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# !

"#\$%&'
)&%*+,-,.+,/ 0#""&/+,#1 #1 2!3 3*+&%%,+&

Theoiy
Question 2

page 1 of 6
ulobal Positioning System (uPS) is a navigation technology which uses
signal fiom satellites to ueteimine the position of an object (foi example an
aiiplane). Bowevei, uue to the satellites high speeu movement in oibit, theie
shoulu be a special ielativistic coiiection, anu uue to theii high altituue, theie
shoulu be a geneial ielativistic coiiection. Both coiiections seem to be small but
aie veiy impoitant foi piecise measuiement of position. We will exploie both
coiiections in this pioblem.
Fiist we will investigate the special ielativistic effect on an acceleiateu
paiticle. We consiuei two types of fiame, the fiist one is the "&.+ 4"*'& (calleu !
oi Eaith's fiame), wheie the paiticle is at iest initially. The othei is the 5"#5&"
4"*'& (calleu !! ), a fiame that instantaneously moves togethei with the
acceleiateu paiticle. Note that this is not an acceleiateu fiame, it is a constant
velocity fiame that at a paiticulai moment has the same velocity with the
acceleiateu paiticle. At that shoit moment, the time iate expeiienceu by the
paiticle is the .*'& as the piopei fiame's time iate. 0f couise this piopei fiame
is only goou foi an infinitesimally shoit time, anu then we neeu to uefine a new
piopei fiame afteiwaiu. At the beginning we synchionize the paiticle's clock
with the clock in the iest fiame by setting them to zeio, ! ! ! ! ! (# is the time in
the iest fiame, anu ! is the time shown by paiticle's clock).
By applying &67,-*%&1/& 5",1/,5%&, we can obtain geneial ielativistic
effects fiom special ielavistic iesults which uoes not involve complicateu metiic
tensoi calculations. By combining the special anu geneial ielativistic effects, we
can calculate the coiiections neeueu foi a uPS (global positioning system)
satellite to pioviue accuiate positioning.

Some mathematics foimulas that might be useful
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!
!!
!!
!

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!
!
!!
!!
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!"#\$!
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! !!"#\$
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! ! !"#\$
!
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!"#\$!! !!! ! !"#\$ ! !"#\$ ! !!"#\$ ! !"#\$ !
!"#\$%&'
)&%*+,-,.+,/ 0#""&/+,#1 #1 2!3 3*+&%%,+&

Theoiy
Question 2

page 2 of 6

!"
!!!
!
!
!
!
!
!!!
!
!!

!"
!!!
!

! !"
!!!
!!!
!!

!*"+ 89 3,1:%& 8//&%&"*+&; !*"+,/%& <=9> 5#,1+.?
Consiuei a paiticle with a iest mass \$ unuei a constant anu unifoim foice fielu %
(uefineu in the iest fiame) pointing in the positive & uiiection. Initially (# =!= u)
the paiticle is at iest at the oiigin (& = u).
1. <@9A 5+.? When the velocity of the paiticle is ', calculate the acceleiation of
the paiticle, ( (with iespect to the iest fiame).
2. <@9A 5+.? Calculate the velocity of the paiticle !!!! =
!!!!
!
at time # (in iest
fiame), in teims of %, \$, # anu ).
S. <@9B 5+.? Calculate the position of the paiticle &(#) at time #, in teim of %, \$* #
anu ).
4. <@9C 5+.? Show that the piopei acceleiation of the paiticle, !
!
! ! ! !!!, is
a constant. The piopei acceleiation is the acceleiation of the paiticle
measuieu in the instantaneous piopei fiame.
S. <@9D 5+.? Calculate the velocity of the paiticle !!!!, when the time as
expeiienceu by the paiticle is !. Expiess the answei in +, !, anu ),
6. <@9D 5+.? Also calculate the time # in the iest fiame in teims of +, !, anu ),

