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A Tirillian spaceship fleeing from battle passes space station DS7 at an essentially constant

velocity of = 3/5 in the +x direction as measured in DS7s frame. Let the event of the

ship passing DS7 be the origin event A in both frames. The Tirillians have a cloaking device

that they think makes them invisible to DS7s sensors. However, 40 s after passing DS7 (as

measured by the Tirillian clocks) the spaceship passes through a dust cloud that emits a

pulse of electromagnetic radiation when disturbed; let this be event B. The instant that this

pulse (which travels at the speed of light) is received by DS7, the DS7 crew fires a photon

torpedo (which also travels at the speed of light) toward the fleeing Tirillians; call this event

C. The Tirillians decide 80 s after passing DS7 that they have likely been detected, so they

put up their defensive shields (which involves turning off the cloaking device); call this event

D.

(a) Use a ruler to draw a complete and carefully constructed two-observer spacetime diagram of the situation, drawing the worldlines of DS7 and the Tirillian spaceship and

locating and labeling events A. B, C, and D. In the process, answer the following

questions: [2pt]**

(b) When and where did event B occur in the Home Frame? Use an appropriate Lorentz

transformation equation to check what you read from your diagram. [2pt]

(c) When does event C occur in the Home Frame? Explain how you located this event on

the diagram. [1pt]

(d) When does event C occur in the Tirillian frame? Explain how you can read t0C from

the diagram, and use an appropriate Lorentz transformation equation to verify your

result. [2pt]

(e) Which event, C or D, occurs first in the DS7 frame? Which occurs first in the Tirillian

frame? Explain your reasoning. [1pt]

(f) Is it possible that the Tirillians could have made their decision to raise shields as a

consequence of observing (somehow) that DS7 had fired a torpedo? Why or why not?

[1pt]

** Full points are for calibrating axes and drawing worldlines correctly, and labeling events

(also incorrectly).

Consider a meterstick at rest in a given inertial frame (make this the Other Frame) oriented

in such a way that it makes an angle 0 with respect to the x0 direction in that frame. In the

Home Frame, the Other Frame is observed to move with a velocity in the +x direction.

(a) Keeping in mind that the distances measured parallel to the line of relative motion

are observed to be Lorentz-contracted in the Home Frame while distances measured

perpendicular to the line of motion are not, show that the angle that this meterstick

will be observed to make with the x direction in the Home Frame is given by [5pt]

!

tan 0

1

p

= tan

1 2

(b) What would the length of the meterstick be as measured in the Home Frame? [2pt]

(c) Assume that the meterstick makes an angle of 30o with the x0 direction in the Other

Frame. How fast would that frame have to be moving with respect to the Home Frame

for the meterstick to be observed in the Home Frame to make an angle of 45o with the

x direction? [2pt]

Imagine that in the Home Frame two particles of equal mass m are observed to move along

the x axis with opposite velocities equal in magnitude v = 0.60. The particles collide and

stick together, becoming one big particle which remains at rest in the Home Frame.

(a) Imagine observing the same situation from the vantage point of an Other Frame that

moves with speed = 0.60 in the +x direction with respect to the Home Frame. Find

the velocities of all the particles as observed in the Other Frame, using the appropriate

Einstein velocity transformation equations. Check your results, using a two-observer

spacetime diagram of the situation. [5pt]

(b) Show that while the momentum of the system is conserved in the Home Frame, it is

not conserved in the Other Frame if momentum is defined as mass times velocity, i.e.

p~ = m~v with p~ = (px , py , pz ) and ~v = (vx , vy , vz ). [4pt]

Note: Conservation of momentum means that each component of the total momentum of the

initial state (the two particles before the collision) is equal to the corresponding component

of the total momentum of the final state.

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