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# How would you answer this advanced higher physic paper question? watch

1. I am not sure how to answer this past paper question as it only says '3 Marks – good understanding of physics' in the finalised marking.
It is question 5 in the 2014 Advanced Higher Physics Revised
Here is the link, but I will also put the question below: http://www.sqa.org.uk/pastpapers/pap...d_all_2014.pdf

So the question says:
"A commercial airline pilot talking to his friend, who is a member of the ground crew, states
“Of course, according to Einstein’s theories, flying at high speed at high altitude means that I’m going to age much slower than you will.”

Using your knowledge of physics principles, comment on the pilot’s statement."

This question is worth 3 marks.
2. Wrong forum, but I imagine they would want to mention that he would age slower due to special relativity and his high relative velocity, but would age faster due to experiencing a weaker gravitational time dilation due to his high altitude, and maybe then make an estimate on what effect would be more pronounced? Although I'm not a physicist so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
3. (Original post by coldplasma)
Wrong forum, but I imagine they would want to mention that he would age slower due to special relativity and his high relative velocity, but would age faster due to experiencing a weaker gravitational time dilation due to his high altitude, and maybe then make an estimate on what effect would be more pronounced? Although I'm not a physicist so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
Thanks - I think I am in the correct forum now, all sorted.
I am no physicist either, but I think what you have said is correct. He (the pilot) would age slower because he is flying at 'high speeds', based on the theory of special relativity. But the pilot would also age faster because he is at 'high altitude' and this is based on the theory of general relativity.

So I guess that you would probably get a mark for stating special relativity, and another mark for stating general relativity. That gives two marks in total. To get the final mark, like you said you 'make an estimate on what effect would be more pronounced.'

Correct me if I am wrong, but 'high speed' would have an effect if it is close to the speed of light. 'High' could be any speed, and therefore you don't know whether the pilot is travelling near the speed of light. So you don't know whether 'high speeds' or 'high altitude' would have the most effect. I think.

What would you put to get the final mark?
4. Well personally I suspect that he would age faster because any speed the aeroplane can reach won't even come close to relativistic speeds, and GTD is a real effect that has to be accounted for in satellites that orbit the earth, so I would say the pilot is wrong. I don't really know the math behind it though.
5. I'd take issue with the 'much', and provide a back of the envelope type calculation to show that the effect is insignificant. I might mention the direction of flight, relative to the Earth's rotation.

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Updated: January 6, 2017
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