Main Question or Discussion Point
Was Einstein aware of the implications of relativity (such as length contraction) before he concocted it? Or were these implied concepts just happy accidents?
From the sticky thread FAQ: Experimental Basis of Special RelativityIs it true that no experimental evidence exists for length contraction?
I assume you're referring to the historical aspect of relativistic mass, that is, did the concept of relativistic mass, or something similar to it, exist before Einstein published his theory? Apparently the answer is "yes."relating back to my first post, what about relativistic mass?
Yes, that's what I was asking. I'll have to learn more about Lorentz since Einstein seems to have looked to him... and he's not taught to us in this course.If you are asking if Einstein was aware that his theory implied that mass was dependent upon frame of reference, yes, he derived that equation along with the Lorentz contract.
We're being taught in this course that relativistic mass is the way things will be taught in high level physics. Apparently this isn't true.I assume you're referring to the historical aspect of relativistic mass, that is, did the concept of relativistic mass, or something similar to it, exist before Einstein published his theory? Apparently the answer is "yes."
Inertia. Not the physics kind of inertia, but the human / psychological / cultural kind. Many or most commonly-used introductory physics textbooks date back to the 1950s or 1960s, with revisions since then, and probably were not written or updated by people who actually use relativity in their daily physics work.why even bother teaching relativistic mass then?
Lorentz transformations have been in favor all along and they aren't going anywhere. They're how you relate the notions of time and distance between observers; the time dilation and length contraction formulas are derived from them; and they're essential to any understanding of SR.A better question would be:
are relativistic mass calculations out of favour, Lorentz transformations being used instead?
I like that quote! We should make a "relativistic mass" fee. In order to use the term on this site you need to send a two dollar bill to Greg Bernhardt.He then adds in a footnote: "Since E and mrel differ only by a constant factor c2, there's nothing to be gained by keeping both terms in circulation, and mrel has gone the way of the two-dollar bill."