GPS and Relativity
Students investigate how GPS depend on Einstein's theories of general and special relativity to function and explore how they determine the location of a receiver on Earth. Simple yet powerful activities are used to illustrate the Equivalence Principle and prompt students to think deeply about its implications.
- Lesson plans: GPS and Relativity
- Videos: The Global Positioning System and Relativity (approx. 8:31 min)
- Activities: Free Fall and Zero Gravity; Acceleration and Artificial Gravity; Thought Experiment: Applying the Equivalence Principle; Time in Relativity (worksheets and solutions)
- Supplementary Materials: Special Relativity and the GPS, General Relativity and the GPS, and more
(Note: all lesson plans and worksheets provided as PDFs and modifiable MS Word documents)
Intended Audience: Senior High (Gr 11-12)
Lesson Topics: Energy, Gravity, Relativity
This individual lesson plan is part of the Everyday Einstein: GPS & Relativity lesson compilation.