Special Relativity

According to Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity, time moves slower when you're working. That's not quite what it says, and in a hands-on lesson, pupils learn the actual theory. Scholars plot the half life of muons, then compare it to the observed half life over time. Einstein explains the difference in the expectation and reality. 

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Instructional Ideas

  • Perform the penny experiment before the lesson: take 100 pennies and place them into a shoe box, and shake the shoe box, then remove any that are tails up; keep repeating the demonstration as a way to explain half life
  • Group students by ability so learners can help each other
Classroom Considerations

  • Using a calculator could help some learners who struggle with math
  • The seventh lesson in a series of nine
Pros

  • Includes an article on physics versus pseudoscience
Cons

  • Does not include an answer key
  • Document permissions do not allow for printing