The following are some of the key terms that students will encounter and need to know in order to succeed in their study of special relativity.
Inertial frame of reference:
A frame of reference in which the law of inertia holds.
Noninertial frame of reference:
A frame of reference that is accelerating relative to an inertial frame.
The hypothetical medium regarded as not directly observable, through which electromagnetic radiation was thought to propagate.
The occurrence of two or more events at the same time.
The time interval between two events measured by an observer who sees the events occur at one position.
The slowing down of time in a system, as seen by an observer in motion relative to the system.
The length, in an inertial frame, of an object stationary in that frame.
Length (Lorenz) contraction:
The shortening of distances in a system, as seen by an observer in motion relative to that system.
The mass measured at rest, relative to the observer.
Conservation of mass-energy:
The principle that rest mass and energy are equivalent.
- Hirsch, A., Stewart, C., Martindale, D, & Barry, M. (2011). Nelson Physics 12. Toronto: Nelson Thomson Learning