Your project involves conducting research on the special theory of relativity. You will determine variables that depend upon velocity and how these variables are noticeably affected by speeds near that of light.
By the end of this project, you should be able to:
- apply the scientific method to a problem and draw logical conclusions from systematically collected and analyzed data.
- use the Special Theory of Relativity to explain with words, equations, and diagrams which variables are dependent upon speeds that approach the speed of light and qualitatively and quantitatively describe how dependent variables are varied at various speeds.
- using appropriate terminology describe and explain the operation and purpose of experiments that utilize the special theory of relativity.
- explain with both words and experimentally derived equations the motion of particles that approach the speed of light and be able to apply these principles to the energy and momentum of those particles.
- use data provided from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to study several dependent variables and how they are dependent upon velocity (distances traveled by muons with different velocities and no velocities...what's the graph?, etc). You will also need to sort through provided data to determine if it is capable of systematic analysis.
- describe the fundamental particles and forces and be able to explain the quark or lepton structure and characteristics of the particles described in your chosen data.
Your teacher will provide:
- timely guidance and advice to get (and keep) your project moving.
- suggestions for ways to find information (e.g., topics, keywords, books, videos, laser discs, etc.).
- a World Wide Web (WWW) page full of links to useful sites providing information on the Special Theory of Relativity and the Standard Model, links to experts on Relativity and the Standard Model and Fermilab experiments.
- a listing of basic research questions about your topic in order to provide initial guidance on your literature search.
- a school e-mail account and suggestions for collaboration with other students at GBS (and beyond) and with scientists who conduct research in your field. equipment (Macintosh, RelLab, ChamberWorks, Physics Explorer, Sensai Physics, Interactive Physics, ...etc.), and data links to Fermilab.
- graphical analysis software and other analysis software.
- a scoring rubric to guide your performance and to access your completed project.
You are responsible for:
- developing a plan which involves dividing up each phase of the project into a variety of tasks and designating certain tasks as the responsibility of certain individuals.
- devoting yourself to your designated task and collaborating with others regarding the results of your efforts.
- arranging for appointments with your teacher in order to ask questions, receive advice, discuss difficulties, and discuss progress.
- a thorough and well-documented literature search which includes technical reading from scientific texts and physics books, the search of information on CD-ROMs (particularly the Einstein... CD-ROM), and the use of Internet (WWW) resources ; the literature search should attend to and exceed the listing of basic research questions.
- a well-defined project proposal based on background reading which includes (1) a statement of the purpose, (2) a step-by-step procedure for analyzing the obtained data, and (3) a clearly-defined plan for interpreting experimental data.
- providing a written request for needed equipment (24 hours in advance).
- a detailed and organized notebook which documents your experimental results and a computer disk which is used to systematically save Graphical Analysis and other analysis.
- reviewing your notebook and computer disk with your teacher during guidance sessions.
- the organization of charts, graphs, posters, computer printouts, pictures, clip-art, videos, CD-ROM images, WWW downloads, etc. all included in a multimedia report which includes credit for used information and which informs your classmates of what you did, how you did it, and what the results were.
- the production of a single word-processed lab report which includes the final form of your purpose, bibliography, literature survey, experimental procedure, experimental data, graphs, charts, a discussion of results, and a discussion of the theory behind the Special Theory of Relativity and the Standard Model to explain your discovered relationships and conclusions.
Some KEYWORDS to use in a literature search:
- Relativity Einstein
- Physics AND "The Special Theory of Relativity" The Standard Model
- Education AND ... Time Dilation
- Relativistic Mass Length Contraction
- Invariaint or Invariance Top Quark
- High Energy Physics CPEP
IMC RESOURCES (placed on reserve)
- General Information
- How the World Works 500 REN
- Experimenting with Science 507.8 GAR
- Foundations of Modern Physics 530 HOL
- How Things Work 530 CRA
- Physics Projects for young... 530 GOO
- Adventures in Physics 530 HIG
- A Source Book in Physics 530 M
- The Story of Physics 530 MOT
- The Project Physics course 530 RUT
- Phenomenal Physics 530 SWA
- The complete Guide to... 797.1 EVA
- Detailed Information about your specific topic:
- How Things Work 530 CRA
- A folder containing articles pertaining to the Special Theory of Relativity and the Standard Model and Conceptual Physics (a text by Paul Hewitt).
- Other IMC RESOURCES (not placed on reserve)
- Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedias R503 VAN
- Science and physics encyclopedias and reference materials
- CD-ROMs (particularly the "Creation of the Universe" and "..." CD-ROMs)
The folder (mentioned above) will be a very useful resource for technical information. The Internet contains much information about both the Special Theory of Relativity and the Standard Model. The encyclopedias, reference materials, and CD-ROMs are also very useful. The Mechanicl Universe Video and the Conceptual Physics text (Chapters 15 & 16 should also prove valuable). Quickly determine what is meant by relativistic speed, time dilation, length contraction, The Standard Model, quarks, leptons, and Feynman Diagrams and how it applies to the provided data sets. You will also want to quickly become familiar with the equations of the Special Theory of Relativity to determine how the equations match the received data.
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Created: July 23, 1996 Last Updated: March 16, 1999