Space Travel, Relativity, and GPS

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Slides for a talk given at Physics Day at Space Center Houston, May 1-2 2014. Explains why nothing can move faster than the speed of light using spacetime diagrams.

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Space Travel, Relativity, and GPS

  1. 1. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
  2. 2. http://lookslikescience.tumblr.com/
  3. 3. What to Tell Your Dog About Einstein Chad Orzel http://dogphysics.com/
  4. 4. http://xkcd.com/1071/
  5. 5. "Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. I mean you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space."
  6. 6. Nearest Star  24,635,923,200,000 miles Over 4 years at light speed http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/12lys.html
  7. 7. Voyager I  11 miles/second Nearest Star  24,635,923,200,000 miles 71,000 YEARS http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/voyager_share.jpg
  8. 8. Albert Einstein, 1905 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Einstein_patentoffice_full.jpg Special Relativity: Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light c=299,792,458 m/s =186,322 miles/s
  9. 9. Special Relativity: Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light c=299,792,458 m/s Albert Einstein, 1951 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Einstein_tongue.jpg =186,322 miles/s
  10. 10. The Principle of Relativity: The Laws of Physics Do Not Depend on How You’re Moving
  11. 11. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Galileo_Galilei_4.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Galileos_Dialogue_Title_Page.png
  12. 12. t=0.0 s t=0.1 s t=0.2 s t=0.3 s t=0.4 s t=0.0 s t=0.1 s t=0.2 s t=0.3 s t=0.4 s
  13. 13. The Principle of Relativity: The Laws of Physics Do Not Depend on How You’re Moving
  14. 14. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Michael_Faraday.jpg http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:James_Clerk_Maxwell_profile.jpg
  15. 15. http://rickmanelius.com/article/power-dork-mode
  16. 16. The Principle of Relativity: The Laws of Physics Do Not Depend on How You’re Moving
  17. 17. time space 0:00 0:01 0:02 0:03 0:04 0:05
  18. 18. time space 0:00 0:01 0:02 0:03 0:04 0:05
  19. 19. time space 0:00 0:01 0:02 0:03 0:04 0:05
  20. 20. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Goddard_and_Rocket.jpg
  21. 21. http://www.universetoday.com/91857/boris-chertok-rocket-pioneer-dies-at-99/
  22. 22. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Apollo_15_launch.jpg
  23. 23. http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2010/0818/ Star-Wars-fans-ask-NASA-to-build-a-hyperdrive
  24. 24. time space 0:00 0:01 0:02 0:03 0:04 0:05
  25. 25. time space 0:02
  26. 26. time space-3 -2 -1 1 2 3 0:02
  27. 27. time space 0:02
  28. 28. time space 0:00 0:01 0:02 0:03 0:04 -3 -2 -1 1 2 3
  29. 29. time space 0:02
  30. 30. time space 0:02
  31. 31. time space 0:02
  32. 32. time space
  33. 33. Special Relativity: Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light c=299,792,458 m/s Albert Einstein, 1951 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Einstein_tongue.jpg =186,322 miles/s

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