Here is part of a question on Special Relativity taken from Columbia University's Physics Qualifying Examination in 2016. It was set by renown physicist and author Brian Greene. HL students aiming for a 7 must do extra reading to broaden their knowledge of Physics. Professor Greene's books make a good start. An asteroid is on a collision course with a space station located 5000 light minutes from the Earth. The asteroid is moving away from the Earth toward the space station at a speed 3/5c along a trajectory which is a straight line connecting the Earth and the space station. To save the station, NASA launches a missile from Earth at 4/5c. When the missile is launched, NASA determines that the asteroid is 400 light-minutes from Earth. How many minutes should NASA set on a timer located on the missile so that it will explode just as it catches the asteroid? [1200 minutes]
Physics and Mathematics
What are the concepts in Physics and Mathematics that students find difficult? In this blog I will post tutorial points that I hope will stimulate thinking and so broaden the knowledge and understanding of students allowing them to write thorough examination responses. Tutorial notes, from a student's point of view, will be posted on the HSC, IB and university level topics of Relativity, Electromagnetism, Mechanics, Quantum Physics and Calculus. The overall purpose of these pages is to encourage and promote learning in Physics and Mathematics and so open new horizons in learning.