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Relativity
Chapter 11 - Relativity
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Gravity
Terms in this set (22)
frame of reference
a coordinate system relative to which motion is described or observed
inertial frame of reference
a frame of reference that moves at zero or a constant velocity; a frame in which the law of inertia holds
principle of relativity
the laws of motion are the same in all inertial frames
ether
the proposed medium through which electromagnetic waves were once believed to propagate
thought experiment
a mental exercise used to investigate the potential consequences of a hypothesis or postulate
postulate
a statement assumed to be true from which a theory is developed
special theory of relativity
all physical laws are the same in all inertial frames of reference, and the speed of light is independent of the motion of the light source or its observer in all inertial frames of reference
time dilation
the slowing down of time in one reference frame moving relative to an observer in another reference frame
relativistic time
time that is not absolute, but changes relative to the observer
proper time
the time interval measured by an observer at rest with respect to a clock
proper length
the length of an object or distance between two points as measured by an observer who is stationary relative to the object or distance
length contraction
the shortening of length or distance in an inertial frame of reference moving relative to an observer in another inertial frame of reference
relativistic length
the length of an object or the distance between two points as measured by an observer moving with respect to the object or distance
simultaneity
the occurrence of two or more events at the same time
twin paradox
a thought experiment in which a traveller in one frame of reference returns from a voyage to learn that time had passed more slowly in his spacecraft relative to the passage of time on Earth, despite tje seemingly symmetric predictions of special relativity
space-time
a four-dimensional coordinate system in which the three space coordinates are combined with time, a fourth dimension
relativistic momentum
the momentum of objects moving at speeds near the speed of light
rest mass
the mass of an object measured at rest with respect to the observer; also called the proper mass
relativistic mass
the mass of an object measured by an observer moving with speed v with respect to the object
rest energy
the amount of energy an object at rest has with respect to an observer
relativistic kinetic energy
the energy of an object in excess of its rest energy
conservation of mass-energy
the principle that rest mass and energy are equivalent
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