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Physics LibreTexts

2: Kinematics and Dynamics

  • Page ID
    • 2.1: Spacetime Diagrams
      Our focus now turns to generalizing the analysis of the many relativistic effects that we uncovered with thought experiments. We begin this quest with a nice graphical technique.
    • 2.2: Lorentz Transformation
      So far we have achieved results one at a time, through thought experiments. Here we will develop a more general mathematical framework to link inertial frames in relative motion which will work for the results we have already obtained, as well as any other new ideas that might come along.
    • 2.3: Velocity Addition
      Having the lorentz transformation pays immediate dividends by giving us a means for rescuing us from another potential paradox. Things start to get a little complicated though, as this deals with three things in relative motion.
    • 2.4: Momentum Conservation
      One of the most revered principles in all of physics is the conservation of momentum. Is it going to fall by the wayside in relativity, like so many other cherished ideas? Yes and no.
    • 2.5: Energy Conservation
      Finally we have arrived at perhaps the most famous equation in all of physics – the equation that is on the lips of even the most uninitiated when they hear the name of Einstein. What is remarkable is that as famous as the energy-mass equivalence equation is, precious few know what it really means, which is too bad, because this concept is the pinnacle of special relativity for good reason.