Physics 320 Lab

Special Relativity
Introduction to MathCAD

MathCAD Topics:
Simple calculations
Text regions
Pre-defined functions
Defining a function
Plotting a function
Defining range variables
LR-TB ordering
Regions (view, copy, move, align)
Importing data

Exercise 1. Graph g versus (v/c).

Exercise 2. Graph L/L0 versus (v/c) for a meter stick.  For what fraction of the speed of light does the moving meter stick appear to shrink to 0.5m according to a stationary observer?

Exercise 3. Graph T/T0 versus (v/c) for a second.  For what fraction of the speed of light does a one second time interval according to a moving observer appear to a stationary observer to be a minute?

More MathCAD:
Symbolic computations (integrals, derivatives, algebra)

Exercise 4. Show that the spacetime interval, Ds2 = x2 + y2 + z2 - (ct)2, is invariant under a Lorentz transformation.

Complete the Special Relativity Physlet Exercises .

You may want to refer to the chapter on Space-Time Diagrams at the following website. .