Mr. Rogers' IB Physics Topics 

Syllabus  1st Quarter  2nd Quarter  3rd Quarter  4th Quarter 
IB Physics  Relativity (Chapter 39 Serway)
Explain what is meant by a frame of reference.
Explain what is meant by an inertial frame of reference (IFOR).
the IFOR is not accelerating
Newton's 1st and 2nd laws hold true
Describe what is meant by a Galilean transformation.
Transforming from one inertial frame to another moving at constant velocity ( add v_{x}t, v_{y}t, v_{z}t, to the x, y, z, coordinates of an x, y, z, t system)
Calculate velocities using the Galilean transformations.
Describe the key points of Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetic radiation.
oscillating electric and magnetic fields are perpendicular to each other
oscillating electric and magnetic fields are perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation
speed of the wave created by these fields depends only on the electric and magnetic constants of the medium through which they travel.
the speed of electromagnetic waves in a vacuum is independent of the source's velocity.
Show that Galilean transformations fail if applied to a moving source of light. (Speed of electromagnetic waves in a vacuum is independent of the source's velocity.)
Concepts and Postulates of Special Relativity
State the two postulates of the special theory of relativity. (p. 1156)
The Principle of Relativity: All laws of physics are the same in all inertial reference frames.
Constancy of the Speed of Light: The speed of light in a vacuum has the same constant value in all inertial frames of reference regardless of the velocity of the observer or the source.
Discuss the concept of simultaneity.
2 simultaneous events in one reference frame are not simultaneous in another moving with respect to the first. (Two lightning bolts hitting a moving train car, p. 1158)
Relativistic Kinematics
Explain the concept of a light clock.
For example, the time taken for a beam of light to bounce between two perfect, parallel mirrors can be used to measure time.
Define the term proper time.
t_{o} = proper time, the time measured by a clock moving with the event being measured, or the time that would be measured if the measurement were taken at rest.
Derive the time dilation formula.
t = t_{o} / [(1  v^{2 }/ c^{2})^0.05]
Solve problems using the time dilation formula.
Draw and annotate a graph of how the Lorentz factor varies with relative velocity.
g = [1  v^{2 }/ c^{2}]^(0.05)
Some Consequences of Special Relativity
The twin paradox
Describe how the concept of time dilation leads to the “twin paradox”.
Solve onedimensional problems involving the relativistic addition of velocities.
Relativistic mass increase
Define the term rest mass = m_{o}.
Explain in terms of the relativistic mass equation why no mass can ever attain or exceed the speed of light in a vacuum.
m = m_{o} / [(1  v^{2 }/ c^{2})^0.05]
Mass–energy
State that the equivalence of mass and energy is predicted by special relativity.
Distinguish between rest mass energy and total energy.
Evidence to Support Special Relativity
Discuss muon decay as experimental evidence for time dilation and length contraction. (p. 1162)
charge = electron, mass 207 times an electron
produced by collisions of cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere.
rest half life = 2.2 micro sec
typical velocity = 0.9994c
should not reach ground but they do
The Michelson–Morley experiment (p. 1154 Serway)
Outline the setup of the Michelson–Morley experiment.
Outline the result of the Michelson–Morley experiment and its implication.
the constancy of the speed of light
there is no absolute reference frame
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