Feynman Simplified 1C Cover

Guide to the Cosmos
Making the Wonders of our Universe

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Robert L. Piccioni, Ph.D.

Feynman Lectures
Simplified



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1C:
Special Relativity &
the Physics of Light

Feynman Simplified 1C covers the 3rd quarter of the freshman course of The Feynman Lectures on Physics. The topics we explore include:

Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity 
  •     The Principle of Relativity
  •     What Motivated Special Relativity?
  •     The Lorentz Transformation
  •     Length Contraction & Time Dilation
  •     E=mc2 & Simultaneity
  •     Light Cones & Causality
  •     Paradoxes, Puzzles, & Philosophy

    The Physics of Light, including:
  •     Geometric Optics
  •     The Principle of Least Time
  •     Interference & Diffraction
  •     Feynman Sum Over Histories
  •     Refraction & Polarization
  •     Electromagnetic Radiation
  •     Light Scattering
  •     Relativistic Effects on Light


Excerpt:

The Starships & String Paradox

Two Federation starships, at rest alongside a space dock, are tied together with a string, represented by the solid line at the bottom of Figure 28-3. Both starships face the same direction, and are separated by a distance L; L is also the length of the string.

Figure 28-3 Starships at Space Dock

At time t = 0, GO signals (dotted lines) from the space dock arrive at the antennas on the tail fins of each starship. Both ships immediately blast off with constant acceleration, and both stop accelerating when their velocities relative to the space dock equal v, a velocity close to the speed of light.

Our question is: What happens to the string?







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