- What was the result of the most accurate chemical attempt to test the Law of Conservation of Mass at the beginning of the 20th century? Why was that result later rejected?
- What were the topics of the 4 papers Einstein published in 1905?
- How was the Law of Conservation of Energy affected by relativity theory?
- What were the 5 successful predictions of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity that led to its acceptance by physicists?
- Discuss the history of the ether concept from Aristotle to Einstein.
- Identify: Michelson-Morley experiment.
- (i) How did Einstein define the simultaneity of two flashes of lightning occurring at points A and B on a railway embankment? (ii) Explain why, according to Einstein, flashes that are simultaneous for an observer standing on the embankment are not simultaneous for an observer in a railway carriage moving at speed v in the direction from A to B.
- Why did Einstein conclude that there is no "absolute time" independent of the motion of a body?
- [Problem 30.3 in Holton-Brush text] In the physics of Galileo and
Newton, if at time t=0 the origins of two coordinate systems K and K'
coincide, then at any later time an event that an observer in reference
frame K (on the embankment of a train track) reports to occur at time t and
a position (x, y, z) would be reported by an observer in reference frame K'
(on the train) at time t' and position (x', y', z'), where
x' = x-vt, y' = y, z' = z, t' = t
Prove that it follows from those equations that x = x' + vt'.
- Why did Einstein become the most famous scientist in the world? Does he deserve the title "Person of the Century" awarded by Time magazine or should someone else have that honor? Justify your answer.
- What is the twin paradox? Why isn't the effect symmetrical?
- Explain why, according to Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, it is very difficult for us to travel to the planetary systems that surround other stars, and why even if we could we might not want to.
- What was the 16-year-old Einstein's thought-experiment? How did it suggest one of the basic principles of Relativity Theory?
- What is a black hole? How is it related to Einstein's work?
- *Using the Lorentz transformation show that for an observer in one frame of reference, the length of a rod in another other frame (which is moving a speed v relative to the first frame) decreases with v, while the length of a time interval increases.
- *Suppose an event is described as happening at the place (x,y,z) and
time (t) as observed in one frame of reference K, and at the place (x', y',
z') and time t' in another frame K' which is moving at a speed v in the x
direction relative to K. According to the Lorentz transformation the
coordinates in K and K' are related by the following equations:
x' = γ(x-vt), y' = y, z' = z, t' = γ(t - vx/c²)
where γ = 1/√(1-v²/c²).
Prove that a ray of light moves at the same speed c in both frames.
- *Suppose that the length of a rod in a frame of reference K' is one meter at time t'=0. Show that (if the Lorentz transformation is valid) in another frame K moving at a speed v = ½c relative to K, and whose origin coincides with that of K' when t' = t = 0, its length at time t = 0 is ½√3 meters.
- What was the experiment of Fizeau that confirmed relativity theory, according to Einstein?
- How does Einstein's explanation of the result of the Michelson-Morley experiment differ from that of Lorentz and FitzGerald?
- Discuss the 3 original tests of General Relativity Theory (not black holes or gravitational waves) and their results as of 1920.
- Define "gravitational mass" and "inertial mass." How did Einstein explain the fact that they are equal?
- How is it possible for a universe to be finite but have no boundary?
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- Evaluate Einstein's book Relativity the special and general theory as an exposition for the "educated layperson" and/or a student who has taken only introductory college physics & mathematics.
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