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ERIC Number: EJ912884
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Gravity, Time, and Lagrangians
Huggins, Elisha
Physics Teacher, v48 n8 p512-515 Nov 2010
Feynman mentioned to us that he understood a topic in physics if he could explain it to a college freshman, a high school student, or a dinner guest. Here we will discuss two topics that took us a while to get to that level. One is the relationship between gravity and time. The other is the minus sign that appears in the Lagrangian. (Why would one subtract potential energy from kinetic energy?) In this paper we discuss a thought experiment that relates gravity and time. Then we use a Feynman thought experiment to explain the minus sign in the Lagrangian. Our surprise was that these two topics are related.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A