1 Announcements l CAPA #9 due Tuesday April 1 l Mastering Physics Chapter 35 due April 1 l Average on exam #2 is 26/40 l For the sum of the first two ...

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Russell Jeffry James

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Special theory of relativity l Applies at all speeds, slow and fast l What do we mean by fast? ◆ approaching the speed of light ▲ 186,000 miles per sec ▲ 3 X 108 m/s ◆ not your typical highway speeds ◆ but ones approached for example by the particles at Fermilab, or at CERN l Einstein came up with the special theory of relativity while thinking about light video

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What would things look like travelling near the speed of light?

l http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=JQnHTKZBTI4

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Cockroft and Walton

Ernest Rutherford Let’s hear it directly from Einstein.

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Why is special relativity special? l Because it works with inertial (non-accelerating) frames of reference l After the special theory of relativity, Einstein went to work on a more general theory of relativity, one that could describe accelerating frames of reference as well l He continued his use of the idea of space-time l And he found a connection with gravity

l We identify an event with space-time coordinates (x,y,z,t) l The same event will have different coordinates in different reference frames

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Nov 10, 1919 New York Times headline …this came after the end of WWI, and made Einstein a ‘rock star’

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Other tests of general relativity: gravitational lensing l Quasars are extremely bright objects found mostly in the early universe l They are bright enough to be seen across the entire universe; the brightest objects in the universe ◆

now believed to be powered by giant black holes at the centers of galaxies

l Four images of the same distant quasar l The light images are bent by the gravitational effects of an intermediate galaxy l Now used as a method to magnify distant images

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Mapping of dark matter l Can use the bending of the light of distant galaxies by dark matter between us and the distant galaxies to map out the distribution of dark matter

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Advance of the perihelion of Mercury l Since almost two centuries earlier astronomers had been aware of a small flaw in Mercury’s orbit around the Sun, as predicted by Newton’s laws. As the closest planet to the Sun, Mercury orbits a region in the solar system where spacetime is disturbed by the Sun’s mass. Mercury’s elliptical path around the Sun shifts slightly with each orbit such that its closest point to the Sun (or “perihelion”) shifts forward with each pass. Newton’s theory had predicted an advance only half as large as the one actually observed. Einstein’s predictions exactly matched the observation.

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Gravitational redshift l According to General Relativity, the wavelength of light (or any other form of electromagnetic radiation) passing through a gravitational field will be shifted towards redder regions of the spectrum. To understand this gravitational redshift, think of a baseball hit high into the air, slowing as it climbs. Einstein’s theory says that as a photon fights its way out of a gravitational field, it loses energy and its color reddens. (It can’t lose speed since light can only travel at c.) Gravitational redshifts have been observed in diverse settings, including laboratory experiments.

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Time dilation l We said that time passed more slowly for objects moving at great speeds l But, time also passes more slowly for objects in gravitational fields l Suppose I do an experiment where I take two atomic clocks (incredibly precise, accurate to 1 billionth of a second per day (1 ns)), synchronize them and keep one of the ground while the other flies in a commerical jet around the world l Do the clocks agree when they’re brought back together? NO l The clock on the jet slowed down because it was travelling at a greater speed, but the clock on the ground was in a stronger gravitational field l The gravitational effect was stronger, so the clock on the ground ended up counting off less time than the one in the jet (by about 100 ns); this was first carried out in 1971! l GPS satellites experience the effects of both special and general relativity ◆ they are moving fast and are in a weaker gravitational field ◆ corrections have to be made to the signals so that your navigator has the 5-10 m accuracy you’re expecting ! !

Say, how’s the war in Iraq going?

Twin paradox

Two twins aged 21. One stays home on earth. The other heads off in a spaceship travelling close to the speed of light (γ=25; 99.9% of the speed of light)

After 50 years have passed for the twin on earth, only 2 years have passed for the twin in the spaceship. Or is it the other ! way around? !

Answer: not so easy to understand l It’s the twin in the spaceship who doesn’t age as much l The two frames of reference (the Earth and the spaceship) are not equivalent l One accelerates (the spaceship) and the other doesn’t ! !

Einstein field equations l Einstein viewed gravity as being due to the curvature of space l A large mass curves space more than a small mass l The curvature is described by the Einstein field equations, which we briefly mentioned earlier when we were discussing tensors l The EFE describe how mass and energy are related to the curvature of spacetime. In abstract index notation, the EFE reads as shown to the right, where Gab is the Einstein tensor, Λ is the cosmological constant, c is the speed of light in a vacuum and G is the gravitational constant, which comes from Newton's law of gravity.

8π G Gab + Λgab = 4 Tab c This is a simple-looking equation, but is very difficult to solve in practice

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Elegant Universe

…and yes, you can get it on a t-shirt

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Einstein field equations 8π G Gab + Λgab = 4 Tab c “My greatest blunder.” sincerely, Albert Einstein …because without the cosmological constant the universe could not be static and would have to be expanding But in the 1960’s Penzias and Wilson discovered the remnants of the Big Bang that started the universe expanding What were they really looking for?

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Penzias and Wilson

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latest WMAP results

Penzias and Wilson

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latest WMAP results

Escape velocity …using Newton’s laws, we can calculate the escape velocity of a planet

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Escape velocity for a very dense object l What is the escape velocity for an object with the mass of the Sun and a radius of 1 km?

l Msun=1.99X1030 kg l G=6.67X10-11 Nm2/ kg2

2GM 2(6.67X10 v= = R v = 5.2X10 8 m /s

−11

2

30

Nm /kg)(1.99X10 kg) 1000m

If you could shrink the Sun down to a radius of 1 km, nothing could ! escape from it, not even light. !

i.e. a black hole

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Where do black holes come from? l They result from the supernova explosions of very massive stars

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Super-massive black holes l Black holes with a mass of 1E6 to 1E10 solar masses l Essentially all galaxies, including our own, contain super-massive black holes at the center

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Active galaxies l Have super-massive black holes at the center, and are in the process of having lunch (accreting nearby stars, gas, dust)

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The real thing

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