Matching Items (2)

Computer-Aided Space-Time-Energy Budgets for Round-Trip Relativistic Excursions

Description

Since the acceptance of Einstein's special theory of relativity by the scientific community, authors of science fiction have used the concept of time dilation to permit seemingly impossible feats. Simple

Since the acceptance of Einstein's special theory of relativity by the scientific community, authors of science fiction have used the concept of time dilation to permit seemingly impossible feats. Simple spacecraft acceleration schemes involving time dilation have been considered by scientists and fiction writers alike. Using an original Java program based upon the differential equations for special relativistic kinematics, several scenarios for round trip excursions at relativistic speeds are calculated and compared, with particular attention to energy budget and relativistic time passage in all relevant frames.

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  • 2015-05

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Space Vector: Video Games for Introductory Newtonian Mechanics

Description

This dissertation describes Space Vector 1 and Space Vector 2, two video games that introduce Newtonian mechanics concepts. Space Vector 1 is a side-scrolling game, in which players choose

This dissertation describes Space Vector 1 and Space Vector 2, two video games that introduce Newtonian mechanics concepts. Space Vector 1 is a side-scrolling game, in which players choose to drop bombs or supplies. Players had to identify if the physics was correct during a mission, or they had to plot the trajectory of a falling object, which was then simulated. In Space Vector 2, players were given velocity and acceleration values and had to plot the trajectory of a spaceship across a grid, or players were given a trajectory of a spaceship on a grid and had to program the velocity and acceleration values to produce the trajectory. Space Vector 1 was evaluated with 65 college undergraduates. Space Vector 2 was evaluated with 18 high school students. All participants were given a subset of the Force Concept Inventory, a standard assessment tool in physics education, as a pretest and posttest. Space Vector 1 was evaluated with a single group pretest-posttest design. Space Vector 2 was evaluated with a 2 x 2 ANOVA, where the factors were game mechanic (prediction mechanic or programming mechanic) and bonus questions (bonus question after a mission or no bonus question). Bayesian statistical methods were used for the data analysis. The best estimate for the average change in test scores for Space Vector 1 was a score gain of 1.042 (95% Highest Density Interval (HDI) [0.613, 1.487]) with an effect size of 0.611 (95% HDI [0.327, 0.937]). The best estimate for the grand mean of change scores in Space Vector 2 was an increase of 0.78 (95% HDI [-0.3, 1.85]) with an effect size of 0.379 (95% HDI [-0.112, 0.905]). The prediction
o bonus question version produced the largest change in score, where the best estimate for the mean change score was an increase of 1.2. The estimation intervals for the Space Vector 2 results were wide, and all included zero as a credible value.

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  • 2014