UM Math Graduate Students Seminar

Armando Cabrera
University of Miami

will present

Special Relativity from an intuitive viewpoint through Spacetime Diagrams

Friday, February 10, 2012, 4:00pm
Ungar Building Room 402

Abstract: In 1905, Albert Einstein published a new theory that in our days is known as Special Relativity. This theory is based in two fundamental postulates:

1) The laws of Physics are the same for any inertial observer.
2) The speed of light is constant.

Usually, if we take a class of Special Relativity, it will begin with the explanation of the most important phenomena implied by the postulates and the instructor will infer those phenomena after introducing the Lorentz Vector Spaces (i.e. scalar product vector spaces of signature 1 of dimension greater than 1). In this talk, based on the work of Hermann Bondi (1962), I will derive the most popular features of Special Relativity, e.g. the time dilatation, the relativistic addition of velocities and the space contraction, from an intuitive viewpoint (without the necessity of Lorentz Transformations) through the so called Spacetime Diagrams. I hope that after this talk, as Bondi would have liked, the words Relativity and Common Sense won't be unrelated anymore.

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