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Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland - a clarification

  1. Jun 19, 2012 #1
    I don't have the book Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland, but I have heard about it. A little introduction is needed. Mr. Tompkins lives in a world where the speed of light is 20 mph. Here, of course, relativity must be taken into account almost always. I was wondering about length contraction, though. If Mr. Tompkins is riding his bike at a speed close to that of light, he looks thinner to those standing on the sidewalk and the men on the sidewalk look fatter to Mr. Tompkins. Am I right? I'm a little confused about that about what is seen to whom and who sees what.

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. Jun 19, 2012 #2

    HallsofIvy

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    No. If Mr Topkins is moving at speed v relative to the people on the side walk, then they are moving at speed v relative to him. He sees them as thinner and they see him as thinner than if they were motionless relative to him.
     
  4. Jun 19, 2012 #3
  5. Jun 19, 2012 #4

    HallsofIvy

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    Nice link, thanks.
     
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