# Special theory of relativity

Mechanics (Study of motion of particles)
Classical Mechanics
(macro)
Quantum
Mechanics (micro)
Non-relativistic
(v<<c)
Relativistic (v~c)
Special theory of
relativity

Frame of Reference
x
y
z
O
Coordinate system
clock
Coordinate system + clock = Frame of reference

Frames of Reference

FRAME OF REFERENCE
Inertial frame
Non-inertial frame
Obeys Newton Ist law of
motion or law of inertia
Does not obey Newton Ist law of motion
or law of inertia
Rest frame
Moving with
uniform speed
Accelerating frame
Rotating frame

Michelson-Morley Experiment:

Michelson-Morley Experiment:
Aim: To determine the speed of earth (experimentally) w.r.t. ether.

Michelson-Morley Experiment:
2
2
0
2
2
3
2
2
2
2 1
2
2
2 / 1
2
2
2 2
2
2
2
1
2
2
2 2
1
2
) (
90
2
2
2
1
2
1
2 2
1
2
1
2 2
c
v
x So
through rotated is up set whole when
c
v
t c x or
c
v
c
v
c
t t t therefore
c
v
c c
v
c
v c
t
c
v
c c
v
c v c
c
v c v c
t
total

 
  
    
· ∆

· ∆ × · ∆
·
]
]
]

· − · ∆

,
`

.
|
+ ·

,
`

.
|
− ·

·

,
`

.
|
+ ·

,
`

.
|
− ·

·
+
+

·

Michelson-Morley Experiment:
Now we have to calculate the number of
interference fringes shifted from the
centre of cross wires
For this we have to use one logic as one
wavelength shifts one fringe, so if Δx
contains Δn wavelengths then the number
of interference fringes shifted from the
centre of cross-wires is
total
x) (∆
4 . 0 37 . 0
2 ) (
2
2
≈ · ·

· ∆
c
v x
n
total
λ λ

λ

Michelson-Morley Experiment:

Actual view of the
experimental set-up

The Postulates of Special theory of Relativity
On June 30, 1905 Einstein gave two postulates of special theory of
relativity on the results of Michelson-Morley experiment:
1. The Principle of Relativity:
The laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames of reference.
2. The Constancy of Speed of Light in Vacuum:
The speed of light in vacuum has the same value c in all inertial frames of
reference.
The speed of light in vacuum is actually the only speed that is absolute and the
same for all observers as was stated in the second postulate.

Transformation Equations:
Equations relating the position vectors of the same particle with reference
to the two frames of reference are called as transformation equations.
s
O
r
S’
O’
r’
v

Transformation Equations:
Transformation Equations:
Galilean
Transformation
(v<<c) NRM
Lorentz
Transformation
(V~c) RM

x

y´ y
v
x´ = x – vt
y´ = y
z´ = z
t´ = t
Time is absolute
K K´

O
vt x´
x
Galilean Transformation:

Lorentz transformations:
where

In reverse transformation

Numericals based on Lorentz transformation:
Q1. Show that is invariant under Lorentz
transformation.
Hint: we have to prove that
On the basis of Lorentz transformations
2 2 2 2 2
t c z y x − + +
2 2 2 2 2
t c z y x − + +
2 2 2 2 2
' ' ' ' t c z y x − + + ·

Length Contraction:

Numerical problem related to Length contraction
Q A meter stick moving with respect to an observer appears only 500
mm long to her. What is its relative speed?
Hint: On the basis of length contraction.
2
2
0
1
C
V
− ·  
m mm
m
5 . 0 500
1
0
· ·
·

Numerical problem related to Length contraction
Q A spacecraft antenna is at an angle10
o
relative to an axis of the
spacecraft. If the spacecraft moves away from the earth at a speed
0.7c, what is the angle of the antenna as seen from the earth?
Hint: tan (10
o
)

= P/ 
0
thisgivesPintermsof

0=…..
Also

theta comes equal to 13.84
0
as  is small in comparison to 
0.