!*"+ E9 F%,:G+ H,'& <=9@ 5#,1+.?
The fiist pait has 1#+ taken into account the flight time of the infoimation to
aiiive to the obseivei. This pait is the only pait in the whole pioblem wheie the
flight time is consiueieu. The paiticle moves as in pait A.
1. <I9= 5+.? At a ceitain moment, the time expeiienceu by the paiticle is !.
What ieauing !
!
on a stationaiy clock locateu at ! ! ! will be obseiveu by
the paiticle. Aftei a long peiiou of time, uoes the obseiveu ieauing !
!

appioach a ceitain value. If so, what is the value.
2. <@9> 5+.? Now consiuei the opposite point of view. If an obseivei at the
initial point (& = u) is obseiving the paiticle's clock when the obseivei's time
!"#\$%&'
)&%*+,-,.+,/ 0#""&/+,#1 #1 2!3 3*+&%%,+&

Theoiy
Question 2

page S of 6
is #, what is the ieauing of the paiticle's clock !
!
. Aftei a long peiiou of time,
will this ieauing appioach a ceitain value. If so, what is the value.

!*"+ 09 J,1K#L.K, M,*:"*' <I9@ 5#,1+.?
In many occasion, it is veiy useful to illustiate ielativistic events using a
uiagiam, calleu as Ninkowski Biagiam. To make the uiagiam, we just neeu to
use Loientz tiansfoimation between the iest fiame S anu the moving fiame S'
that move with velocity ! ! !" with iespect to the iest fiame.

! ! ! !
!
!!"!
!
,
!" ! ! !!
!
!!!
!
,
!
!
! ! ! !!"# ,
!"
!
! ! !" !!" .
! !
!
! !
!
!
!
!

Let's choose & anu )# as the oithogonal axes. A point (&-, )#-) = (1,u) in the moving
fiame S' has a cooiuinate (&, )#) = !! !" in the iest fiame S. The line connecting
this point anu the oiigin uefines the &- axis. Anothei point (&-, )#-) = (u,1) in the
moving fiame S' has a cooiuinate (&, )#) = !"! ! in the iest fiame S. The line
connecting this point anu the oiigin uefines the )#- axis. The angle between the &
(./ x' (&01 01 !, wheie !"#! ! !. A unit length in the moving fiame S' is equal to
! ! !!
!
!
!!!
!
!!!
!
in the iest fiame S.
To get a bettei unueistanuing of Ninkowski uiagiam, let us take a look at this
example. Consiuei a stick of piopei length 2 in a moving fiame S'. We woulu like
to finu the length of the stick in the iest fiame S. Consiuei the figuie below.
&
)#
&-
)#-
!
!"
!
!
!"#\$%&'
)&%*+,-,.+,/ 0#""&/+,#1 #1 2!3 3*+&%%,+&

Theoiy
Question 2

page 4 of 6

The stick is iepiesenteu by the segment AC. The length AC is equal to
!!!
!
!!!
!
! in
the S fiame. The stick length in the S fiame is iepiesenteu by the line AB.
!" ! !" !!"
! !" !"# ! !!" !"#! !"#!
! ! ! !!
!

1. <@9A 5+.? 0sing a Ninkowski uiagiam, calculate the length of a stick with
piopei length 2 in the iest fiame, as measuieu in the moving fiame.
2. <@9A 5+.? Now consiuei the case in pait A. Plot the time )# veisus the
position & of the paiticle. Biaw the &- axis anu )#- axis when
!"
!
! ! in the
same giaph using length scale !!!
!
!! anu !"!!
!
!! .

