Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is Lorentz contraction objectively real?

  1. Sep 11, 2004 #1
    Those who teach special relativity consider it a very important exercise to have students decide how to measure the length of a rapidly moving object. That's religious indoctrination and a wrongheaded approach to physics. The theoretical process that physicists talk about to measure the length of a rapidly moving object requires belief in simultaneity. In actual reality, according to the math of relativity theory, simultaneity doesn't exist.

    Lorentz contraction is just a peculiarity of a simplistic coordinate system that physicists believe in.


    Eugene Shubert
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2004 #2

    Tom Mattson

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Oh, for Pete's sake, not another one.

    We also consider it a very important exercise to have students derive the Lorentz transformation from first principles.

    It's neither of those things, if you consider my remark above. Students don't just use the Lorentz transformation, they are required to know where it comes from and why they use it.

    Wrong. According to SR, simultaneity is relative. That does not mean it does not exist.

    Yes, we believe in it because it preserves the form of Maxwell's equations under changes of inertial frames, and because both the LT and the postulates from which it is derived have been experimentally verified.

    For future reference, PF is not a place to post crackpot attacks against scientific theories. When I say "crackpot attack", I mean a criticism that has no experimental or valid mathematical basis.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook