Detonator paradox

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

theres this problem in my book that talks about the detonator paradox, where there's one U shaped figure and one T shaped figure and theres a button for a bomb at the bottom of the U shaped figure, and the question is if the 2 figures go toward each other so that they fit, will there be a detonation. well the standard answer to this is that it will detonate because in the refrence frame where the bomb does not detonate, the end of the T will continue moving and hit the button since forces only move at the speed of light, so the bomb will detonate.
However i looked at the other refrence frame and noticed that in the RF of the U structure, the legs of the U will collide with the legs of the T before the button is pressed while in the RF of the T, the legs of the T collide with the legs of the U after the button is pressed. could someone explain this for me?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Doc Al
Mentor
44,892
1,143
Since the two events--(1) bottom of T hitting the button and (2) top of T hitting U structure--are not causally linked* there's no problem in different frames seeing them occur in different order. (The relativity of simultaneity at work.)

*By that I mean that one event is not the "cause" of the other.
 
Last edited:
  • #3
2,006
5
You haven't explained the problem very well. Also, you've misrepresented the solution (there is no "refrance from where the bomb does not detonate").
 

Related Threads for: Detonator paradox

  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
6K
Replies
5
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
16
Views
5K
  • Last Post
6
Replies
128
Views
12K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
61
Views
2K
Replies
9
Views
3K
Top