Questions on Special Theory of Relativity with Answers

Practice Questions on the Special Theory of Relativity with Answers

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Questions on Special Theory of Relativity with Answers


Q1. In an inertial frame S, a stationary rod makes an angle θ with the x-axis. Another inertial frame S’ moves with a velocity ‘v’ with respect to S along the common x-x’ axis. As observed from S’ the angle made by the rod with the x’- axis is θ’. Which of the following statements is correct ?

  • (A) θ’ < θ 
  • (B) θ’ > θ 
  • (C) θ’ θ if v is positive 
  • (D) θ’ > θ iv is negative and θ’ < θ if v is positive.

Q2. A space crew has a life support system that can last only for 1000 hours. What minimum speed would be required for safe travel of the crew between two space stations separated by a fixed distance of 1.08 ×1012 km ?

  • (A) c/√3 
  • (B) c/√2
  • (C) c/2 
  • (D) c/√5

Q3. Light takes 4 hours to cover the distance from Sun to Neptune. If you travel in a spaceship at a speed 0.99c (where ‘c’ is the speed of light in vacuum), the time (in minutes) required to cover the same distance measured with a clock on the spaceship will be approximately

  • (A) 34 
  • (B) 56 
  • (C) 85 
  • (D) 144

Q4. A proton from outer space is moving towards earth with velocity 0.99c as measured in earth’s frame A spaceship, traveling parallel to the proton, measures proton’s velocity to be 0.97c. The approximate velocity of the spaceship, in the earth’s frame is

  • (A) 0.3c 
  • (B) 0.2c 
  • (C) 0.4c 
  • (D) 0.5c

Q5. A collimated beam of pions originate from an accelerator and propagates in vacuum along a long straight beam pipe. The intensity of this beam was measured in the laboratory after a distance of 75 m and found to have dropped to one-fourth of its intensity at the point of origin. If the proper half-life of a pion is 1.77 x 10-8 s, the speed of the pions in the beam, as measured in the laboratory, must be

  • (A) 0.99c 
  • (B) 0.98 
  • (C) 0.97 
  • (D) 0.96

Q6. In a certain inertial frame two light pulses are emitted at point 5 km apart and separated in time by 5 μs. At observer moving at a speed V along the line joining these points notes that the pulses are simultaneous. Therefore V is

  • (A) 0.7c 
  • (B) 0.8c 
  • (C) 0.3c 
  • (D) 0.9c

Q7. A k meson (with a rest mass of 494 MeV) at rest decays into a muon (with a rest mass of 106 MeV) and; neutrino. The energy of the neutrino, which can be taken to be massless, is approximately

  • (A) 120 MeV 
  • (B) 236 MeV 
  • (C) 300 MeV 
  • (D) 388 MeV

Q8. Two frames, O and O’, are in relative motion as shown. O’ is moving with speed c/2 , where c is the speed of light. In frame O, two separate events occur at (x1, t1) and (x2, t2) . In frame O’, these occur simultaneously . The value of (x2 – x1)/(t2 – t1) is

  • (A) c/4
  • (B) c/2  
  • (C) 2c  
  • (D) c

Q9. Light takes approximately 8 minutes to travel from the Sun to the Earth. Suppose in the frame of the Sun an event occurs at t = 0 at the Sun and another event occurs on Earth at t =1 minute. The velocity of the inertial frame in which both these events are simultaneous is:

  • (A) c/8 with the velocity vector pointing from Earth to Sun 
  • (B) c/8 with the velocity vector pointing from Sun to Earth 
  • (C) The events can never be simultaneous – no such frame exist 
  • (D) c√[1- (1/8)2] with velocity vector pointing ion Sun to Earth

Q10. The kinetic energy of a free relativistic particle is me ?, where E and m are its total energy and rest mass respectively. Let v0 be the speed at which the kinetic energy equals the rest mass energy of the particle. Then

  • (A) v0 = c/√2 
  • (B) v0 = √3c/
  • (C) v0 = c 
  • (D) v0 > c (so this can never happen)

Q11. A galaxy is receding relative to us at a speed of 3000 km/s. It emits hydrogen redline of wavelength 6560 Å. When seen by us, the wavelength of this radiation will appear to be

  • (A) higher by approximately 65 Å 
  • (B) lower by approximately 65 Å 
  • (C) lower by approximately 6 Å 
  • (D) higher by approximately 6 Å

Q12. Muons of kinetic energy E are produced in collision with a target in a laboratory. The mass of a muon is 106 MeV/c and its half-life is 1.4×10 s in its rest frame. What should be the minimum value of E if more than half the muons created at the target are to reach a detector 840 m away ?

  • (A) 106 MeV 
  • (B) 212 MeV 
  • (C) 130 MeV 
  • (D) 189 MeV

Q13. A muon, whose life-time at rest is 2 x 10-6 sec, is travelling through the laboratory at three-fifth of the speed of light. It will last in

  • (A) 2 × 10-6 sec 
  • (B) 3.0 × 10-6 sec 
  • (C) 2.5 × 10-6 sec 
  • (D) 3.5 × 10-6 sec

Q14. Relative to a stationary observer, a rod of length 1.0 metre is moving at 0.8 times the speed of light in vacuum. It would appear to the observer that the rod’s length is :

  • (A) 0.8 m 
  • (B) 0.6 m 
  • (C) 1.0 m 
  • (D) 1.25 m

Q15. A particle is moving at a speed of 2.6 ×108 m/s relative to the laboratory. Its lifetime as measured by an observer in the laboratory is 4.7 × 10-6 s. The lifetime of the particle in its own rest frame is about

  • (A) 2.3 ×10 s 
  • (B) 9.4 ×10 s 
  • (C) 4.7 ×10 s 
  • (D) 14.4 ×10 s

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Answer Key (if you find any answer wrong, feel free to Correct us)

01.(B)06.(C)11.(A)
02.(B)07.(B)12.(B)
03.(A)08.(C)13.(B)
04.(D)09.(B)14.(B)
05.(A)10.(B)15.(A)

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