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2/5/2015

Tutorial 1: Special Theory of Relativity


and Pre-Quantum Theory.

About your tutor


Name: Dr. CHING Chee Leong

: S13-02-09, Phys. Depart.

:65162988

: phyccl@nus.edu.sg

Research interest: Quantum gravity phenomenology; foundations of

quantum mechanics, field theory and quantum symmetries.


Consultation: Email me to fix the convenient timings.

2/5/2015

About the Tutorials


Each tutorial class lasts for roughly 50 minutes. (Remember to sign

the attendance.)
During the tutorial:
(1) Go through set of questions.
(2) Assignments (in-class or take home, hints will be given).
(3) Clear doubts, fill in useful details missed out during lecture.
(4) Of course, teach you things that I (hopefully you as well) like!

Continual Assessment (CA)


Tutorials 5%
Assignments 15%
3 Term Tests 20%, 20%, 40%

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Postulates in Special Relativity:


The laws of Physics are the same for all observers moving
at constant speeds w.r.t. each other (inertial frames).
The speed of light is constant regardless of the motion of the
observer or of the sender.
Einsteins 2nd postulate only applicable to real particles that
carry mass, energy and information, which satisfy E=mc2.

Without acceleration, it is impossible to determine who is


actually at rest or moving. Constant speed motion is relative!!
Consequences of SR:
Time dilation (includes non-simultaneity)
Length contraction
Causality (cause and effect) limited by c

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Lorentz/Gamma factor:

1
1 v

c2

When the speed is very low, is almost one. The relativistic


effect is not significant.
When the speed approach that of light, becomes larger and
larger. The relativistic effect is significant. (usually we start to
consider relativistic effect for v 0.1c)

Length of a moving object appears to be contracted along


its direction of motion

L0 L

L
1 v

c2

L0 is the proper length of the object.


L is the contracted length of the object.
Proper length L0 is the length of an object measured in a
reference frame in which the object is stationary.

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10% of the speed of light

86.5% of the speed of light

99% of the speed of light

99.9% of the speed of light

Question 1. [Length Contraction]


A rectangle has the dimensions of 3.0m 2.0m when viewed by someone at rest
with respect to it.
(a) When you move past the rectangle along one of its sides, the rectangle looks
like a square. Which side of the rectangle and what is the speed you are moving
along?
2m

Move along the long side: L0=3m;


L=2m

L0 L 3 / 2

3m

Thus the relative speed is:


2m
2m

1
1 v

View of moving
observer

3/ 2

v 0.75c

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Question 1. [Length Contraction]


(b) What dimensions do you observe when you move at the same speed above
along the adjacent side of the rectangle?

2m

Move along the short side with the


same speed: L0=2m; L=??

3m

L
??
3m
View of moving
observer

L0

4
m 1.3 m
3

Observed dimensions of the rectangle are


therefore 3.0m1.3m since the longer side
is not contracted due to motion along the
shorter side.

Moving clocks run slower than stationary clocks

t t0

t0
1 v

c2

t0 is the proper time between two events.


t is the dilated time between two events.
Proper time is the time interval between two events measured
in a reference frame in which the events occur at the same
space point.
Time dilation is universal and affects all types of processes:
physical, mechanical, biological, psychological, etc

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Question 2. [Time dilation]


As observed on earth, a certain type of bacterium is known to double
in number every 24.0 hours. Two cultures of these bacteria are
prepared, each consisting initially of one bacterium. One culture is
left on earth and the other placed on a rocket that travels at a speed of
v=0.866c relative to the earth. At a time when the earthbound culture
has grown to 256 bacteria, how many bacteria are in the culture on
the rocket, according to an earth-based observer?
Proper time for the bacteria to double its number:
t0=24 hrs= 1day
Amount of time required for the earth-based sample to
grow to 256 bacteria:
t
/ t

earth

256 28

tearth 8t0 8 days

Question 2. [Time dilation]


According to an earth-based observer, the doubling time for the
space culture is

t0
1 v

c2

1 days
1

( 0.866 c ) 2

2 days
c2

Number of space bacteria in eight earth days


(according to an earth-based observer) is

2 tearth / t 28days / 2 days 16


Additional Question: What is the number of space bacteria in
eight earth days according to the observer in the rocket?

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Mass-Energy Equivalence
Total energy E of a moving object is related to its mass and
speed by the relation:

E mc
2

Rest energy E0 when v = 0:

mc 2

1 v

c2

E0 mc 2

The rest energy represents the energy equivalent of the mass


of an object at rest.
Principles of energy and mass conservation are combined which
implies that mass and energy can be converted to each other!

