GPS, Relativity, and Nuclear Detection

When will we need to know Einstein's Theory of Relativity in real life? Every single time you use a cell phone, GPS, or watch satellite TV. When a satellite is sent into space without accounting for relativity, problems immediately arise with both GPS and nuclear detection, and the video explains why this occurs.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Like the idea of time changing to the twin astronaut study where one stayed on earth while the other was on the ISS
  • Discuss the fact that Australia is moving fast enough—it has to change the longitude and latitude coordinates every few years in order to stay accurate
Classroom Considerations

  • Video uses the word triangulate rather than the correct word, trilaterate; the video does have the correction written in a pop-up, but many students might miss the difference
Pros

  • ELLs benefit from closed captioning in 10 languages
  • Engaging and short to maintain viewers' attention
Cons

  • None
Common Core