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Lorentz Transformations

  1. Jan 6, 2010 #1
    Since the lorentz transformations do not change an object in the z and y directions, but it does in the x direction, is this why a ruler looks shorter in the space station example? (same everything on each station, one moving by your IFR) Also is it why the clock appears to be running slower than your own?

    Sorry if I am a little vague, I am new to relativity!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 7, 2010 #2


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    Hi MotoH! :smile:
    Yes, and yes. :wink:
  4. Jan 7, 2010 #3
    Thanks for the reply!

    Just to clarify, from what I understand (correct me if I am wrong please!)

    If you were following a laser beam at say 80% the speed of light, your clock would have to slow down by 80% to keep the speed of light a constant, so anyone who is looking at you from their IFR see's your clock moving 80% slower than yours.

    And you see the other peoples clocks at running 80% faster than yours?
  5. Jan 7, 2010 #4


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    No, you "see" their clocks as running slower than your own, by the same amount that they "see" your clocks as running slower than their own.
  6. Jan 7, 2010 #5


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    And the clocks will be at 60%, not 80%, because 0.6 = √(1 - 0.82). :wink:
  7. Jan 7, 2010 #6
    Don't look at my awesome painting skills to long, I dont want you to get jealous!

    So for observer B who is traveling along in his awesome space ship, observer A's clock looks to be running slow because observer B's space time is compressed and A's isnt. and the same works for switching the observers. correct?
  8. Jan 7, 2010 #7
    Correct, but let's say because time dilation occurs which does not involve 'space'. That is GR!
  9. Jan 7, 2010 #8
    Sorry I am asking for so much clarification!

    For observer A to have the speed of light be constant for observer B, observer B's time needs to be more spread out so C = 3x10^8m/s otherwise if time was not spread out for observer B, the speed of light would be only Xm/s faster than he is, so the clock on observer B's ship is slower than observer A's asteroid because it takes longer to travel from one line to the next.

    Does this seem more on par, am I on the right track!?!:tongue2:

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