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Does Einstein implicitly proves himself and the Lorentz Transformation wrong?

  1. Oct 7, 2009 #1
    An interesting question maybe, but only in so far as the equations: y' = y and z' = z are concerned.

    In http://www.bartleby.com/173/11.html" [Broken] Einstein demonstates that if x= ct then x' = ct' in which he is absolutely correct, but if one were to try and do the same for y' and z' the result could hardly be the same as he claims it would.

    It seems to me that all Lorentz and Einstein have done is to ASSUME that as they are concerned only with movement along the x axis, the y and z axes would be unaffected.

    Why should this be so???

    For if it were then wouldn't time have to be diectional? So that it could be applied differently to calculate the speed of light, depending on whether the spacial element was contracted or not?

    I don't believe that this point affects anything else in Special Relativity but it is a little puzzle to me.:whistle:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2009 #2


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    The orientation of your spatial axes is arbitrary. For linear movement you can always define them such that x is along the direction of movement. If you don't do so, then you need to use a more general form of the Lorentz transformation, that handles all dimensions.
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