# Postulates of the Special Theory of Relativity

1. State and explain the postulates of the special theory of relativity.

2. Suppose a person riding on top of a freight car shines a searchlight beam in the direction in which the train is traveling. Compare the speed of the light beam relative to the ground when:

a.The train is at rest.

b. The train is moving.

How does the behavior of the light beam differ from the behavior of a bullet fired in the same direction from the top of the freight car?

3. Define the following terms:

a. Time dilation.

b. Simltaneity

c. Length contraction

d. Mass-energy equivalence

4. What does the equation E = mc2 mean?

5. A rectangular billboard in space has the dimensions 10 meters by 20 meters. How fast and in what direction with respect to the billboard would a space traveler have to pass for the billboard to appear square?

6. How long would a meter stick appear if it were traveling like a properly thrown spear at 99.5 percent of the speed of light?

7. State and explain the principle of equivalence.

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1. State and explain the postulates of the special theory of relativity.

Solution:

First postulate: The laws of physics have the same form in all inertial reference frames.

Second postulate (constancy of speed of light): Light propagates through empty space with a definite speed c independent of the speed of the source or observer.

2. Suppose a person riding on top of a freight car shines a searchlight beam in the direction in which the train is traveling. Compare the speed of the light beam relative to the ground when:

a. The train is at rest.

b. The train is moving.

How does the behavior of the light beam differ from the behavior of a bullet fired in the same direction from the top of the freight car?

Solution:

The speed ...

#### Solution Summary

The expert postulates in special theory of relativity.