Extra Credit Activity : A Slower Speed of Light

In this course, we will be studying what physicists call “Classical Mechanics”. The term classical here refers to the restriction that the laws developed by Newton in the 1600’s are applicable only to objects which are moving at speeds much less than the speed of light. Luckily, since the speed of light is so large, at 670,616,629 mph, Newton’s laws work perfectly for studying the motion of everyday things and even things which we may think of as traveling quickly, like rockets going to the moon!

However, as mentioned in this weeks lecture video, when objects begin moving with speeds comparable to the speed of light a new theory, Einstein’s special theory of relativity, must be used. This theory predicts all sorts of crazy interesting phenomena that we are not familiar with in our everyday lives, like clocks ticking slower and lengths getting shorter depending on your speed!

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Although we won’t be covering these topics in this course, it’s fun to look ahead and think about where you might go from here after studying the basics. To motivate you, I would like you to “experience” what it might be like to travel close to the speed of light, and write a short essay on how your perception might change compared from your everyday view of the world.

You will have until the end of the semester to complete this extra credit assignment, which will be worth 5 extra credit points towards your overall Lab/Activities grade.

Instructions :

To complete this assignment, please go to :

A Slower Speed of Light

(Links to an external site.)

and download the game. Follow the instructions to play and complete the game. After completing the game, email me

A screenshot of yourself with your score and proof that you have completed the game
A short 1-page essay describing how your perception changed as you moved closer to the speed of light, how these effects vary from your normal everyday perception of the world, and what you found most interesting and are most curious about in learning after Physics I.

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