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Espaces virtuels pour l’éducation et l’illustration scientifiques : contribution à l’appréhension de la Théorie de la Relativité Restreinte par la réalité virtuelle

Abstract : The Theory of Special Relativity (TSR) is a particularly counterintuitive theory. Its implications are, by nature, out of reach by human experience. Therefore we cannot perceive its effects directly, thus raising problems of comprehension for the students confronted to it. However, Virtual Reality (VR) enables us to overcome this limitation by immersing a user into a world where the velocity of light is reduced to 1 m/s. As a result, the relativistic phenomena become directly perceivable through our senses. This possibility, which is the cornerstone of our work, brings a unique way to apprehend the relativistic phenomenon trough a "hands-on" experiment.In this context, we propose, first, innovative methods to include relativistic effects in simulation containing any number of objects moving in an arbitrary direction and velocity and taking into account the relativistic dynamics of the objects, including object-to-object interaction. We focused on the relativistic phenomenon involved in the deformation of objects: the delay of propagation of the photons from the light source to the observer, as well as the relativity of length and the aberration of light. We describe, second, methods to integrate the simulation techniques, previously introduced, into an immersive environment intrinsically based on Newtonian physics. We also provide interaction methods and a concrete application in a serious game framework: a relativistic carom billiard. Finally, we demonstrate the possibilities of our platform are demonstrated in two ways: one tackles usage in the context of learning evaluation and the other is an extension of the tool to access new pieces of information relevant to TSR, such as the force profile used to launch an object with a relativistic velocity.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 11:23:25 AM
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Tony Doat. Espaces virtuels pour l’éducation et l’illustration scientifiques : contribution à l’appréhension de la Théorie de la Relativité Restreinte par la réalité virtuelle. Autre [cs.OH]. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012PA112177⟩. ⟨tel-00737569⟩

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