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Proper time or proper time interval

  1. Jan 4, 2007 #1
    i find in the literature in different textbooks the term proper time
    Thomas A. Moore, Six Ideas that Shaped Physics (McGraw-Hill) 1998
    and the term proper time interval
    Yuan Zhong Zhang, Special Rekativity and its Fundamental Foundations, (World scientific )
    I consider that the first is missleading. What is your oppinion?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2007 #2
    All proper times are intervals, but not all intervals are proper times, only time-like intervals can be proper times.
  4. Jan 4, 2007 #3


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    What are the specific definitions of these terms from the respective sources?
    (Without these definitions, there is nothing concrete for us to compare. I don't have time to go track down these resources.)
  5. Jan 4, 2007 #4
    When we speak about time we have in mind what a runing clock displays.
    When we speek about the time elapsed between two events we speak about a time interval measured as a difference between the readings of the same clock or between the readings of two synchronized distant clocks.
    That is the reason why IMHO it is correct to speak about proper time interval and coordinate time interval and not about proper time or coordinate time as many authors do.
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