10
0
Spacecraft antenna
V=0.7c
eart
h

0

θ
P
P
2
2
0
1
C
V
− ·  

Length Contraction:
L = L
0
1- v
2
/c
2
The length of an object is measured to be shorter when it is
moving relative to the observer than when it is at rest.
Length were observer is moving
relative to the length being measured.
Length were observer is at rest
relative to the length being
measured.

Time Dilation:

Time Dilation:
Time dilation:
t
/
v
c (C
2
-v
2
)
1/2

0

,
`

.
|

·

,
`

.
|

·

·
·
2
2
/
2 / 1
2
2
0
2 2
0
0
/
1
1
2 2
2
c
v
t
t
c
v
c
v c
t
c
t
 

Numerical Problems related to Time Dilation:
Q. An observer on a spacecraft moving at 0.700 c relative to the earth finds that a
car takes 40.0 minutes to make a trip. How long does the trip take to the driver
of the car?
Hint: on the basis of time dilation
car
=0.7 c

Numerical Problems related to Time Dilation:
Q Two observers, A on earth and B in a spacecraft whose speed is 2.00 x 10
8

m/s, both set their watches to the same time when the ship is at rest on
earth. How much time must elapse by A’s reckoning before the watches
differ by 1.00 s ?
Hint: initially t=t
/
=0
given that t- t
/
= 1 s
Our aim is to find ‘t’
For that change t
/
in terms of t as
2 x 10
8
m/s
. 93 . 3
/ 10 00 . 2
1 ) 1 1 ( 1
8
2
2
/
2
2
/
s to equal comes t and
s m v know we as calculated be can t Now
s
c
v
t t t and
c
v
t t
× ·
· − − · − − ·

On the basis of Time Dilation:
muon can travel
vt
0
=(2.2 x10
-6
s)(0.998c)=0.66 km
For earth frame the life time is
Extended
on the basis of time dilation
6 Km
Earth
Muon frame
Life time is
2.2 µ s
km s c vt and
s
c c
c
v
t
t
4 . 10 8 . 34 998 . 0
8 . 34
/ ) 998 . 0 ( 1
10 2 . 2
1
2 2
6
2
2
0
· × ·
·

×
·

·

µ
µ
0.998c

Numerical problem related to time dilation:
Q Find of the velocity of a spacecraft so that every day on it
will correspond to 2 days on earth?
Hint:
2
2
0
0
1
2
1
c
v
t
t
days t
day t

·
·
·

Numerical problem related to Length contraction:
Q How fast should a spaceship move for its length to be contracted at 99%
of its length?
Hint: on the basis of length contraction
.
1
100
99
% 99
1
2
2
0 0
0
2
2
0
calculated be can v this From
c
v
of that given
c
v
− · · ×
·
− ·
  
 
 

Relativity of Simultaneity
• Events which are simultaneous in one
frame may not be in another!
• Each observer is correct in their own
frame of reference

Relativity of simultaneity:
How relativity affect simultaneity
of events:
0
/
/ /
2
/
1
· ∆
· ·
t implies That
t t t
x
1
,
x
/
1
x
2
,
x
/
2
? 0
0
2 1
· − · ∆
· ∆
t t t or
not or t if find to aim Our

Relativity of simultaneity:
On the basis of Inverse Lorentz transformations:
( )
S t r w eous simul not are events therefore
c
v
x x
c
v
t
c
v
c
vx
t
t
c
v
c
vx
t
t
. . tan 0
1
1 1
2
2
/
1
/
2
2
2
2
2
/
2
/
2
2
2
2
2
/
1
/
1
1

· ∆

+
·

+
·

Numerical Problem related to Relativity of simultaneity:
Q. An observer detects two explosions, one that occurs near her at a certain
time and another that occurs 2.00 ms later 100 km away. Another
observer finds that the two explosions occur at the same place. What
time interval separates the explosions to the second observer?
Hint: v= 100/2 =50 km/ms=5 x 10
7
m/s

ms t and
c
v
c
v
x x t
t
t find to is aim our
x x
ms t
97 . 1
1
) ' (
0
2
/
2
2
2 1
2
' /
/
/
1
/
2
· ∆

