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Paradoxes II

Keywords: Reference Frames, Special Relativity, Space Contraction, World Lines, Small Group Activity

Highlights of the activity

  1. This small group activity is designed to help upper division undergraduate students analyze additional relativity paradoxes.
  2. Students work in small groups and use spacetime diagrams to analyze additional relativity paradoxes, such as the “manhole-cover” paradox.
  3. The whole class wrap-up discussion includes group presentations, allowing students to reach consensus in resolving each paradox as well as observe some of the interesting properties of special relativity.

Reasons to spend class time on the activity

  • Encourages students to learn to use spacetime diagrams.
  • Confronts students with unexpected properties of special relativity.


Instructor's Guide

Student Handouts


Authors: Tevian Dray
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