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Assignment 1: The Theory of Special Relativity

(Due: 11:00 am, 3 March 2015; Bring to Tutorial)

Important Instructions:
A. Define every symbol you introduce, unless they are common symbols or as defined in the question.
If you are not sure whether they are common symbols, define it!
B. Lay out each step clearly and logically. Points will be deducted if you skip or do not clearly explain
chains of logic, even if you arrive at the correct answer.
C. The total mark is 100.

1. [5 marks]
Derive the identities a11, a44, and a41 by inserting Eqs. (4.10-4.13) into Eq. (4.15) and
comparing the result with Eq. (4.14).

2. [5 marks]
Derive Eq. (4.37)

3. [5 marks]
Suppose a rocketship takes off from Earth and travels at a speed of 0.51c as measured by an
observer on the Earth. Another rocketship takes off from Earth and travels in the opposite
direction to the first rocketship at a velocity of 0.51c as measured by an observer on the Earth.
What does the pilot in one rocketship measure for the velocity of the other rocketship?

4. [5 marks]
Derive Eq. (4.48) for the relationship between total energy, momentum, and rest energy

5. [5 marks]
At what transverse velocity would the transverse Doppler effect produce a Doppler shift equal
to a purely radial Doppler effect for a radial velocity of a) 0.01c; b) 0.1c; and c) 0.9c?

6. [10 marks]

7. [10 marks]

8. [30 marks]

9. [5 marks]

10. [20 marks] In 1971, a classic test of (both special and general) relativity was performed by
Joseph C. Hafele and Richard E. Keating, who took four cesium-beam atomic clocks aboard
commercial airliners and flew twice around the world, first eastward, then westward, and
compared the clocks against those of the United States Naval Observatory. Taking out the
effects of general relativity thus leaving only the effects of special relativity, they found that the
eastward-flying clocks lost more time than was gained by the westward-flying clocks relative
to a clock on the Earths surface. Explain why (you may assume that the effects of general
relativity are the same for all clocks). You may refer to equations found in Hafele & Keating
1972, 177, 166, which is posted on the course website.