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6 - Conceptual Questions

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Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach with Modern Physics
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Short Answer

FIGURE Q36.6 shows a rocket traveling from left to right. At the instant it is halfway between two trees, lightning simultaneously (in the rocket’s frame) hits both trees.

a. Do the light flashes reach the rocket pilot simultaneously? If not, which reaches her first? Explain.

b. A student was sitting on the ground halfway between the trees as the rocket passed overhead. According to the student, were the lightning strikes simultaneous? If not, which tree was hit first? Explain.

a. Yes, the light flashes reach the rocket simultaneously.

b. No, the light hit the left tree first.

See the step by step solution

Step by Step Solution

Part (a) Step 1: Given information 

We have given,

Explanation

Since the light will hit both trees at same time for the rocket and they are at the same distance from the rocket.

As we know at the speed of light will be same for all the inertia frame. then we can say that will reach the rocket at the same time.

Part (b) Step 1: Given information,  

We have given

Explanation

Since rocket is moving from the left tree to toward right tree. then the light to reach both at same time at the rocket, it is required that the left light will travel earlier then the right one for the ground person.

Then, the light should strike the left tree before the right tree for the ground person.

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