Unfortunately, my knowledge on this is limited to wiki which I trust is relatively correct but I would like to clear up some ambiguity. (I dont mind technical but please back it up with a general explanation since I am completely new to this. The general explanations I value more.) Wiki quote: "In physics, length contraction – according to Hendrik Lorentz – is the physical phenomenon of a decrease in length detected by an observer of objects that travel at any non-zero velocity relative to that observer." I read the first statement in wiki and already have questions. Now it says "detected by an observer of the object". Is this saying it is merely an observer effect, i.e., the object only contracts apparent to the observer who is seeing it with relative velocity; the object relative to itself does not contract? If in fact Lorentz contraction states that an object actually shortens: Is the general explanation that space is the introduced substance that contracts with the implication that the object shortens without changing it's internal material characteristics (other than space if that is considered an intrinsic property of matter)?