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

Mechanical experiments testing special relativity?

  1. Nov 18, 2006 #1
    Are there any experiments which test special relativity? I know of the Kennedy–Thorndike experiment, but it involves light. I am curious whether a different kind of experiments showing relativistic effects like time dilation or length contraction have been performed (I'm thinking of experiments involving mechanical devices like mechanic clocks, rather than light clocks). If there are none, why should we accept that relativistic effects occur for other kinds of moving devices (like mechanical clocks), besides those using light (like light clocks). I'm not questioning SR, I just don't know the answer.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

  4. Nov 18, 2006 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Most mechanical clocks rely on electromagnetism for their operation anyway, i.e. it's the electromagnetic force between atoms that holds matter together, not the nuclear forces.

    Muon decay is governed by a whole different set of forces which are not electormagnetic in origin at all. And as robphy points out, the decay of the muon is affected by its relativistic motion.
  5. Nov 18, 2006 #4
    that's a good answer
  6. Nov 19, 2006 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Mechanical experiments testing special relativity?