!*"+ M9 HL# 8//&%&"*+&; !*"+,/%&. <=9B 5#,1+.?
Foi this pait, we will consiuei two acceleiateu paiticles, both of them have the
same piopei acceleiation + in the positive & uiiection, but the fiist paiticle staits
fiom & = u, while the seconu paiticle staits fiom & = 2. Remembei, MN ONH
consiuei the flight time in this pait.
1. <@9B 5+.? Aftei a while, an obseivei in the iest fiame make an obseivation.
The fiist paiticle's clock shows time at !
!
. What is the ieauing of the seconu
clock !
!
, accoiuing to the obseivei in the iest fiame.
2. <I9@ 5+.? Now consiuei the obseivation fiom the fiist paiticle's fiame. At a
ceitain moment, an obseivei that move togethei with the fiist paiticle
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)&%*+,-,.+,/ 0#""&/+,#1 #1 2!3 3*+&%%,+&

Theoiy
Question 2

page S of 6
obseiveu that the ieauing of his own clock is !
!
. At the same time, he
obseiveu the seconu paiticle's clock, anu the ieauing is !
!
. Show that
!"#\$
!
!
!
!
!!
!
! !
!
!"#\$
!!
!
!
!
wheie 31 is a constant. Beteimine 31.
S. <I9@ 5+.? The fiist paiticle will see the seconu paiticle move away fiom him.
Show that the iate of change of the uistance between the two paiticles
accoiuing to the fiist paiticle is
!"!
!!
!
! !
!
!"#\$
!!
!
!
!"#\$
!
!
!!
!
!!
!
!
!
wheie 32 is a constant. Beteimine 32.

!*"+ P9 Q1,4#"'%R 8//&%&"*+&; F"*'& <=9C 5#,1+.?
In this pait we will aiiange the piopei acceleiation of the paiticles, so that the
uistance between both paiticles aie constant accoiuing to each paiticle. Initially
both paiticles aie at iest, the fiist paiticle is at & = u, while the seconu paiticle is
at & = 2.
1. <@9> 5+.? The fiist paiticle has a piopei acceleiation +1 in the positive &
uiiection. When it is being acceleiateu, theie exists a fixeu point in the iest
fiame at &=&p that has a constant uistance fiom the fiist paiticle, accoiuing to
the fiist paiticle thoughout the motion. Beteimine &p.
2. <I9B 5+.? uiven the piopei acceleiation of the fiist paiticle is +1, ueteimine
the piopei acceleiation of the seconu paiticle +2, so that the uistance
between the two paiticles aie constant accoiuing to the fiist paiticle.
S. <@9S 5+.? What is the iatio of time iate of the seconu paiticle to the fiist
paiticle
d!
2
d!
1
, accoiuing to the fiist paiticle.

!*"+ F9 0#""&/+,#1 4#" 2!3 <=9= 5#,1+.?
Pait E inuicates that the time iate of clocks at uiffeient altituue will not be the
same, even though theie is no ielative movement between those clocks.
!"#\$%&'
)&%*+,-,.+,/ 0#""&/+,#1 #1 2!3 3*+&%%,+&

Theoiy
Question 2

page 6 of 6
Accoiuing to the &67,-*%&1/& 5",1/,5%& in geneial ielativity, an obseivei in a
small closeu ioom coulu not tell the uiffeience between a giavity pull + anu the
fictitious foice fiom acceleiateu fiame with acceleiation +. So we can concluue
that two clocks at uiffeient giavitational potential will have uiffeient iate.
Now let consiuei a uPS satellite that oibiting the Eaith with a peiiou of 12 houis.
1. <@9S 5+.? If the giavitational acceleiation on the Eaith's suiface is 9.78 m.s
-2
,
anu the Eaith's iauius is 6S8u km, what is the iauius of the uPS satellite
oibit. What is the velocity of the satellite. Calculate the numeiical values of
the iauius anu the velocity.
2. <I9= 5+.? Aftei one uay, the clock ieauing on the Eaith suiface anu the
satellite will uiffei uue to both special anu geneial ielativistic effects.
Calculate the uiffeience uue to each effect foi one uay. Calculate the total
uiffeience foi one uay. Which clock is fastei, a clock on the Eaith's suiface oi
the satellite's clock.
S. <@9D 5+.? Aftei one uay, estimate the eiioi in position uue to this effect.