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Q. 6

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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

(b) No

See the step by step solution

Step by Step Solution

Part(a) Step 1: Explanation

In rocket frame of reference, the light flashes reach the rocket pilot at same instant of time. Hence

pilot sitting inside the rocket will receives the flashes that are coming from light simultaneously the expanding wavefront both travel at speed of light C , so reach the rocket at same time in rocket's frame. Hence light flashes reaches the rocket pilot simultaneously

Part(b) Step 2: Explanation

You will observe that the light first strikes the left tree. after the flash occurs, the rocket moves

towards the right. The flash on the left occurs , then the rocket is in the middle, then the flash on the right occurs ( in your reference frame). Therefore, the light first hits the left tree in the your frame of reference.

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