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, in which lengths are measured in meters. We will need to make use of the Lorentz transformations for motion in the x-direction. x′ = γ(x − vx t), and t′ = γ(t − vx x/c2 ), where 1 γ=√ . 1 − (vx /c)2 a) Calculate the coordinates of this event in a frame moving at 3/5 the speed of light with respect to the stationary frame. √ For the moving observer we have γ = 1/ 1 − (3/5)2 = 5/4. Then 5 (1000 − 4 5 ct′ = (1000 − 4 x′ = 3 1000) = 500 m, and 5 3 1000) = 500 m. 5

b) A second frame is moving at −4/5 the speed of light relative to the ﬁrst moving frame. Using your answer in part (a), calculate the coordinates of the same event in the second moving frame. √ For the second moving observer we have γ ′ = 1/ 1 − (−4/5)2 = 5/3. Then 5 (500 − 3 5 ct′′ = (500 − 3 x′′ = −4 500) = 1500 m, and 5 −4 500) = 1500 m. 5

c) A third frame is moving at −5/13 the speed of light relative to the stationary frame. Calculate the coordinates of event, E1 , in this third frame. √ For the third moving observer we have γ ′′′ = 1/ 1 − (−5/13)2 = 13/12. Then x′′′ = ct′′′ 13 (1000 − 12 13 = (1000 − 12 −5 1000) = 1500 m, and 13 −5 1000) = 1500 m. 13

d) Use the addition formula for relativistic velocities to calculate the velocity of the second frame relative to the stationary frame. The velocity addition formula gives: V = u+v 3c/5−4c/5 −5c = = . 1 + uv/c2 1 − 4 ∗ 3/52 13

e) Comment on the relation between your answers in parts (b) and (c). The results are equal because the frames are both traveling at the same velocity, −5c/13, with respect to the stationary frame. 1

ct4 ) = (200. 000 ̸= 0. 200. X1 = (x1 . 000. ct1 ) = (200. 400. Find the proportionality constant which gives it the correct normalization. and describe what sort of four-velocity it represents (hint: calculate the γ factor again). 2 X3 = 2002 + 4002 + 4002 − 6002 = 0 ⇒ lightlike. 700. so it is spacelike. not timelike like a velocity. X3 = (x3 . For the γ factor we compute the 1/ 1 − v 2 /c2 and ﬁnd 1300/200 = 6. and show whether they are time-like. Given your results in part (a). where all lengths are measured in meters. with the proportionality constant being given by c/100. 400. 000 ⇒ timelike. 000 ̸= 0. e) Suppose that X4 − X3 is proportional to the proper four-velocity of a particle. 600). so it would represent the four-velocity of a particle at rest. d) Why can X2 − X3 not be proportional to a proper four-velocity? We ﬁnd (X2 − X3 ) · (X2 − X3 ) = 1002 + (−200)2 + 3002 − 02 = 140. X2 = (x2 . 000 ⇒ spacelike. 400. 700). Find the proportionality constant which gives it the correct normalization. b) Calculate the vector dot products X1 · X2 and X1 · X3 and X3 · X4 . z4 . y2 . z3 . 700). so √ proportionality constant will be c/200.2 Consider the following four-vectors. We ﬁnd: X1 · X2 = 200 ∗ 300 + 300 ∗ 200 + 600 ∗ 700 − 700 ∗ 600 = 120. 2 . because the Xs have units of m whereas a velocity has the units of m/s. z2 . y1 . 300. y4 . and give the γ factor. space-like or light-like vectors. with γ-factor equal to 1. a) Calculate the length of each of these four-vectors. z1 . X1 · X3 = 200 ∗ 200 + 300 ∗ 400 + 600 ∗ 400 − 700 ∗ 600 = −20. comment upon the fact that none of these dot products is zero. Nevertheless. 600). we can ﬁnd: (X1 + X3 ) · (X1 + X3 ) = 4002 + 7002 + 10002 − 13002 = −40. c) Suppose that X1 + X3 is proportional to the proper four-velocity of a particle. 400. X4 − X3 has only a time component. despite the fact that both X1 and X3 have squared length zero. X3 · X4 = 200 ∗ 200 + 400 ∗ 400 + 400 ∗ 400 − 600 ∗ 700 = −60. none of these is zero. ct2 ) = (300. with units of s−1 . 2 X2 = 3002 + 2002 + 7002 − 6002 = 260. 000 > 0. We have: 2 X1 = 2002 + 3002 + 6002 − 7002 = 0 ⇒ lightlike. 000 ̸= 0.5. This question is not very sensibly posed. ct3 ) = (200. X4 = (x4 . 600. 2 X4 = 2002 + 4002 + 4002 − 7002 = −130. y3 . Perhaps surprisingly.

45 kg.96 so γ = 25/7. 24/25. a) Calculate its proper four-velocity. 0. 1) + 250c/7(0. y. 24/25. 0. 0. z. 0. so the mass of the combined objects is 500/7 ≈ 71 kg. e) What is the mass of these joined particles? µ y x z With Pﬁnal = mﬁnal γﬁnal (vﬁnal . 2) = 500/7(0. an identical particle traveling at the same speed. What is the ﬁnal speed of these joined particles? We have for the ﬁnal four-momentum: µ Pﬁnal = 250c/7(24/25. 0. 0. 0.679c. 2) = 500c/7(12/25. vﬁnal .3 A particle of mass 10 kg moves at 96% the speed of light. What is the mass of the combined object? We ﬁnd: µ Ptot = 250c/7(24/25. b) Calculate its proper four-momentum. c). 1). instead. c) we ﬁnd mﬁnal = 500/7/γﬁnal = 52. that the particle collides with. but moving at right angles to the ﬁrst particle (as seen from a stationary frame). 1) + 250c/7(−24/25. 0. ct).362. 0. and sticks to. 12/25. From P µ = mV µ . 0. 1). c) It interacts with another identical particle moving in the opposite direction at the same speed and they stick together. 0. 0. 1) = 250c/7(0. with γﬁnal = 1. we ﬁnd P µ = 250c/7(24/25. 0. 3 . We have v/c = . 0. vﬁnal . 0. √ so the ﬁnal speed is 12 2c/25 = 0. 1) = 250c/7(24/25. 0. and V µ = 25c/7(24/25. We will use X µ = (x. 1). d) Suppose. 0.

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