Conceptual Physics Alive: Special Relativity, Atoms

Item # PX-9105

Conceptual Physics Alive



In Stock

Paul Hewitt teaches Special Relativity and Atoms.


Master teacher Paul Hewitt teaches non-computational Conceptual Physics. Observe Hewitt teach in a classroom with real students, using engaging demonstrations and artwork.

DVD Includes 3 Episodes:

  1. Episode 1: Special Relativity I: A discussion on the concept of time dilation leads up to a showing of the 12-minute animated film "Relativistic Time Dilation." Segment length: 49 minutes

  2. Episode 2: Special Relativity II: Length, momentum, mass, and Einstein's famous equation E=mc2 are discussed and supported with several fanciful examples. Speculations about going faster than the speed of light are entertained. Segment length: 38 minutes

  3. Episode 3: Atoms:Bohr's atomic model is described, with emphasis on the smallness, emptiness, and plentifulness of atoms. Atomic number, atomic mass, relative atomic sizes, and the wave properties of matter are also discussed. Segment length: 43 minutes


Special Relativity I includes:
• Hewitt begins with a thought experiment of a baseball-pitching machine.
• Brief historical perspective of Einstein.
• Einstein's reasoning that constant speed of light indicates a relationship between space and time.
• First postulate of special relativity.
• Street-car example of Einstein viewing village clock from a moving reference frame.
• Chalkboard illustrations to show relativistic Doppler effect.
• Einstein's second postulate.
• The twin trip covered in detail. (A treatment of the "twin paradox.")
• The twin trip from switched frames of reference.
• Showing of the 12-minute animated film, "Relativistic Time Dilation," by Steve Smith, which won First Prize at the American Educational Film Festival in 1977.

Special Relativity II includes:
• Hewitt begins with reference to the film, "Relativistic Time Dilation" from the previous lecture.
• Chalkboard exhibition of the time dilation equation with numerical examples.
• Hewitt's speculates about "century hopping."
• Scenario of whirling around in a high speed centrifuge to experience time dilation.
• Speculation of what might occur if one could travel faster than the speed of light. The consequences of a faster-than-light jump from one planet to another are entertained.
• Seeing in the past at all times.
• Speculations about what we might see in a mirror in space 1000 light-years away. We see ourselves when? [2000 years ago.]
• Momentum and mass increase with speed.
• All four relativity equations are displayed with fanfare on the chalkboard.
• Length contraction with speed, in terms of the linear accelerator at Stanford University.
• Discussion of space travel in terms of the concepts of relativity.

Atoms includes:
• Discussion of smashing boulder into smaller and smaller units, to the atom.
• Periodic table of the elements.
• Diagram and description of hydrogen atom.
• Consequences of the smallness of helium and fluorine.
• Diagram and description of various atoms.
• Empty space of atoms.
• Neutrinos and their incidence upon us.
• Notion of touching at atomic level.
• Appearance of atoms.
• Analogy of water diffraction to diffraction of light waves.
• Electron microscopes and tunneling microscopes.
• Brownian motion.
• Comparison of atomic size to humans and the sun.
• Comparison of atomic size to apples and the world.
• Perpetual motion of atoms.
• Ink drop in water, and spreading of atoms.
• Columbus' glass of water in the Atlantic Ocean.
• Breath of air and its diffusion.
• Comparison of number of people in the world and number of atoms in your lungs at any moment.
• Atoms that make up your body are composed of atoms that have been part of others who preceded you.

Products being sold are not toys. They are for Educational / Labratory use only. They are not for use by children 12 and under.