study questions

Here are some questions to ponder while you read the material in the last three classes. When we split into groups in the class, we will organize discussion around theses questions:

March 21:

1. Does Newton's "bucket experiment" establish that the water is spinning with respect to absolute space? If not, what is it spinning with respect to?

March 28:

1. According to Maudlin's reformulation of Newton's First Law, the trajectory of a body moving inertially is represented by a straight line in a space-time diagram. But how could we ascertain this of any body?

2. Maudlin says it is a confusion to say that "the faster a clock moves, the slower it ticks". What is confused about this? Is time dilation unreal?

3. In the Twin Paradox, why is it wrong to say that the difference in the twin's ages is due to the acceleration experienced by the younger of them? (Maudlin, 81-83)

April 4:

1. How was Einstein able to predict the bending of light around the Sun using the Strong Equivalence Principle alone, prior to even arriving at his field equations for General Relativity?(Maudlin 136)

2. What would we see if we were able to watch an astronaut falling through the event horizon of a black hole?

3. Why can't you time travel backwards and change your past?

© Richard T. W. Arthur 2016