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In special relativity, a light cone (or null cone) is the surface describing the temporal evolution of a flash of light in Minkowski spacetime. This can be visualized in 3-space if the two horizontal axes are chosen to be spatial dimensions, while the vertical axis is time.

Image from wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_cone

[img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/16/World_line.svg/300px-World_line.svg.png[/img]

The following simulation was created to help you visualize the light cone (for observer moving with blue dot at the left X-Y panel). Events from three observers are drawed with blue, green and cyan traces.

 

For Teachers

Translations

Software Requirements

SoftwareRequirements

Android iOS Windows MacOS
with best with Chrome Chrome Chrome Chrome
support fullscreen? Yes. Chrome/Opera No. Firefox/ Sumsung Internet Not yet Yes Yes
cannot work on some mobile browser that don't understand JavaScript such as..... cannot work on Internet Explorer 9 and below

 

Credits

Fu-Kwun Hwang - Dept. of Physics, National Taiwan Normal Univ.; Fremont Teng; Loo Kang Wee

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Sample Learning Goals

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For Teachers

 

Instructions

Draggable Particles

You can drag the observer (blue) and cyan particles to anywhere on the
hypersurface of the present.
 
This can be done by dragging their 2D versions on the graph.
 
(Default)


(Dragging the Observer Particle)


(Dragging both Particles)
 
Notice how the entire cone shift along the plane,
and watch the difference as you play the simulation.
 

Toggling Full Screen

Double clicking anywhere in the panel will toggle full screen.
 
 

Play/Pause and Reset Buttons

Plays/Pauses and resets the simulation.

Research

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Video

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 Version:

Other Resources

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