Monday, May 30, 2016

Derivation of classical Kinetic Energy formula from STR

This year, thanks to NMC's media folks, I was able to use a lightboard (click here to read an article that describes how to build one) to put together two videos about Special Theory of Relativity (STR).

The first video (see the link shown below), goes through the process of deriving the classical formula of kinetic energy (K) from its relativistic sibling. The student were sent the link shown below and were asked to view it, take notes on it, record the said notes onto their IONs (Input/Output Notebooks), and then write a reflection paper on the subject matter as well as the video itself.

Kinetic Energy in STR Video (12:52 min):

The second video contrasts the two relativity relationships as understood by Galileo on one hand and the one formulated by Einstein on the other hand. The latter is also used to assist students in their understanding of how light speed remains constant in all inertial frames of reference.

Galilean vs. Einsteinean Relativity (6:21 min):

Once the students' reflections papers were collected, I challenged the students to justify the reasoning behind the Physicists insistence on inventing yet another relationship (that of K) that depends on the same physical quantities, mass and velocity.

Once satisfactory responses were obtained, I stated, "Now that we established connections between momentum p and kinetic energy K, would there be any relationship between ∆p & ∆K?" This led to the changes presentation, which I shall address in the following post.

After watching the two videos listed above, please, share your thoughts, reflections, and ideas about how you might use them in your own curriculum. Thank you

Dedicated to the memory of my beloved father (RA).

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