Special Relativity (SR) is a way of describing space and time developed by Albert Einstein. This lab will guide students through discovering the surprising effects of thinking of space and time in a new way. Rather than using a physical lab experiment, the students will follow Einstein's method of gedanken (thought) experiments. That means less setup and cleanup for the teacher! It DOES NOT follow the usual presentation of SR with bouncing photons which confuses thousands of college students every year. It is appropriate for students in Geometry who are learning the Pythegorean Theorem, rotations, similar triangles, and right triangle trigonometry.
arrange students into small groups for productive discussion
be familiar with the terminology of SR and the effects of length contraction, time dilation, and relative simultaneity
right triangle trigonometry
the terminology of SR and the effects of length contraction, time dilation, and relative simultaneity
an external application of trigonometry
self-respect for having learned something society deems diffcult and confusing