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Homework Help: Lorentz/length contraction.

  1. Mar 31, 2009 #1
    Hi, This isn't actually a coursework question but rather a part of my course which I'm struggling to get my head round.
    I can use formula to calculate the amount that an object contracts but I can't seem to get my head around why this happens.
    I've been trying to imagine a rod travelling past me(my frame of reference is inertial and not moving) with a constant velocity, close to the speed of light, but I don't understand why the rod is contracted from my frame of reference.
    Thanks for any help in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2009 #2


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    Hi lincs_b! :smile:

    Why? Because it does … because that's what the equations tell you. :wink:

    Roughly speaking, it's because when you measure its length, you do so at what you think are simultaneous times at each end,

    but it thinks that those times are not simultaneous, and so one end has had time to travel a little further than the other! :biggrin:
  4. Mar 31, 2009 #3
    Thank you very much!
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