Terms and concepts from A Beka Book Physics Chapter 28: "Relativity" (pages 441-453)

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• ### Albert A. Michelson

the American physicist who attempted to find the speed of light through an experiment involving a light source and mirrors on two different mountains

### the speed of light (c)

3.00 x 10^8 m/s^

### ether

the invisible medium of light that was supposed by nineteenth century scientists to permeate the entire universe

### interferometer

a device that scientists use to observe the interference of light

### (1.) The speed of light is constant in a vacuum. and (2.) The laws of physics are obeyed in an inertial frame of reference.

the two physical absolutes, according to the theory of relativity

### relativity

the theory that states how related elements of space and time change with respect to speed or gravity; states that there is no absolute point of reference for physical events

### relativism

the philosophy that states that all value judgments-- that is, all attempts to distinguish betwee right and wrong-- are relative to the situation (a philosophy which some try to link to relativity)

### special relativity

the type of relativity that is concerned primarily with motion at a high velocity

### abolute upper limit

The speed of light is a(n) ____ ___ ___ on velocity in the universe.

### will not

If an observer measures how fast two objects are moving apart or coming together, the velocity so determined (will, will not) be the same as the velocity of one object as seen from the other.

### mass, accelerate

With respect to an observer's frame of reference, objects appear to gain ___ as they _____.

### rest mass

term for an object's mass at rest

### proportional

Energy is _____ to mass.

### time dilation, length contraction

With respect to an observer's frame of reference, a moving object will experience both ___ ____ and ___ ____.

### time dilation

term meaning that time passes more slowly (takes longer to pass) for the moving clock than the stationary clock, or that from the perspective of a stationary observer, a moving object's clock slows down

### length contraction

term meaning that, from the perspective of a stationary observer, lengths shorten in the direction (or parallel to the direction) of motion

### general relativity

the theory which says that all masses produce curves in space, which affect space and time, but not mass

Example: