PWL #56: Special Relativity

Papers We Love @ Seattle
Papers We Love @ Seattle
Public group

Every 1st Thursday of the month

Location image of event venue


• What we'll do
Main Event:
Shuheng presents on Einsteins Special Relativity (,
Special relativity was introduced by Einstein in 1905. Before Einstein's special relativity, we had a concept called Newtonian/Galilean relativity. The idea is that if you sit in an inertial reference, like an uniformly moving train, you won't be able to tell that it is moving and the physics laws are unchanged. An outside observer to the moving train, given the train's velocity, could re-write all coordinates local to the moving train using coordinates local to the outside observer. This could be done in a simple transformation. If you transform Newton's laws of motion, you would see that they remain the same in both coordinate systems, in fact all inertial frames.
The key assumption above was that time is untransformed between two observers.
Maxwell's electromagnetism equations do not take the same form between two inertial frames. It also predicts electromagnetic waves moving at approximately[masked] km/h. But the question is, with respect to what?
So Einstein postulates that light actually moves at this velocity with respect to all inertial observers. Which leads to the consequence that time is not going at the same rate for all observers, and actually relates to relative velocity between the two observers.
This leads to a beautiful new view on the universe where space and time must be considered together as "spacetime".

• Important to know
Big ups to Glympse for hosting this month!

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