On 26th September Eton College Mathematical and Vocational Societies hosted Professor James Vickers from the University of Southampton, who gave a talk titled, “A simple approach to geometry of space-time,” during which he discussed Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity.
Professor Vickers started his thought-provoking lecture by discussing some of the fundamental ideas on which the theory is based, such as the principle of relativity and that of invariant light speed. Based of these ideas, coupled with some assumptions about the nature of space-time, Professor Vickers used the methods of k-calculus to derive some the equations of Special theory of relativity. After briefly discussing the Lorentz transformations he then went on to talk about the physical consequences of the equations, such as length contraction and time dilation when moving at relativistic speeds as well as the experiments that have been done involving muons to prove the latter consequence.
During an equally insightful Q&A Professor Vickers discussed the multiple paradoxes that occur in Special relativity, most notably the twin paradox, which occurs as the consequence of time dilation.
We would like to that Professor Vickers for delivering such an interesting and accessible lecture.