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Homework Help: Special relitivity problem

  1. Oct 13, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    It takes light 40 years to get from planet 1 to planet 2 anna who was just born leves planet 1 to go to planet 2. can she make it to planet 2 in 30 years?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I know the anwser is yesand if anna moves at .8c she would make it in 30 years but i need help understanding why.
    in my book it says to take V=40LY/30Y and i get that part but then it says to devide both sides by c and it gets V/C=(40LY/30Y)((1-V^2/c^2)^(1/2))
    i want to know WHY you have to devide one side by c tha the other side by 1/(c(1-V^2/c^2)^(1/2))
    after that step i understand it but that step is confusing me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2008 #2

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't quite understand that. Instead I'd take V = Dist/Time = (Lo/γ)/T = (40LY/γ)/30Y. Then it's just a matter of solving for V.

    That's incorrect. You'd divide both sides by c. But you must start with the correct equation.

    What book are you using?
  4. Oct 14, 2008 #3
    Nonclasical Physics by Randy Harris
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