What is the Relativity Project?
The Relativity Project teaches about the Special Theory of Relativity (by Einstein!) using two electronic projects that demonstrate basic concepts of the theory.
Relativity theory? Sounds way too complicated!
And that's one of the reasons we like it. Creating these projects helped our students understand the theory. In fact, they got it so well they could explain it successfully to others during school exhibitions.
What concepts of the theory are presented?
The special theory of relativity is concerned with the speed of light and the effects of travelling near that speed:
- According to special relativity, the mass of an object is increased when its speed increases. This increase is negligible at small everyday speeds, but is extremely important when speed becomes a considerable percent of light speed. The speed of light (in vacuum) is 300000 km/sec and at 50000 km/sec the mass increase is already present and significant.
- According to special relativity, even time is not absolute. When an object is moved at speeds comparable to the speed of light, its time differs compared to a static one. For example, at 95% of the speed of light, time is about 33% slower. At everyday speeds, the difference is negligible, it is however important in systems like GPS satellites where absolute timekeeping accuracy is essential.
How your Project demonstrated Special Relativity?
Relativity Project consists of two electronic devices:
- The Relativity Timers:
The user can select a speed (50000 km/sec up to 299000 km/sec) and watch two timers: One is always running at normal time (zero speed) and runs for 1 minute. The other timer shows the elapsed time at the selected speed.
- The Relativity Scale:
The user places an object (e.g. a mobile phone) on the scale. The screen shows the mass of the object at different speeds (stationary to about 99% of light speed).
Check the following demo videos: