Relativistic velocity and acceleration transformations from thought experiments
|Title||Relativistic velocity and acceleration transformations from thought experiments|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2005|
|Authors||Mathews, W. N.|
|Journal||American Journal of Physics|
I derive the three-dimensional velocity and acceleration transformations of special relativity from a set of thought experiments. These derivations are facilitated by the use of an enhanced particle-light clock and employ simple physical arguments based on kinematic considerations and the principle of relativity. The derivations are conceptually simpler, more intuitive, band less abstract, and require significantly less background and preparatory effort than the usual derivations employing the Lorentz transformation. They also serve to emphasize the directness and immediacy of the connection between the principle of relativity and its physical consequences. (C) 2005 American Association of Physics Teachers.