Michelson- Morley Experiment

• The speed of light did not depend upon the direction of the Earth’s motion in space… Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity

The laws of science are the same for all inertial frames

– Thus the speed of light was the same in all frames

– This means that

space intervals are NOT invariant

time intervals are NOT invariant

c, the speed of light is invariant!

For example: a pulse of light is sent from point A to point B and is observed by two observers in two inertial frames traveling at some speed relative to each other

In Galilean viewpoint: The two observers agree on the time needed for pulse to travel from A to B, and the distance it traveled but not the speed of light pulse.

– In Special Relativity: The two observers agree on the speed of the light pulse but not the distance traveled or the time interval the light pulse needed to traverse the distance!

In the next few pages we look at the consequences of special relativity

For example: Time Dilation A GEDANKEN EXPERIMENT:

A ``light clock'' is constructed aboard a glass

spaceship (reference frame O') as follows: the ``tick'' of the clock is defined by one half the time interval t' required for the light from a strobe light to traverse the width of the ship (a
height h), bounce off a mirror and come back,

a total distance of 2h. In the reference frame of

a ground-based observer O (with respect to

whom the ship is travelling at a velocity u), the light is emitted a distance 2ut behind the place where it is detected a time 2t later. Since the light has further to go in the O frame (a

distance =2 [(ut) 2 + h 2 ] 1/2 ), but it travels at c in both frames, t must be longer than t'. This effect is known as TIME DILATION.

On spaceship: t’=h/c or h = ct’ On ground: t = l/c and l =[(ut) 2 + h 2 ] 1/2

Each observer concludes the other observers clock is in error. By how much? (
)
2
2
()
2
2
l
ut
+ h
ut
+
(
ct '
)
=
=
c
c c
1
t
'
The clock on the spaceship
2
u
is running slower!
1 −
2
c

t =

t =

and

Time Dilation Demonstration.

http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph11e/timedilation.htm

Time Dilation 1
t ' = t
2
v
1
2
c
goes faster time slows
down. NOTE: In the equation above, the primed and unprimed have been reversed. Does that matter? Is one correct and the other incorrect?

Length Contraction 2
v
2
c

'

l = l 1 Speeding

rulers are

shorter!

Mass Increases With Velocity:

Note as v approaches c, the mass becomes infinite. Since acceleration = F/m, as mass becomes infinite it becomes impossible to accelerate the object. Hence nothing can travel faster than the speed of light!

Mass Energy:

E = mc 2

m =

m

'

1

v ⎤ ⎢ ⎣

⎥ ⎦

c

2

Four Dimensional Space-Time  If a rocket can travel from Earth to Alpha Centauri at a speed slower than that of light, all observers can agree that A precedes B, If the rocket cannot get from A to B at a speed below  Line of simultaneous events for an observer moving close to the speed of light near Alpha Centauri

that of light observers moving

,

at different speeds may not be able to agree on which event

Line of simultaneous events for an observer at rest with respect to Earth

occurs first. Ripples on a pond as depicted in a three-dimensional space-time diagram. Two space and one time coordinate. Expanding Ripples   Figures from a “A Brief History of
Time, Steven Hawking, Bantam, 1996

The Light Cone:

The path of a pulse of light which passes though an event P, forms a “cone” in space-time called the “Future of P”; the light which will pass through Event P forms a cone called the “Past of P”. All space-time can then be divided in three categories:

The Past of P The Future of P Elsewhere of P General Relativity:

Einsteins theory for gravity Newton’s “Law” of Gravity requires that masses somehow exert a force on another object at a distance and instantaneously.

How can that happen

Einstein’s theory of general relativity

Massive objects distort the space around them through gravity and this causes objects (while moving in “straight lines) to follow trajectories more or less predicted by Newton’s “Law” of Gravity A massive object causes spacetime to curve, which is often illustrated with the picture of a bowling ball lying on a stretched rubber sheet: Contrary to appearance, the diagram does not depict the three-dimensional space of everyday experience. Instead it shows how a 2-D slice through familiar 3-D space is curved downwards when embedded in flattened hyperspace. We cannot fully envision this hyperspace. Flattening it to 3-D allows us to represent the curvature and helps us visualize the implications of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.

http://www.thebigview.com/spacetime/spacetime.html

Einstein: Developed Theories of Special and General Relativity while working in obscurity as a clerk in a Swiss patent office!  Later he ended up on the faculty at Princeton:

So what’s more intellectually stimulating, a Swiss patent office or the campus of an Ivy League university?

Other interesting aspects of modern physics:

• Quantum Mechanics

– The uncertainty principal:

Δp Δx > ½ h; Δp-Momentum Uncertainty Δx-Position Uncertainty

ΔE Δt > ½ h; ΔE-Energy Uncertainty Δt-Time Uncertainty

– One implication: empty space is filled with matter and antimatter …

• String Theory

– Matter is described as interacting strings (instead of interacting particles)

• One implication: space actually has 10 or 26 dimensions not 3. The extra dimensions are just too small to “see.”

Entanglement?

That completes our discussion of space-time and relativity. Next time we begin to discuss the scientific debate and measurements that led to the general acceptance of the

Big Bang Theory