− + ∆
· ∆

· −
· ∆
100
Km
Appears to be
simultaneous

LORENTZ VELOCITY TRANSFORMATIONS:
s
s’
v~c
o
o’
u, u’ x, y, z, t and
x’, y’, z’, t’
Our aim is to find the relation between u and u’ in
terms of x, y, z components as u and u’ are along
arbitrary directions.

u
x
=
1 + (v/c
2
)u
x
´
u
y
=
u
z
=
γ [1 + (v/c
2
)u
x
´ ]
γ [1 + (v/c
2
)u
x
´ ]
u
y
´
u
z
´
Velocities:
u
x
´ + v

Numerical problem related to Lorentz velocity
transformation:
Q. Two spacecraft A and B are moving in opposite directions, An
observer on the earth measures the speed of craft A to be 0.750 c and
the speed of craft B to be 0.850 c. Find the velocity of craft B as
observed by the crew on craft A.
Hint:
earth
A B
. 977 . 0
1
850 . 0
750 . 0
2
/
/
c
u
c
v
v u
u
u find to is aim our
c u
c v
x
x
x
x
x
− ·

·
− ·
·

Relativistic Inertia (“relativistic mass”)
z
x
y
x’
y’
z’
v
S
S’
Y
V’
B
V
A
Ball A moves vertically only in frame S with
speed V
A
, Ball B moves vertically only in
frame S’ with speed V
B
’= V
A
. Ball A
rebounds in S with speed V
A
, Ball B
rebounds in S’ with speed V
B

.
Y/2
Y/2
Collision in S Collision in S’

V
A
T
0
· 2×Y 2

V
B
' T
0
· Y

momentum conservation : m
A
V
A
· m
B
V
B

Relativistic mass (cont.)

Relativistic mass (cont.)

momentum conservation in S :
m
A
V
A
· m
B
V
B
V
B
·Y T
T ·T
0
1− v c
( )
2
m
A
Y T
0
· m
B
Y T
0
1− v c
( )
2
|
.
`
,
m
B
·m
A
1− v c
( )
2
( )
mass rest
1
Inertia) tic (Relativis Mass" ic Relativist "
0
2
0
·
− ·
m
c v m m
.
Relativistic mass (cont.)

Numerical problem related to relativistic mass:
Q: Find the mass of an electron (m
0
= 9.1E-
31 kg)whose speed is .99c
Hint:
2
31
99 . 0
1
10 1 . 9

,
`

.
|

×
·

c
c
m

Numerical problem related to relativistic mass:
Q. An electron has a kinetic energy 0.100 MeV. Find its speed
according to classical mechanics.
Hint: KE of electron =1/2 mv
2
=0.100 MeV.
1/2 mv
2
=0.100 x 1.602 x10
-13
J
1/2 mv
2
=0.100 x 1.602 x10
-13
Kg m
2
s
-2
1/2 (9.1 x 10
-31
)

v
2
= 0.100 x 1.602 x10
-13
Kg m
2
s
-2
v
2
= 2 x 0.100 x 1.602 x10
-13
Kg m
2
s
-2
/ 9.1 x 10
-31

v
2
= 0.0352 x 10
18

v = 1.876 X 10
8
m/s.

F
dx
m
o
m

Momentum-energy relations:

E ·
m
0
c
2
1− v c
( )
2
p ·
m
0
v
1− v c
( )
2
E
2
− p
2
c
2
·
m
0
2
c
4
1− v c
( )
2

m
0
2
v
2
c
2
1− v c
( )
2
·
m
0
2
c
4
1− v c
( )
2
1−
v
2
c
2
|
.