Question 3. [Mass-Energy Equivalence]


The Suns mass is Ms=1.9891030 kg and it radiates at a rate of
Ls=3.8271026 J per second.
(a) What is the change in the Suns mass during each second that it is
radiating energy?
(b) Estimate the lifetime of the Sun from this data assuming it
converts all its mass into energy.
Change in the Suns mass during each second:

E 3.827 10 26
E (m) c m 2
4.25 109 kg s 1
8 2
c
(3 10 )
2

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Question 3. [Mass-Energy Equivalence]


The Suns mass is Ms=1.9891030 kg and it radiates at a rate of
Ls=3.8271026 J per second.
(b) Estimate the lifetime of the Sun from this data assuming it
converts all its mass into energy.
Estimated life time assuming the Sun converts all its mass
into energy:
1.989 1030 kg
M
t

4.678 10 20 s
9
1
m 4.252 10 kg s

15,000 billion years


The correct prediction of the lifetime of the Sun is only about
11 billion years! Nuclear fusion not covert all rest mass to
pure energy. Also, only the core of the star (roughly 20% of
the total mass) can undergo nuclear fusion.

Quantization of Electromagnetic
Radiation Photon
Planck: A blackbody can only emit radiation in DISCRETE
packets or quanta, i.e. in multiples of the minimum energy:

E hf

hc

where f is the frequency of the radiation, is the wavelength of


the radiation and h=6.62610-34Js is the Plancks constant.
The Plancks constant is a new constant of nature which turns out
to be of fundamental importance in the new quantum theory.
Einstein: Light consists of particles, now known as photons. Each
photon has energy E = hf and the total energy carried by light is
always an INTEGER multiple of hf

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Question 4. [Concept of Photon]


You have two light-bulbs of different power and colour. One is a 150W red and the other is a 25-W blue bulb. Take red = 650nm and blue
= 460nm. [Note: Watt = Joule/second]
(a) Which bulb emits more photons per second?
(b) Which bulb emits photons of higher energy?
(c) Calculate the number of photons emitted per second for each
bulb.

Question 4. [Concept of Photon]


You have two light-bulbs of different power and colour. One is a
150-W red and the other is a 25-W blue bulb. Take red = 650nm
and blue = 460nm.
Energy of each photon is given by E = hc/. The bulb emitting
photons with shorter wavelength will emit photons with higher
energy, i.e. blue bulb.
Total energy emitted per second:

nhc

P
hc

where n=N/t is the number of photons emitted per second

nred

150 650 10 9
4.90 10 20

34
8
(6.626 10 )(3 10 )

nblue

25 460 10 9
5.80 1019
(6.626 10 34 )(3 108 )

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Einsteins Photoelectric Effect


The phenomenon of electrons being emitted from a metal surface
when struck by incident electromagnetic radiation.
Einstein explained that the ejection of a given electron is
accomplished by a single photon (if it has enough energy). The
photon transfers all of its energy to the electron and then disappears.
Photoelectric effect equation:

K hf W

where K is the kinetic energy of electron and W is the work


function of the metal surface (amount of energy required to free
an electron from bonding)

Question 5. [Photoelectric Effect]


Zinc and cadmium have work functions given by Wz=6.931019 J
and Wc=6.751019 J respectively.
(a) If both metals are illuminated by UV radiation of the same
wavelength, which one gives off photoelectrons with the greater
maximum kinetic energy?
(b) Calculate the maximum kinetic energy of photoelectrons from each
surface if = 275nm.
Illuminating both metals by radiation of the same wavelength (i.e.
photons with same energy), electrons will be ejected with larger
kinetic energy from the metal surface with smaller work function,
i.e. cadmium metal.

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Question 5. [Photoelectric Effect]


Zinc and cadmium have work functions given by Wz=6.931019 J
and Wc=6.751019 J respectively.
Energy of photons:

EUV

(6.626 10 34 ) (3 108 )
7.23 10 19 J

275 10
hc

Kinetic energy of ejected photoelectrons:

K Z EUV WZ (7.23 10 19 6.93 10 19 ) J 3 10 20 J


K C EUV WC (7.23 10 19 6.75 10 19 ) J 4.8 10 20 J

6) [Optional: Pole and Barn Paradox]


A farmer has a ladder which is 10 meters long and a barn which is only 9
meters long and so, much to the farmers consternation, the ladder will not
fit in the barn. How can he fit the ladder into the barn using the length
contraction theory? See figures below.

In the eyes of the farmer, the ladder is


moving (while the barn is stationary).
Hence ladder contracts in length.

L
For ladder to fit in the 9 m barn, we
set the contracted length as 9 m.

L0

1 v 2 / c 2 L0

9 10 1 v 2 / c 2
v 0.44c

Conclusion (farmer):If my boy moves at a speed 0.44c or


more, the ladder can fit into the barn! Awesome!!!

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2/5/2015

In the eyes of the boy, the barn is moving.


Hence the barn will contract in length.

Length of barn that boy


sees when v=0.44c:

Lboy 9 1 (0.44c) 2 / c 2
8.1m 10m L0

Oh dear! The ladder still dun fit into the barn! Length
contraction have always worked against me!
So, do you think is there a paradox
ultimately? what are invariant measures
in S.R.?

Who is correct?
Both are correct
within their own
frame

We have two main invariances in S.R, namely speed of


light and spacetime-interval.

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