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Table of Contents

Length Contraction

Prompts

“Draw a diagram showing a meter stick on a moving train.”

“Draw a diagram showing a meter stick at rest.”

“Calibrate these diagrams using unit hyperbola.”

Context

Estimated Time: 30 minutes, including wrap-up

This SWBQ develops further understanding of hyperbola geometry. Students should know the basics of hyperbola geometry.

  • Length contraction is just the result of different observers making different measurements.
  • Spacetime diagrams can be calibrated using hyperbolas.

Wrap Up

  • Ask several students to present/defend their responses.
  • Construct right triangles with unit hypotenuse in both reference frames, emphsasizing the location of the right angle.

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