`
,
·m
0
2
c
4
E
2
· p
2
c
2
+m
0
2
c
4
for a massless particle (photon, neutrino, ...)
E · pc
(and v ·c always)

Numerical question related to Relativistic mass and
Momentum:
Q1 Find the momentum of an electron (in MeV/c) whose speed is
0.600 c.
Hint:
c MeV p
c MeV Kg as c MeV in
c
c
c
p
c
v
v m
mv p
/ 381 . 0
/ 10
79 . 1
1
1 /
600 . 0
1 79 . 1
600 . 0 10 10 1 . 9
1
2 30
2
30 31
2
2
0
·
× ·

,
`

.
|

× × ×
·

· ·

Numerical problem related to relativistic mass
Q At what speed does the kinetic energy of a particle equal its rest
energy?
Hint:

c v
c
v
m
c
v
m
m m
c m mc
c m c m mc
energy mass st KE
2
3
2
1
1
2
1
2
2
Re
2
2
0
2
2
0
0
2
0
2
2
0
2
0
2
·
·

·

·
·
· −
·

Numerical question related to Relativistic mass and
Momentum:
Q Find the momentum of an electron whose kinetic energy equals its
rest mass energy of 511 keV.
Hint:
. / 885
/ 511 3
3
3 3
4
3
1 2
3
1
2
3
2
1
2
2
0
0 0
0
2
2
0
2
2
0
0
2
0
2
0
2
c keV p
c keV
c
c m
c
c
c m c m
c m
c
v
v m
p
as calculated be can momentum v this of basis the on
c v m
c
v
m
m m
c m c m mc
o
·
× · · × · ·

,
`

.
|

·

·
· ⇒ ·

·
· −

Relativistic Mass
It follows from the Lorentz transformation when collisions are described
from a fixed and moving reference frame, where it arises as a result of
conservation of momentum.
For v = c, m =m
0

The increase in relativistic effective mass makes the
speed of light c the speed limit of the universe.

Mass–energy equivalence
E=MC2

3-meter-tall sculpture of Einstein's 1905 E = mc
2
formula at the 2006 Walk of Ideas, Germany
In physics, mass–energy equivalence is the concept that any mass has an associated energy and vice versa. In special relativity this
relationship is expressed using the mass–energy equivalence formula
where
•E = energy,
•m = mass,
•c = the speed of light in a vacuum (celeritas),

Momentum and Energy Transformations
Consider a frame of reference S’ moving with a speed v
along positive direction of X-axis w.r.t. a frame S. Let
the origins of the two frames coincide when t=t’=0 and
then a signal of light is sent. We may write
2 2 2 2 2
2 2 2 2 2
t c z y x and
t c z y x

·

+

+

· + +
These equations have the solutions given by
Lorentz transformation equations i.e.

y y ·

2
2
1
c
v
vt x
x

·

z z ·

2
2
2
1
c
v
c
vx
t
t

·

If p is the momentum of photon of light having
components p
x,
p
y,
p
z
in frame S. then
2 2 2 2
z y x
p p p p + + ·
But
c
E
c
h h
p · · ·
ν
λ

2
2
2 2 2 2
2
2
2 2 2 2
2
2
2 2
2
2 2 2
2 2 2
2
2
'
' ' '
]
]
]

· + +
]
]
]

· + +
]
]
]

· · + +
+ + · ∴
c
E
c p p p Similarly
c
E
c p p p or
c
c
E
c
E
p p p or
p p p
c
E
z y x
z y x
z y x
z y x
Comparing, we observe x, y, z and t correspond to p
x,

p
y,
p
z
and &
x’, y’, z’ and t’ correspond to p’
x,
p’
y,
p’
z
and
respectively.
2
c
E
2
c
E

2
2
2
1
'
c
v
E
c
v
p
p
x
x

·
y y
p p · '
2
2
2
2
2 2
2
1
1
c
v
vp E
E or
c
v
c
vp
c
E
c
E
x
x

·

·

Therefore, the solutions can be evaluated as
z z
p p · '
These are the transformation equations of momentum and energy.

The inverse transformations can be written as
2
2
2
1
' '
c
v
E
c
v
p
p
x
x

+
·
'
'
z z
y y
p p
p p
·
·
and
2
2
1
'
c
v
vp E
E
x

+

·