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Lorentz contraction at relativistic speeds

  1. Mar 4, 2009 #1
    So I was reading up on the SR equations and the following thought experiment crossed my mind:

    Suppose you have someone in a starship travelling at high enough speed to make the Lorentz factor noticeable. Will that produce a blurring effect when the observer is looking out the front window? Im not talking about motion blur here, just the regular uniform blur you get if you're myopic. This effect will of course be on top of the aberration, redshift and luminosity effects.

    The eye of the observer is being contracted along the x axis, meaning that the lens gets thinner and the retina gets closer to the lens. All the while c is constant. Will the thinner lens have its diffraction index lowered and as a result light being correctily projected on the retina or not? (considering that the lens is exactly the same, just with molecules more tightly packed together - or does lorentz contraction does have nothing to do at all with space between nuclei?)
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2009 #2


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    You seem to have a misunderstanding of the nature of the Lorentz contraction. Let us assume A and B are going near the speed of light relative to each other. A will observe B contacting and B will observe A contracting. However neither will observe any such change within their own frame.
    Your description of the eye changes in your note would be observed by an outside observer, but NOT by the person him(her)self.
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