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Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity. Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity. Special – different frames of reference moving at high velocities relative to each other with no acceleration(s). Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity.

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Einstein s theory of special relativity1
Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity

  • Special – different frames of reference moving at high velocities relative to each other with no acceleration(s).


Einstein s theory of special relativity2
Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity

  • Law #1 – the laws of physics are the same in all non-accelerating reference frames.

  • Law #2 - the speed of light ( c ) is the same in all non-accelerating reference frames.


Einstein s theory of special relativity3
Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity

  • Time dilation

  • Length contraction

  • Loss of simultaneity



Einstein s theory of special relativity5
Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity

  • ( Β ) = v/c

  • ( γ ) = 1 / (1-(Β2)) ½


Time dilation t t
Time dilation t’ = γ t


Time dilation
Time dilation

  • Your spouse was born on the same day as you.

  • He/She leaves on a voyage to the star Tau Ceti

  • The distance to Tau Ceti is twelve light years.

  • The ship will travel at an average speed of .98c there and back again.

  • The ship will explore the star system for one (earth) year.

  • How much older will you be when your spouse returns?

  • How much older will your spouse be?

  • What will be your age difference?


Length contraction l l o
Length contractionL’ = Lo / γ

  • A runner goes past you with velocity of .85c holding a pole with a proper length of 20 meters.

  • What length do you measure the pole?

  • How long does the pole appear to the runner?


Length contraction l lo
Length contractionL’ = Lo / γ






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