A Lesson on Lorentz Contraction

1. Apr 21, 2006

Tido611

ok so i have been assinged to do a 10-12 page written lesson on the lorentz contraction, the thing is that i know very very little about it(we will assume i know nothing about it) so what i was wondering if anybody around here knew anything about it and wouldnt mind offering a hand. If there are certain topics that i should cover within it like the development, uses or stuff along those line. Ive searched other places but the explanation they give me is too complex for me to understand right off the bat, so if there are any ideas right off the bat to push me in the right direction it would be great.

2. Apr 25, 2006

Tido611

come on i know if i post this under a different subject i would actually getting response. Does anyone know anything about Lorentz Contraction? If not would it be possible for me to post this under a different subject, maybe one that gets more rotation?

3. Apr 26, 2006

Staff: Mentor

So what do you know so far about Lorentz contraction? What is the equation for length versus velocity? Why is c so special in the equation? What overall theory is Lorentz contraction considered an integral part of?

To help you, we need to see what you know so far, and what your sources of information are. Like, what grade are you in in school? What textbooks do you have available? You said that your initial research only turned up explanations that were too complicated, but honestly, Lorentz contraction is pretty straightforward, and doesn't even involve calculus at the simpler levels of explanation.

I went to HowStuffWorks.com and did a search on Lorentz, which gave me the link below into the HyperPhysics.com website. In the box with the Lorentz Transformation equations, click on "Relativity Concepts" at the right, and then browse down through the info tree (left side first) some to see if that helps.

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/HBASE/relativ/ltrans.html

4. Apr 26, 2006

Tido611

I know very little about it, i know that it effects both time and length, i know the equations for both of those, i have no idea why c is soo important and i have no idea about the integral part either.

i am in grade 12 and the only textbook i have available is Nelson's grade 12 physics and it doesnt tell me much about the contraction, all the book says is the equation and how to use it.

hyper physics didnt tell me much

5. Apr 26, 2006

Staff: Mentor

Okay, try looking in the technical encyclopedia in your school library under Relativity or Special Relativity. Lorentz contraction is one of the key concepts in Special Relativity. The encyclopedia should have an intro section on Albert and the motivations for SR, and then it should explain the LC in the context of SR. Look also for things like the Twin Paradox, etc., as examples of application of the LC. That should get you started. Then you can use keywords from the encyclopedia and its bibliography to help you find other sources of info.