Through Einstein's Eyes is the online version of a multimedia project designed to aid in visualizing how things look at relativistic speeds. The collection centerpiece is the "Relativistic Roller Coaster", a virtual world where light speed is only 5 meters per second. This framework allowed the developers to translate the effects of relativity into normal experience. Additional simulations explore color distortion, length contraction, relativistic aberration, Terrell rotation, angular compression, the Doppler Effect, and more. Users can stop/start the simulations to view related background information. The project is aimed at high school to college-level introductory physics students, and is periodically classroom-tested.
In addition, the website offers tutorials on the fundamentals of special relativity, all written for learners with little or no prior experience with the topic. High-resolution DVD versions of the material are available from the website. The movies on this website were created by a method called "relativistic raytracing", implemented in Backlight software. See Related Materials for an article detailing the development of the graphics package and its computational basis.
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9-12: 10C/H1. As a young man, Albert Einstein, a German scientist, formulated the special theory of relativity, which brought about revolutionary changes in human understanding of nature. Among the counterintuitive ideas of special relativity is that the speed of light is the same for all observers no matter how they or the light source happen to be moving. In addition, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
9-12: 10C/H6. Under everyday situations, most of the predictions of special relativity are nearly identical to those of classical mechanics. The more counterintuitive predictions of special relativity occur in situations that humans do not typically experience.
11. Common Themes
6-8: 11B/M4. Simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.
9-12: 11B/H1a. A mathematical model uses rules and relationships to describe and predict objects and events in the real world.
9-12: 11B/H2. Computers have greatly improved the power and use of mathematical models by performing computations that are very long, very complicated, or repetitive. Therefore, computers can reveal the consequences of applying complex rules or of changing the rules. The graphic capabilities of computers make them useful in the design and simulated testing of devices and structures and in the simulation of complicated processes.
%0 Electronic Source %A Savage, Craig %D June 22, 2005 %T Through Einstein's Eyes Online - Visualizing Special Relativity %V 2016 %N 24 October 2016 %8 June 22, 2005 %9 video/quicktime %U http://people.physics.anu.edu.au/~cms130/TEE/
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