LIGO Document T080159-v1

‘What Time is It?’: An Algebra Based Derivation of Time Dilation

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T - Technical notes
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21 Jan 2009, 09:55
This activity is appropriate for high school students with skills in algebraic manipulation and basic geometry. While this activity focuses on mathematics, it also makes connections to physics and physical science by deriving concepts from Einstein’s Special Relativity and considering their consequences (as appropriate for high school science). Such interdisciplinary connections offer opportunities to introduce concepts, such as Relativity, that are not normally a part of the curriculum.

Mathematics Concepts:
• Velocity (speed) equation
• Algebra
• Pythagorean Theorem

Physics Connections:
• Velocity (speed)
• Vector addition (although the term vector is not explicitly used)
• Introduction to Special Relativity

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Notes and Changes:
For Mr. R. C. Bowman
Hempfield Area High School, Greensburg, PA
Thank you for showing me the beauty of Relativity with this derivation!

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