1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Basic Special Relativity Problem

  1. Oct 3, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    The Concorde traveled 8000 km between 2 places in North American and Europe at an average speed of 375 m/s. What is the total difference in time between 2 similar atomic clocks, one on the airplane and one at rest on Earth during a one-way trip? Consider only time dilation and ignore other effects like Earth's rotation.



    2. Relevant equations

    Δt_E = γ(Δt_S), γ = [1-(v/c)^2]^.5


    3. The attempt at a solution

    Here's my thinking: I can find the elapsed time during a one-way trip as measured from Earth frame by dividing the distance (8000 km) by the speed (375 m/s). Then, since the airplane and its clock are moving relative to Earth, the elapsed time interval will be smaller as measured from Earth frame. So I use the equation above.

    The problem is that v/c is WAY too small even for a scientific calculator, which just treats it as zero. What can I do with this problem? I tried a binomial approximation, but that didn't help much.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 3, 2011 #2

    Ray Vickson

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Gamma is approx 1 -(.5)*(v/c)^2, where v = 3.75*10^2 and c = 3*10^8, so you can get v/c = f*10^(-6), and can easily get f using you calculator. This is the type of thing we used to do on a sliderule, way back in the Stone Age.

    RGV
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Basic Special Relativity Problem
  1. Basic Special Relativity (Replies: 14)

Loading...